Glen Innes

We’ve run away, the MOTH (Man of the House) and I. Two weeks of camping that we thought would never arrive. We set camp yesterday (which included a hook up to power) afternoon having enjoyed the ’scenic route’ which added two hours to an already long drive. Why take any notice of the GPS when you have absolutely no idea where you’re heading or where north is? Initially I wondered whether it was the GPS’ female voice but I soon realised the MOTH was neither listening to the directions nor watching the road signs.

Never mind, we’re here now to spend a week in Glen Innes with other members of the camper trailer club at the annual get together. The program is full but like all camping activities everything is optional. It was cold last night but the showers were piping hot and clean – camping bliss.

Tonight was the opening ceremony of the week and we overflowed one of the Glen Innes show ground pavilions; there are a few of us here!

Some background information on our home town for the next week. The original owners of Glen Innes and surrounding areas are the Ngarabal people and their name for the township is Gindaaydjin, meaning ‘plenty of big round stones on clear plains” which sums up the local area well. It has some interesting aspects one of which is that it is Australia’s highest town, one of the coldest climates of Australia – apart the Snowy Mountains and Tasmania – mild to warm summers and cold windy winters with regular frosts and the occasional snowfall. Here in the southern hemisphere we’re heading into spring so nights are a lot colder than we are used to. Some years ago the mercury dropped to -12C, too cold by far.

This part of NSW, Australia, is well known as a fossicking region. Before I came to live in Australia I’d never heard of fossicking (sifting soil for gem stones) but our welcome pack included some reading about the do’s and don’ts of this pastime as well as listing some laws together with an extensive list of fossicking responsibilities.

  • No power-operated equipment permitted
  • No digging more than one metre below the line of the land’s natural contour
  • No digging up roads
  • Any free material lying alongside the roads is yours.

We have a “How to fossick” brochure with some fairly comprehensive instructions in the art of fossicking well.  However,  I am a sceptic and avoid the obvious tourist traps, I won’t be visiting the recommended ’sites’ or ‘guided field tours’. There is so much to see and do here we won’t feel we are missing too much if we skip the fossicking experience.


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