In search of Bago Blue agate

By Jenny Summerville

It all started with Dave telling us about fossils he'd seen 20 years ago while he was a bulldozer driver up in the Bago Forest near Wauchope, NSW. It sounded like a good day trip out so Michelle downloaded part of the Port Macquarie tourist map and while there was no mention of fossils, printed in block letters across part of it was Blue Agate. How come no one had seen that before?

The trouble with a tourist map is that it's flat and doesn't show how the mountains go up 90 degrees and come down 90 degrees on the other side and when you get to the bottom there's a bog hole of pure red mud or wheel ruts 10 feet deep put there by the timber getters. It doesn't show you that if you go any further forward you have to keep going because you've got Buckley's chance of getting out any other way. And there's no ‘X' marks the spot; 'here's the blue agate, come and pick me up.' It gives you an approximate radius of about 10 kilometres, so you have to drive or walk down every track until you find something worthwhile.

Well, no such luck. It was lunchtime and we'd been driving up and down tracks no normal person would dream of taking. When a handy quarry came along we decided to stop as quarries are always good spots for fossickers to look at. Alas, not this one. Apparently it was the local unofficial tip.

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