Three discs in the wilds of Carpentaria

By Lawry Herron

Gold would have been satisfying but sometimes it’s not what you’re dealt – ‘All is not gold that glisters’. Last year I sussed out old gold mining areas in north Queensland armed with a camera and a notebook. The Circle of Knowledge at the Forsayth van park handed around gold freely and there were stories of the ‘ten-ounces-in-two-months’ type.

So this year, armed with a detector, I went back. I found the Circle of Knowledge muttering darkly; the growth was impossible, even last year’s tracks were overgrown and, worst of all, a key property had changed hands and prospectors were not being allowed on – ‘He took the two slabs of XXXX but wouldn’t let me go through the white gate!’ So where could you go?

The fluky mate answered that by picking up a 15-gram orphan just metres from the bitumen. Well, it’s Crown Land, isn’t it? After that, in two weeks of wading through spear grass, he got two bits for three grams. I got boot tacks and buckshot and horseshoes, despite Link Technology’s best efforts with my Minelab GPX4500. His last bit, all of 0.9 grams, was on Gilberton Station. Don’t go there via Agate Creek if you only have two-wheel drive. You’ll get over the seventy creek and gully crossings OK but you’ll bog, like we did, in the sand of the two crossings of the Percy River. Go via Kidston. Thanks Andy, for towing me out.

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