|We ended up leaving Emerald later than expected,fueled up at the Caltex on the eastern edge of town, easy access for motor homes,there’s also a truck stop out the back.
Got to the turnoff to Sapphire & Rubyvale just on dark,nearly camped at the rest area opposite but quite a few were camped there so opted to drive to Sapphire just down the road.
Sapphire is classed as a RV friendly town ,so for travelers there’s a rest area you can camp at for 48 hours a toilet,water and dump point but no showers at this one.
In the morning we had a look at the Sunday markets came back and went for a walk to the river.We also checked out another spot to stop for the night.We got talking to some friends we had met 2 weeks earlier,they had spent the last couple of weeks fossicking but with out much luck in finding any sapphires,they had ended up buying a bag of wash and were sitting back having a cuppa picking out a few good sapphires from the wash,it was the most they had found in the last couple weeks of looking! They suggested to camp by the river as most nights quite a few campers ended up there.
The kids and I headed down to the river for a fossick and Pete went back to the bus to move it. Down by the river were a few groups of people who were set up with all the gear for fossicking for sapphires.
Our original plan was to stick around for a few days and park out on the gem fields and have a go at fossicking but after the current rain we thought it best not to take our bus out on the dirt roads and risk getting bogged again,also we had a change of mind when the lady from the caravan park with her threats completely killed our vibe
Before leaving though Pete and the kids went up to the BP shop to buy a souvenir he got talking to Les the owner of the BP/shop, he was one of the blokes that took a part in turning Sapphire into a RV friendly town.After talking to him about what had happened he offered us to park up behind his shop or even the fire brigade but as we had the bus ready to drive out we gave it a miss but must say he was a great bloke,well all of the people we came across were friendly, except for one.So our time at Sapphire ended there and we drove out.
But if you do end up at Sapphire and you have no luck in finding your own sapphires you can always grab a bag of wash, everyone recommends Armfest as having the best bag of wash with usually a few sapphires worth cutting.But if you do decide to fossick on the fields you can buy a permit at “Little House of Gems” Rubyvale,Government Building Emerald and out at the Willows.The cost $6:50 for a month or a family $9:50 a month,this also allows you to fossick throughout QLD in all allowed areas.