Rare Things You See Whilst Prospecting

28 Mar

Prospecting is a very interesting hobby and one that pays for itself once you learn the skill required.

One of the side attractions are the unusual things you may come across in your travels.

Here are a few things that we have seen, or found, on our travels around Oz whilst prospecting.

We were prospecting for opals around Lightning Ridge a few years ago. From Lightning Ridge you may decide to do a self-conducted “car door” tour in which you follow a series of coloured car doors that lead you to various interesting places. There are many tours all denoted by various coloured car doors that appear on corners all over the area.  That is how we came upon this rather rare sight.


In a similar vein is this old house outside of Dunolly in Victoria. It is made of flattened out kerosene tins.


I thought this to be an interesting sign on the Nullabor.


If you ever go to Sandstone in Western Australia you will discover its only petrol station. This is it. What you see is what you get. There is no office, no facilities at all and no staff. All there is is a simple sign that says “If you want fuel go to the Municipal Office.” Just to add a bit more difficulty to this task, there are no directions to indicate just where the Municipal Office may be.

Wandering about the town you eventually see someone and ask them for directions. They turn out to be visitors just like you, and are also looking for the Municipal Office. With a bit of luck, and knowing that the next fuel is 200 miles away, you persevere and finally find the Municipal Office which no one has yet bothered to sign-write.

You are eventually accompanied back to the garage to fill your vehicle. As there were two other cars waiting, I filled my 4WD and thought that I would pull away from the pump and allow another car to fill up whilst I paid for the fuel. That was a big mistake.

I was told in no uncertain terms that I must pay up before moving or re-entering the car. This seems easy enough except for the fact that the Credit Card had to be rung through and, due to very poor mobile phone service in the area, ringing through may take quite a while. It did.

So, if you are ever going to Sandstone, it is a great idea to carry some extra fuel and give this Petrol Station a big miss. We did on the way back.


One time we left Laverton in WA via the Great Central Road. It takes you about 1100 kms to the Olgas and then on to Ayres Rock. There are roadhouses every 300 km’s or so and the bowsers are locked up like this.


Travelling on that road we saw quite a lot of camels. This mob treated us with absolute disdain.


These ovens were for cooking quartz in order to more easily extract the gold. They are near Hill End in NSW.


Travel today is relatively easy, but not so in the gold-rush era. Thus, when someone died, transporting the body back to the family was quite a problem as it may take many months. Here is the solution: a steel coffin so large that a normal coffin fits inside it. It is totally sealed and thus can be transported easily without the obvious problems that dead bodies create. We saw this at a museum in Swan Hill in Victoria.


Here is a cute little house we saw at Cue in WA. It is an old miners cottage and they are still occupied today.


I am sure that many readers will have interesting pics of unusual things encountered in their travels. Why not let us all see them.

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