[gmap-embed id=”22″]Day Two started at 5am waking to the most magnificent sunrise in the beautiful country town of Trundle. The colours of the sky were almost unreal from my balcony window in the Trundle pub.

Built in 1909 the pub accommodates a myriad of revellers including excitable rooky geologists and backpackers passing through looking for some work in outback New South Wales. The shared-style accommodation was originally built for the itinerant workers from the nearby busy railway line which was a way to bring produce to rural NSW.

After breakfast and packing the car with the mainstays required for a day of geology (ie. water, toilet paper and chocolate!), we set off towards Fifield. Watching the roadside change from pale red to dark red dust, there were many stops along the way to test the rock and regolith which became more and more magnetic as we drove. Much fun was had with a pen magnet picking up small iron filings (I think I could have stayed in that one place for hours just watching the small flecks of iron-rich rock moving towards my pen magnet!).

With a quick stop at a magnecite quarry – OHMYGAWD! It was totally awesome!! – we cracked open rocks that looked like nothing special on the outside to reveal the most magnificent white powder like sedimentary rock called magnesite – a natural magnesium salt which is used in stock feeds but would also be quite healthy for humans. I was in my element smashing rocks open and licking them!










Upon arriving at the tenement, we bounced around offroad and watched wild emus bobbing around between the trees. The landscape of outback NSW is just beautiful with panoramic views of flat open spaces and then tree filled areas with wildlife in abundance.


My work experience introduction was fast and furious! We choose a site, dig a hole, judge when the sediment change is apparent, and then bag a sample. Each bag is labelled with the depth the sample was taken from, as well as descriptions of the surrounding regolith and top soil. Very detailed and very organised. I was in my element!


Lunch was a sandwich from the trusty esky at an old abandoned wool shed. I experienced my first “au natural” pee behind a bush! I was so excited! My wonderful work colleage, Althea gave me some useful tips prior to my nature pee – “choose your spot well and keep a hold of your pants in case of privacy disturbance!” I achieved an empty bladder without any itchy rash or embarrassing wet spots on my pants or boots! WiN!




Having completed our samples we then became distracted by differential layers in an ultramafic rock! Spending the next two hours scouring the countryside for rock outcrops that showed direction in differential layering, we developed a better idea of the mafic geology of the area.


Scouring the countryside for rock outcrops also provides opportunities for discovering trace elements of wildlife in the area. Finding a particular scat (ie. poop!) that contained traces of iridescent beetle remains was extremely exciting and provided a fascinating few minutes squishing the poop to watch the pretty colours of partially digested beetle matter!beetle-poo








Luckily the only slithery creature we encountered was a not-so slithery lizard sunning himself on a fence post. He was friendly enough to pose for a picture or two, but no selfies were allowed.


Our last stop presented us with a corker of an ending for our mining exploration. Scouring an outcrop on our way back to what could be sort of described as a track, we cracked open rocks to discover copper! Copper in it’s natural form is a beautiful greenish blue colour, and in situ with azurite, the inside of what looks like a very boring rock, produces a myriad of breathtaking colours. There was huge excitement as we fossicked for samples. I’ve never experienced such excitement and sheer awe of how nature can surprise us with it’s secret beauty!img_2575

Arriving back at Trundle pub, very dirty with red dust in every orifice imaginable, a cold drink and wonderful dinner along with a very welcome shower, sustained us for our adventures which continue tomorrow – more prospecting, discovery, sampling…..and more rocks! Lots of them! Lots and lots and lots of them…….!

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