Friday, 11 January 2019

The Gemfields, Queensland Part 2.

More of the Gemfields.  The homes, well I'm not sure if anyone lives in some of them.
The photos were taken as we moved along so hence the foreground might be blurred on a few.

On the way into Sapphire.

A Minion on top of the rusty sign.

The electrician's residence (above)

Would say no one is home in the above photo - maybe they come once in awhile.

Like the clothes line out the back, then a Caravan Park in Rubyvale.

The shop where we bought some food which was very tasty.

This town of Anakie is across the highway on the opposite side of Sapphire and it's where a Gemfest is held each year.  We only saw a small Pub and a couple of houses.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes it does look like that, but then it's good to keep it that way to a certain degree.

  2. Replies
    1. No no hills, there are not many hills as such, just slight inclines at times, many parts are very flat.
      Sea will come in due course.

  3. Nice pictures Margaret,
    Great that old car on picture 11.

    Greetings, Marco

    1. There was a few of those about Marco, but couldn't get a clear shot at more.

  4. I'm really feeling making a trip to Australia.

    1. That would be nice, need a fair bit of time to cover parts of it.

  5. so nice photos:) i want to come there:) follow:) hope U follow back:)

  6. A very different Australia to the one most of us see (whether we live here or not).

  7. Replies
    1. Amazing what you see as you go along, couldn't resist taking that photo..

  8. Desde un coche en marcha no es fácil enfocar y las imágenes se ven con muy buena nitidez.


    1. Thank you and it is hard to get the photo in focus, settings on the camera help if used correctly.

  9. You've got to laugh - some people have really no idea of the topography of Australia.
    I think Australia would have less hills/mountains than any other country in the World and due to size, then ocean views are coastal - and going around the coastline would take far longer than travelling around the USA!!!!

    They sure were hard times for the miners etc in those days of yore. It is good to see that everything has not been knocked down. Restoration of the shanties/camps and outhouses etc etc. I think also should not be done. Just leave as is for people to use their imagination of how hard life would have been.
    Horrible to even think of the clothes then worn with the blazing heat of the summer months.
    We, these days, are just so fortunate with aircon and other luxuries.
    Another great historical blog, Margaret.

    1. Thanks Colin.
      Hot out there with no A/C as we have today.
      Let's hope the place doesn't change much, it's good to see how it once was as still is.

  10. Very empty land out that way, almost nothing to see. Makes me wonder who was the first to stop there and why.

    1. Found the history..

      ^ TOPHistory

      * Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was occupied by people from the Gayiri Aboriginal language group.

      * The discovery of gemfields in the area occurred in 1875 when Archibald John Richardson found zircons at Retreat Creek.

      * In 1876 a prospector found sapphires in the region.

      * By 1881 commercial mining operations had commenced.

      * The railway line reached the district in 1884.

      * By 1887 Anakie was proclaimed a township.

      * Anakie Post Office was opened in 1894.

      * In 1902 (the year the Anakie Hotel was built) the Anakie Sapphire Fields were officially proclaimed a mining area.

      * Between 1902 and 1935 the three settlements of Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale grew to meet the demands of the miners.

      * In 1903 the Kitchener Hotel was removed from Comet to Sapphire.

      * A school was established at Rubyvale in 1905.

      * A boom occurred from 1906 when the gold miners from Clermont moved west to try their luck. That year saw a Post Office open in the town.

      * In 1907 over £40,000 worth of gems were mined.

      * World War 1 saw many miners leave the fields.

      * By 1921 Rubyvale had a population of 630.

      * In 1922 the Queensland Government stepped in to stabilise the sales of blue sapphires.

      * After 1935 the fields began to decline.

      * In 1938 a twelve-year-old local named Roy Spencer found a huge sapphire, the Black Star of Queensland weighing 1165 carats (it was the largest black-star sapphire in the world) near Reward Claim. He took it home and his father, not recognising its value, left it at the back door.

      * By 1953 there were only 21 full-time miners working in the area.

      * The school in Rubyvale closed in 1963.

      * The fields experienced a new lease of life from tourism in the 1960s.

      * Major miners arrived in the early 1970s, with heavy machinery in tow. They started to exploit the fields commercially, selling the best gemstones to dealers from South-East Asia.

      * It is indicative of the harshness of the area that electricity only arrived in 1977.

      * The Rubyvale Hall burnt down in 1979. It was subsequently replaced.

      * A multipurpose centre was built in 1994.

      * In 1998 the towns got reticulated water.

      * Today the fields are a combination of interests with individual operators, tourists and companies all vying for the stones.

  11. Buenas imagenes, que nos conducen a otro mundo...

  12. Thanks for sharing, seeing your photos we travel too.
    Have a nice weekend
    Warm regards
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  13. Thanks for the post and photographs and thanks too for the additional information after River's comment above.

    All the best Jan

    1. You are welcome, I did initially search for the history but didn't find anything of significance, tried again when River asked and was lucky..

  14. Weird but interesting area. The gem fest was on when we were there and we couldn't get any accommodation we had to return to Emerald.

    1. Oh I can imagine that happening, so many people would go to the Gemfest.

  15. it all looks very dry doesn't it and such an interesting place?

  16. So quite and still dear Margaret

    I am glad that you found tasty food on the way

  17. Some areas like that look to do it really tough don't they. It is nice that some are capitalising on tourism to get people into town.