Mt Hay Gemstone Tourist Park
Thundereggs & spherulitic rhyolite (rainforest jasper)
Established in 1974 to allow visitors to dig their own thundereggs and spherulitic rhyolite, the Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park remains a popular destination for fossickers seeking these curious volcanic formations. Mt. Hay is the remains of an extinct ancient volcano, which was last active about 120 million years ago. When it was a rumbling volcano millions of gas bubbles were present in the molten rhyolite lava .. it is these gas ‘pockets’ that became thundereggs. Thundereggs or volcanic birthstones are the result of these “pockets” filling with siliceous liquids containing impurities and trace elements, which crystallize as they cool, and when cut in half, reveal many different colours and patterns.
Visitors can fossick through piles of thunderegg – bearing material which is excavated from the nearby mine site, and transported to a safe area suitable for all ages. Visitors are given a bag for their stones, a tool to fossick, and shown what to look for. Any stones collected can be kept, and upon completion of their search, each person can have a couple of stones cut for free. Extra cutting is available at extra cost. Fees apply for fossicking, and enclosed footwear is required. No fixed starting times.
Pets allowed if kept under control.
The Park is 30 minutes west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway ( A4 ) at Wycarbah, and is open 7 days a week. There is a camping ground and a caravan park with powered sites, shelter sheds and barbecue areas. Pets are allowed if kept under control.