The Gemfields is a former locality in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, The Gemfields had a population of 1,449 people. On 17 April 2020, the Queensland Government re-drew the boundaries of localities within the Central Highlands Region by removing the locality of The Gemfields in order to create three new localities of Rubyvale, Sapphire Central and Anakie Siding (around the towns of Rubyvale, Sapphire, and Anakie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gemfields
The Sapphire Gemfields, just 45 minutes west of Emerald, are home to the largest gemfields in the Southern Hemisphere. The small settlements of Anakie, Rubyvale, Sapphire and the Willows are teeming with semi-precious stones of all shapes and sizes including sapphires and rubies… you just have to know where to look!
Guided underground mine tours are widely available or tag-along on a digging tour; book a self-drive fossicking tour complete with maps and mining equipment or try your luck at a fossicking park and sift through a bucket of sapphire wash keeping an eye out for the motherload. https://www.southerngreatbarrierreef.com.au/destinations/sapphire-gemfields
I drove to Sapphire and based myself at the Camping area at the RSL Club. There is also free camping with a toilet and access to water as you drive into Sapphire just past the Caravan Park, which is also the Petrol station and the shop for groceries and also hot food. You can virtually walk everywhere in that area if you want to search for Sapphire…Retreat Creek is dry as usual, and also the Common Lands which you can fossick on and there are many open areas for free fossicking. You need a license, but now you have to get one online for a small cost…
You can fossick anywhere without a claim notice. People have found sapphire in the common areas …all I found was shiny self polished rocks that look great but have no monetary value whatsoever.
We went to Pats Gems which eventually was open after the Virus scares and closure..and bought two buckets of sand for $30..$15 each, and diligently sieved, washed and searched for the elusive sapphire. We found none of any interest…a few miniature scraps, and were very disappointed. We went back to the common grounds.