Unveil the beauty of 120 million years rock formation
Have you ever heard of thundereggs? Thundereggs are a beautiful geologic formation in a nodule-like rock. Thundereggs are the result of gases trapped in rhyolite lava, creating unique bubble-like structures that become filled with semi-precious minerals such as quartz crystal, amethyst, agate and jasper.
Mount Hay is one place where you can find thundereggs. It is located just over 30 minutes from Rockhampton through Capriconia Highway. You will have to drive up for about 2 minutes on the unsealed road after the turn-off from the highway. But don't worry, it's an easy road, even for a small 2WD car or camper trailer.
Don Kayes, the owner of Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park, greeted us and explained all about thundereggs before handing us a bucket of water with a brush in it. We then picked our weapons to find these beautiful thundereggs.
Pick, plastic bags, a bucket of water and brush and you are ready to find thundereggs
The fossicking locations are only a couple of metres from the shop. Don took his time to show us what actually we need to look for. It's a smooth round rock that can be as small as a marble or bigger than a golf ball. Sometimes you can find individual loose thundereggs, but sometimes they sit surrounded by other minerals.
There were 6 other groups, besides our family that did fossicking that day. Don chatted with each one of the groups and answered questions - he really put all his attention into his visitors and it's very lovely.
Rock Garden, where you can relax or have a bite between finding your thundereggs
After that, Don took his digger and dumped a new pile of dirt for us to search for the thundereggs. Please be aware that you need to put on enclosed shoes to do these activities. Don has some shoes in his shop that can be borrowed if by any chance you turned up with no enclosed shoes. He also has some knee padding to cover your knees while kneeling down.
You can stay and do fossicking as long as you want but generally, 1 to 2 hours will be enough to score some beautiful thundereggs. There are also camping or caravan (powered or non-powered) sites available here with hot showers and septic toilets. Pets are welcome here as long as they are kept under control. You better pack up some lunches with you before heading to Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park as there is no cafe here. You can use their rock garden to have a break and lunch or just spread a picnic blanket on the ground near fossicking area. There are two undercover picnic tables near the fossicking area too.
After finding your thundereggs, you can go back to the shop where Don cut open the thundereggs that had been found. It was so beautiful and you can find all sorts of patterns inside thundereggs. Don suggested to put clear varnished after good clean with a soft brush in hot soapy water, so it can show more the mineral inside the thundereggs.
Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park opens 7 days a week from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Fees apply for fossicking and camping. Please go to their website for more information. Visit Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park – a home of the 120 million years old thundereggs.