Huge crowds flock to Rock Swap
HUGE crowds flowed through the Warwick Showgrounds at the weekend for the 43rd annual Warwick Easter Rock Swap.
But don’t be fooled – despite what the name suggests it isn’t really a rock swap anymore.
Warwick Lapidary Club president and Rock Swap organiser Syd Woodrow said the event was now more of a sale than a swap.
Mr Woodrow said more than 100 stall-holders travelled from as far as Western Australia, New Zealand and South Australia to sell their rocks – which ranged from the beautiful Lightning Ridge black opals to the stunning thunder eggs from central Queensland and agates from north Queensland.
For the past 41 years Mr Woodrow has been fascinated with searching for and collecting precious rocks and gems.
He has been all over Queensland on his hunt for the perfect stone, but said he did not have a favourite place.
“My favourite place to go fossicking would be wherever there are stones to pick up,” he said with a smile.
“The best ones I have found are the thunder eggs at Mt Hay in central Queensland.”
However he is not alone in the search for the perfect gem, Michael and Julie O’Brien from Glen Innes travel across the countryside looking for their favourite stones.
While the O’Briens now prefer to do the touristy thing more than just going on fossicking trips, they said they will still look for stones at many of the places they stop in their grey-nomad travels.
“We’ve been coming up here to Warwick for 20 years,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr O’Brien said his favourite types of stones were the agates and smoky quartz.