After much discussion, John and I came to the conclusion that after one more day at Valley Bore and mucking about, sorry, collecting mineral samples in the  Harts Range we would move on to the Henbury Meteorite Site.

As usual, we set off early to Harts Range, armed with information from old Walter Smith and prospector Linz.

As we intended to leave early the next day we said good bye to Walter Smith, his wife Mabel and the rest of his ‘mob ‘ who lived in their Gunyahs not too far from our camp.

I let Walter know that I’d stay in touch with him through Eddy at the Police Station and he seemed please at the thought.

Once on our way, our first port of call was an area named Mud Tank which was known locally as a place to dig for zircons.

The ground at Mud Tank was pockmarked with holes from previous digs and John pointed out that as I was considerably younger than he, it was my job to do the digging, particularly as the long handled shovel was part of my kit. Always generous to a fault, John offered to take the following image.



I must confess that I was digging in a hole mostly dug by some other prospector.  After about an hour’s hard labour I gave up digging and helped John sift through the fresh dirt. We found absolutely no zircons or anything else of geological interest and moved on into the range proper.

Back then, easiest access into the range of hills was behind the Harts Range Race Course which is immediately behind the Harts Range Police Station.

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The annual races at the Harts Range Race Course rival many such Territory race meeting and have very high attendance numbers.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, the course was deserted as we passed by.



As I’ve mentioned previously, Harts Range was and still is a geologists dream.   Mineral formations are everywhere from lengthy  exposed quarts veins to garnets, large and small  lying everywhere  and unusual force formed shapes and sizes of crystals just waiting to be collected.

My strategically placed peological kick highlights one such interestingly  shaped short run of quartz and other minerals.

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I collected quite a few nice garnet samples, the slides of which are amongst the hundred or so I can no longer find.  Unfortunately because over the years I’ve given all my garnet samples away, I can’t photograph them now to show you.

Fortunately this morning , although the slides are missing, I was able to photograph two of my remaining samples from that great day on the range.

The first is a good example of the quartz crystals that are strewn across the range. The second/third is a large lump of either Hematite or Kyanite, I can’t remember which , or perhaps it is neither of the two.

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The next two images are of my mineral sample I’m unable to positively identify.

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John collected many, many samples but most importantly, he located an enormous feldspar crystal, well over three feet in length that required both of us to lift and, get back to the Landy.

Our work done, we called into the Police Station and bid farewell to Eddy, his family and Eddy’s Aboriginal workmate and tracker.

Farewells completed and much later that day, with assistance from Linz at Bonya, we crated up the sample, said hoo roo to Linz and his wife Joan and returned to Valley Bore to pack up for the last time, ready for an early departure en route to Henbury via Alice Springs.

That’s it for now so,

Hoo roo till next time.



  1. I’ve been reading this little series with great interest Bones. It certainly looks like you had a great time back then. I love the photos with the Landy, I had a Series model too, strangely the same colour as yours and with the same style of window in the hard top, spooky!

  2. Hi Dookes, it’s funny, after reading your recent European journey, I was scratching my mind to find something in my travels that might be an interesting contrast to your epics. Then when I bumped into my old mate from the Landrover Club the Night Parrot bit set me going.
    That little Landy served me well for over 170,000 miles. I even drowned it once in a river crossing with water coming in through the driver’s window. That’s a yarn for another day. Glad you enjoyed the images so far. There are a few yet to come.

    By the way I replaced the SWB with a County 110 I bought new in 1984. Still have it and it’s done well over 400,000klms and still in use. In 2001 I bought a new Defender Extreme. We’ve done almost 400,000 klms in it now and it still goes well. What a shame the 110’s are gone. We will be putting the County on Historic number plates later this year as it’s 32 years old and qualifies. What a hoot .Is there a similar scheme in the UK?

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