“There’s gold everywhere if we can only find it.” So wrote George Thomas Smith (AKA Banjo Bill) when he described life on the Albert Goldfields during the 1920s.
The Albert Goldfield is an area of scattered gold deposits stretching across the Grey Range from Mount Browne to Tibooburra. It was discovered in 1881 and was the first goldfield in arid Australia.
On October 5th 1882 the Wilcannia Times, reported, “We believe the Albert will yet be proved to be one of the richest goldfields in the colony”.
But although the Albert Goldfield was a “poor man’s” field where just about anyone could attempt mining, the difficulties faced in such a remote location, proved too much.
Today the population of once several thousand people, many of them on the fields of Tibooburra, has dwindled to barely two hundred, and the complex geology of this ancient landscape continues to challenge gold seekers.
The Albert Goldfields’ Mining Heritage Centre in Milparinka is an interactive centre featuring film, audio stories and mining equipment which helps to explain more about this extraordinary time in the history of the Corner Country.
Prospecting is available on the Tibooburra Common and on Mount Stuart Station.
To better understand the geology of the goldfields download the Geological Guide to the Milparinka_tour and Tib_Inlier tour.