As I had long wanted to take the Field Nats to this place, it was gratifying to see such a large group turn up. We were informed that the sandstone deposit was originally a fresh water lake. Approximately 40 million years ago during the Jurassic Period, massive volcanic activity and earthquakes formed the sandstone deposit. Most of the earth that was dumped on top of this deposit compressed the sand in the lake into sandstone rock. This earth has since weathered away leaving only about half a metre of cover over the sandstone.
We began the morning by all travelling in a group higher up the pro-perty to view the revegetation of the bushland and the present extraction sites. What a difference there was between the moonscape of present or recently mined areas and revegetated early mined spots.
After morning tea near Lump Lake, we split into two groups. Lesley lead a group of bird watchers back up the top, while the rest of us made our way up the base of the gorge where black cockatoos, spiders and a great close-up view of a beautiful Evening Brown Butterfly took out interest. The group then met again to hear Greg, our minder from H.S.I. explain the differences in the quality of rock sites we had seen and the different methods of extraction. He then showed us the amazing cutting machines involved and explained that they are now the only sandstone site to process the rock entirely in Australia, as most is being sent 'raw 'to China for processing. I think everyone was impressed with the finished product, with the 'lolly' stone being the crowd favourite. Tricia
Quarrying, er …. Birding in the Helidon Hills – 09 May 2010