Through our separate geological tour site, we offer freely downloadable, self-drive or walking tours of many parts of NSW, New Zealand, and other parts of Australia.

You can download the guides here, or visit our tour site for more information and the downloadable tour guides: 

If you encounter problems with viewing a file, right click on its link and choose Save Link As......  Once the file has downloaded, manually open it.  There seems to be a sporadic problem with the Acrobat plugin for both Firefox and Internet Explorer which can halt or disrupt downloading some files.

The stop locations for all of our tours, can be viewed in Google Earth  by downloading the zip file below.  If you have Google Earth installed you can simply view the tour stops by double clicking on the appropriate KML file.

Google Earth KML files.  Download and unpack this file, then select the appropriate tour file, which will open Google Earth and display the tour stops.
Size : 19.676 Kb
Type : zip
Size : 991.315 Kb
Type : zip
Before travelling in eastern Australia, we thoroughly recommend visiting Cartoscope, an online source of the most up-to-date, comprehensive and informative tourism maps available. Cartoscope's maps are freely downloadable for you to print yourself, or may be purchased online in hard copy format.  These maps are also available for free from local visitor centres.

In addition, their excellent site has links to other resource sites of value to the tourist.  You won't find better maps anywhere!  

Barraba-Woodsreef tour:  a round trip of 45 km which passes eastward of Barraba to the derelict Woodsreef asbestos mine.  There is the option of returning via the outgoing route, or bypassing southward through the gold mining village of Crow Mountain.  The tour  passes across the Peel Fault, a major crustal fracture with vastly different rocks present on opposite sides of the structure.  Unusual serpentinite (serpentine) rocks occur along the fault.  The tour demonstrates some of the different rocks on either side of the Peel Fault and formally ends at the Woodsreef Common  gold fossicking and camping area.

Size : 1130.18 Kb
Type : pdf

Barraba-Bingara tour:  a round trip of 130 km (see map below) which commences at Barraba, travelling northwest through Upper Horton to Caroda, then heading eastward to Bingara, and finally swinging south through Upper Bingara to Barraba.  This tour passes through some beautiful, very scenic countryside.  The geological sites visited include road cuttings and several short walks.  This tour demonstrates the shallowing of the Devonian to Carboniferous ocean, with the continent emerging and progressing into a time of glacial activity.  You will also pass along the edge of the Bingara diamond field, visit the Upper Bingara gold field, and fossick for garnets at Ruby Hill.

Bingara-Barraba_Geo_tour.pdf Bingara-Barraba_Geo_tour.pdf
Size : 1903.161 Kb
Type : pdf

Bingara area fossicking maps:  We have prepared several maps of the Bingara area for those interested in examining old mine sites, panning for gold, or fossicking with a metal detector.

The Bingara area is a great place to visit and fossick. However, many areas with fossicking potential lie within private land.  Before venturing off a public road or track onto private land, do the legally and morally correct thing – ask permission from the land owner.  If you don’t know who the land owner is, enquire from the nearest residence.

Upper_Bingara_map.pdf Upper_Bingara_map.pdf
Size : 126.95 Kb
Type : pdf
Whitlow_map.pdf Whitlow_map.pdf
Size : 175.93 Kb
Type : pdf
Bingara_map.pdf Bingara_map.pdf
Size : 243.49 Kb
Type : pdf

Brooms Head:  this quiet holiday village on north coast NSW is bestowed with an excellent headland which displays an exciting range of sedimentary structures, faults and folds.

Brooms_Head_tour.pdf Brooms_Head_tour.pdf
Size : 4215.018 Kb
Type : pdf

Cathedral Rock:  Cathedral Rock National Park is situated on the Waterfall Way about 75 km from Armidale and 60 km from Dorrigo in the Northern Tablelands of northern New South Wales.  The park exhibits granite landforms which include photogenic giant tors that are typical of many parts of the granite-rich New England region.  

Our tour of the walking tracks describe the geological features and landforms along the Cathedral Rock track.  The downloadable guide includes a description of the park’s geology and a detailed map of  the track.  A brief geological description of Ebor Falls is also included.  The geology of the park is placed into regional context with a description of the Ebor Volcano and its products.

Cathedral Rock.pdf Cathedral Rock.pdf
Size : 1307.661 Kb
Type : pdf

Diamond Head:  Diamond Head  offers a wonderful opportunity to view some spectacular volcanic features.  With this tour you will learn about some aspects of lava, intrusive rocks, and alteration of rocks in an environment close to volcanic activity..  The area is situated in the Crowdy Head National Park. It boasts spectacular and rugged scenery.  Most of the tour stops are on the shoreline, and a few require some scrambling and agility to climb across rocks to access.  Some stops should only be attempted at low tide, when the risk of being struck by waves is decreased.

Diamond_Head_Tour.pdf Diamond_Head_Tour.pdf
Size : 4635.447 Kb
Type : pdf

Lightning Ridge:  The geological sites described in the downloadable tour guide include descriptions of a number of localities where the essential rocks of the area can be examined.  In addition, a visit to the foreshores of the dry Coocoran Lake is described in terms of the landforms and processes active here.  Detailed maps of the various opal fields about Lightning Ridge are also included in the guide.

LRidge_tour.PDF LRidge_tour.PDF
Size : 3430.861 Kb
Type : PDF

Manilla:  Similarly to Barraba and Bingara, the small village of Manilla is located on the Fossickers Way in the western New England area of northern New South Wales.  Manilla is situated in picturesque country typifying rural inland eastern Australia.  Despite its small size, the town supports a significant tourism trade, largely assisted by the many events centred about gliding, hang gliding and parafoil sports.

Our revised and expanded (as of August 2008) geological tour travels eastward from the town in a looped round trip of 70 km, passing through tilted and folded marine sedimentary rocks, then crossing the Peel Fault with its associated serpentine.  Older, very deep-water marine sedimentary rocks, limestone and granite occur on the eastern side of the fault.  The route passes through some classic Australian countryside, with beautiful scenery and interesting rocks.  Most stops are sign posted, with the exception of new Stops 7 and 8.

Manilla_tour.pdf Manilla_tour.pdf
Size : 630.252 Kb
Type : pdf

Nandewar Volcano:  The Nandewar Volcano was a shield volcano active between 17 and 21 million years ago between Narrabri and Bingara.  The volcano was developed above a mantle hotspot and produced lavas ranging from rhyolitic to basaltic in composition.  The Warrumbungle Mountains were derived from magmas formed from the same hotspot as the Nandewar Volcano.  The volcano sits above a major crustal fault which separates rocks of the coal and hydrocarbon-bearing Sydney-Bowen Basin on the west, from rocks of the Tamworth Belt on the east.

This drive examines easily accessible, representative rocks of the Nandewar Volcano and some of the rocks forming its basement along the Narrabri-Bingara road.  The origin and history of the volcano are described, and some elements of the landforms examined.  The magnificent columnar joints of Sawn Rocks are an essential stop on this photogenic drive.

Nandewar_geo_tour.pdf Nandewar_geo_tour.pdf
Size : 3388.77 Kb
Type : pdf
Nandewar_Volcano_Tour.jpg Nandewar_Volcano_Tour.jpg
Size : 473.786 Kb
Type : jpg

New Zealand: The North and South Islands of New Zealand are some of the most easily examined, tectonically active and diverse regions on Earth.  The islands are developed along the collisional margin of the Australian and Pacific plates, and exhibit all of the characteristics of this tectonic setting.  Active arc volcanism and geothermal activity, frequent seismicity, regions of crustal uplift and others of subsidence, active glaciation and glacial landforms and products, alpine ranges, basin and range topography, and relatively young epithermal, orogenic and alluvial gold mineralisation. 

A number of sites (see downloadable map) have been chosen across both islands which allow the significant and interesting aspects of New Zealand geology to be examined.  Although not strictly a tour, a circuitous route linking the sites would allow the traveller to complete all localities in a period of about 3 weeks.

These sites result from a geological excursion developed by Dr. Nick Cook and Associate Professor Paul Ashley of the University of New England, Armidale.  Paul has run this excursion on a triannual basis over many years, and has developed a peerless knowledge of the geology of this wonderful land.  The descriptions presented here result from Paul’s commentaries and a range of professional papers and other publications and have benefited from his reviews and encouragement. 

Southland.pdf Southland.pdf
Size : 5702.233 Kb
Type : pdf
Otago_tour.pdf Otago_tour.pdf
Size : 6981.103 Kb
Type : pdf
West_Coast.pdf West_Coast.pdf
Size : 6230.271 Kb
Type : pdf
North_Island_tour.pdf North_Island_tour.pdf
Size : 5420.719 Kb
Type : pdf
Size : 5432.058 Kb
Type : zip

Ophir:  Ophir is the site of the gold discovery by Edward Hargraves and his partners in 1851 which sparked the start of numerous gold rushes throughout Australia.  The Ophir Reserve, a public area administered by Cabonne Council, is an excellent place to learn about the occurrence of gold and the historical methods of mining the precious metal.

A brochure on the geology and gold occurrences of the Ophir Reserve and Central West gold was published by the then Department of Mineral Resources in 2001.  Unfortunately, the brochure was  withdrawn shortly thereafter due to a change in state government Ministers.

The downloadable PDF guide of 2.3 Mb is extracted from that brochure, with some additions and modifications.  The guide includes a map of the reserve showing geology, tracks and roads, historical workings, watercourses and historic sites.

A high resolution PDF map of A3 size can be downloaded here. 

The assistance of geoscientist Gary Burton is acknowledged for his enthusiastic support and geological description of the site.  The original historical account of the discovery of gold which was expertly penned by Derek Dolstra has been used in the guide.

Ophir_map_A3.pdf Ophir_map_A3.pdf
Size : 166.022 Kb
Type : pdf
Ophir_brochure.pdf Ophir_brochure.pdf
Size : 2288.07 Kb
Type : pdf

Point Lookout: 

Point Lookout is within the New England National Park off the Waterfall Way about 75 km from Armidale and 60 km from Dorrigo in the Northern Tablelands of northern New South Wales.  The site is on the very edge of the Great Escarpment, within rocks of the Ebor Volcano. 

Two walks are recommended to provide a cross section through some of the rocks of the Ebor Volcano: 

  • The Eagles Nest Lookout loop track from Point Lookout, which travels for 2.5 km through several lavas of different compositions as well as the ancient soil horizons between lava flows
  • The Wrights Lookout walk, which examines some of the volcanic rocks at the base of the lavas and an unusual trachyte intrusion which is part of the Ebor Volcano.
Point_Lookout_tour.pdf Point_Lookout_tour.pdf
Size : 2016.532 Kb
Type : pdf

Red Rock: The village of Red Rock is located north of Coffs Harbour on the central north coast of NSW.  The prominent  headland is composed of very deformed, folded and faulted rocks, amongst which is red jasper, giving the locality its name.  This geological tour is suitable for people of all ages, and involves a pleasant walk along the headland and neighbouring creek bank.  The tour visits some spectacular, large folds, fault planes, and some picturesque red jasper.  Many unusual rocks are examined and explained in simple terms.

Redrock_tour.pdf Redrock_tour.pdf
Size : 1296.648 Kb
Type : pdf

Sturt's steps:  This relatively long geological drive takes you through the remote country west of the Barrier and Grey Ranges, from Broken Hill to Milparinka.  The route passes close to that used by Sturt’s 1844-45 exploration party on their way to explore for the supposed inland sea.  Your journey explores the unique landforms and geology of this area, and offers the opportunity for camping in peaceful seclusion or staying with friendly hosts in farmstay-style accommodation at some of the remote homesteads on the route.

The journey uses relatively well maintained gravel roads for a distance of about 420 km between  Silverton and Milparinka.  Adequate fuel, water and food are essential for this remote drive.  Fuel is available at Broken Hill and Milparinka.

SturtS_tour.pdf SturtS_tour.pdf
Size : 3906.28 Kb
Type : pdf

Tamworth:  Tamworth is a large regional centre located at the southern end of the New England Tableland.  Tourism is a major factor in the infrastructure of this town, which caters for many tens of thousands of tourists annually.  Events such as the Country Music Festival draw very large crowds early in the year and there are many attractive areas about Tamworth to appeal to the traveler.

Tamworth is centred in a geologically interesting region.  A major crustal fault passes through the area, splitting folded, ancient marine sedimentary and volcanic rocks to the west from ancient, very deep water marine sedimentary and volcanic rocks to the east.  Two geological tours have been devised to acquaint you with the rocks and their story in this area.  Both take you through some memorable, typically rural Australian countryside.

Tour 1  travels to the west of Tamworth, toward Keepit Dam.  This tour takes you through Devonian to Carboniferous (300 - 350 million year old) sedimentary rocks which were deposited in a moderately deep to shallow ocean.  You will see mudstones, a spectacular conglomerate, fossiliferous limestone and volcanic rocks which were deposited on the margin of a volcanic island chain.  

Tour 2 travels to the southeast of Tamworth toward Chaffey Dam.  This tour crosses the Peel Fault, a major crustal fracture.  You will be able to contrast the very different, deep water oceanic rocks on the eastern side of the fault with those visited on tour 1.  A highlight of the tour are the large outcrops of serpentinite (serpentine), jasper, some spectacular 400 million year old conglomerates, and some unusual green sedimentary rocks with distinctive graded bedding.

Tamworth_Map.pdf Tamworth_Map.pdf
Size : 406.458 Kb
Type : pdf
Tamworth_area_tours.pdf Tamworth_area_tours.pdf
Size : 580.607 Kb
Type : pdf

Tasmania:  The Rotary Clubs of northwest Tasmania have combined to produce a geological tour of the coastline between Devonport, Burnie and Wynyard.  This tour is generally only available as an A3 printed guide from sites within the tour area.  The co-ordinating organisation, the Rotary Club of Devonport South-East has kindly provided us with a downloadable version of their guide as an A3 size PDF document.  To enable those without A3 printers to reproduce the guide in readable form, we have modified the original document to fit on four A4 sheets.

Burnie_tour_A4.pdf Burnie_tour_A4.pdf
Size : 1050.447 Kb
Type : pdf
Burnie_tour_A3.pdf Burnie_tour_A3.pdf
Size : 838.599 Kb
Type : pdf

Tibooburra-Milparinka:  The village of Tibooburra is situated in the far northwest corner of New South Wales. Tibooburra owes its origin to the discovery of alluvial gold during the 1880s at the foot of the low ridges mainly to the west of the town.  Together with the historic village of Milparinka to the south, Tibooburra represents a significant part of our colonial heritage.  To learn more of this isolated and unique region, it is recommended that you examine Ruth Sandow's  very informative and comprehensive web page.

One self-guided tour is available for the area about Tibooburra village, and another for the Tibooburra region.  Tour 1 focuses on the ancient, 490 million year old sedimentary and volcanic rocks and the 420 million year old granitic rocks near Tibooburra village, and the younger, gold-bearing rocks which overlie them.  Tour 2 travels outward from Tibooburra to focus on the younger sedimentary rocks and surface alluvial and wind blown deposits.  Both tours take you through some unique and beautiful arid country, and explain the landforms and their significance.  The tours are recommended for the cooler months of the year!

One of the most fascinating rock forms from the Tibooburra-Milparinka region are concretions.  These very collectable and photogenic rocks are plentiful in some areas.  To enable visitors to appreciate the wonder of concretions, we have compiled a downloadable guide to the characteristics and occurrence of these rocks in the local region.

The MIlparinka tour travels from Milparinka to Depot Glen, Poole’s grave and Mount Poole (Sturt’s cairn) on the northern leg, and to the Mount Browne gold diggings (Mount Browne woolshed area) on the southern leg.  The total length of the drive is approximately 100 km return. The self-drive tour outlines the major geological features of the area and visits some appropriate and easily accessible sites.  The route is suitable for conventional vehicles.  Highlights of the drive include visits to a number of historical sites, with brief explanations presented of the geology and historical significance of each.  There is fossicking potential with beautifully coloured silcrete pebbles, petrified wood, rare coprolites and alluvial gold.

Dome_map_200dpi.pdf Dome_map_200dpi.pdf
Size : 1091.314 Kb
Type : pdf
Concretions.pdf Concretions.pdf
Size : 2916.298 Kb
Type : pdf
Tibdome_tour.pdf Tibdome_tour.pdf
Size : 4581.498 Kb
Type : pdf
Tib_Inlier.pdf Tib_Inlier.pdf
Size : 794.213 Kb
Type : pdf
Dome_map_ref.pdf Dome_map_ref.pdf
Size : 15.821 Kb
Type : pdf
Tib_inlier_tour.pdf Tib_inlier_tour.pdf
Size : 4450.443 Kb
Type : pdf
Milparinka_tour.pdf Milparinka_tour.pdf
Size : 3358.982 Kb
Type : pdf

 White Cliffs: The White Cliffs area in far western New South Wales is the oldest opal producing site in the state.  The opal produced here is not the exotic black opal found at Lightning Ridge, but is a quality gem which has proven popular throughout the world since the commencement of mining here in 1889.

The downloadable geological guide presents a brief history of the White Cliffs opal field, and outlines the local geology, forms and modes of occurrence of opal, and describes the theory of opal formation.  One easily accessible geological site is described where the opal host rocks can be observed and their significance explained.

White_Cliffs_geology.pdf White_Cliffs_geology.pdf
Size : 2719.746 Kb
Type : pdf

Make a free website with Yola