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“...The Gawler Downs and Surrey Hills area comprises about seven or eight farms a few kilometers South of Mt Somers. The underlying rocks are andesite and dacite and are really part of the Mt Somers volcanics. Most of the farms are on rolling downs terrain, but in places where the andesite is exposed, some steepish rocky faces can be difficult or impossible to climb. The downs are generally covered in pasture which makes collecting frustrating, so the best times to fossick are when paddocks have been worked, when new hillside ground is being broken in, or when the streams have flooded after heavy rain.

Although multicolored agates may be found here, the downs host the beautiful green agates that are rarely seen anywhere else other than Rangiatea Station, and also the fascinating mineralized agates. Much of the green agate is in situ and requires further permission to extract.

It is difficult to get permission to collect in this area so it is best to hunt in the Hinds River which borders the downs and has no restrictions...”

written by Malcolm Luxton, Canterbury