Only in OZ #19 – Moon Rock-Throwing World Championships, Richmond, Queensland

Last Updated on June 26, 2018 by Red Nomad OZ

Moon Rocks in Main Street, Richmond, Queensland
Moon Rocks in Main Street, Richmond, Queensland

I’ve yet to meet a Calcareous Concretion I didn’t like.

Although there’s some confusion about exactly where that magical Moon Rock meeting is likely to be. My first sighting in Outback Queensland’s Richmond was supposed to be ‘unique to the Richmond Shire’ according to the town guide.

BUT … I’d clocked up several hundred Moon Rock sightings before heading a few hundred kilometres south-west, where a data sheet from Boulia’s Stone House Museum outlines the geological forces that formed – yes, you guessed it – the BOULIA Calcareous Concretions!

Moon Rock detail
Moon Rock detail

Richmond’s dubious claims of Moon Rock uniqueness are weakened further by calcareous concretion presence in the Gogo formation of the Kimberley, Western Australia. Happily, my razor-sharp mind immediately resolved this discrepancy!

Calcareous Concretions are a feature of the Toolebuc formation, left when Australia’s vast inland sea dried up after covering much of what is now Outback Queensland – including both Richmond and Boulia!! QED …

Fred Tritton Lake, Richmond, Queensland
Fred Tritton Lake, Richmond, Queensland

Of course the most common form of calcareous concretion is the pearl – I therefore stand by my opening sentence – but other than formation method, the pearl and the Moon Rock are completely dissimilar …

However, although Moon Rocks can be seen in Boulia and the Kimberley, the fossil fossicking grounds of the Richmond shire, where FOSSILHUNTER once roamed (and shall roam again!), is their heartland.

Ranging in size from tiny to immoveable, you can’t throw a fossil-bearing rock without hitting some evidence of Richmond’s widespread exploitation of the Moon Rock’s decorative qualities.

Commemorative Cairn Plaque
Commemorative Cairn Plaque

The commemorative cairn, a grim or happy reminder (depending on your politics and point of view) of ex-Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen who opened the Flinders Highway that bisects the town, is made of various smaller sized Moon Rocks.

But there’s no evidence that they in any way resemble the pumpkin scones made famous by Sir Joh’s wife, Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen …*

A scattering of larger Moon Rocks lurk in the gardens below the Lakeview Caravan Park around the wonderful Fred Tritton Lake (above), a feature of Richmond’s ingenuity and an understandably popular local gathering spot.

Moon Rocks Cambridge Crossing, Stawell River via Richmond, Queensland
Moon Rocks Cambridge Crossing, Stawell River via Richmond, Queensland

But if you want to see Moon Rocks in their natural habitat, drive out to Cambridge Crossing on the Stawell River, 40 km from Richmond.

The riverbed, mostly dry on our June, 2011 visit gave no clue to the forces that pushed these Moon Rocks up against the crossing bed when the river flowed.

Luckily, the temptation to crack open a Moon Rock’s hard casing and cut through the limestone layer to discover the fossil or crytal that formed its nuclei was thwarted by the absence of a rock pick. Well, actually a jackhammer …

So here’s one someone prepared earlier!

A pile of Moon Rocks cleared from the riverbed and crossing didn’t look THAT big – until I stood next to them!

Inside a Moon Rock ...
Inside a Moon Rock …

And remember I’m not a small person … although I’m still wondering how Pilchard’s photo of me and the Moon Rocks (below) was mysteriously photo-shopped to make me look fat …

While I salivate at the memory of top notch Bakery goods from the mysteriously named Moon Rock café at world class dinosaur fossil museum Kronosaurus Korner … they’ve really got nothing to do with the rest of this post  Just put it down to Moon Rocks in my head …

Red ROCKS Moon Rocks ...
Red ROCKS Moon Rocks …

Richmond residents clearly come by THEIR Moon-Rocks-on-the-brain obsession honestly because it’s here, during the biennial Richmond Fossil Festival that the World Champion Moon Rock-throwing competition is held!

SO … if you’ve got the $AUD5.00 entry fee, and can throw a 23 kg (50 lb) Moon Rock more than 5.04 metres, you just MIGHT topple 2011 World Champ David Ievers in May 2012 and grab yourself a world championship title!!

Me, I think I’ll take my chances with the pearls …

Want more information?

* Forgive me the indulgence of this gratuitous history lesson – Although Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and his wife, Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen were Queensland’s first couple 1968-87, these controversial and colourful figures were well known throughout Australia. He for his policies that allowed controversial development unsullied by such considerations as standard approval processes, and allegations of corruption; she for the fabulous pumpkin scones for which she will always be remembered despite later becoming a senator in her own right.

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  1. We have been at the lakeside caravan park for 5 nights here in Richmond.lovely little town.moon rocks everywhere,fossil hunting is a great experience.and the museum well worth a look.great sunrises and friendly fish caught in the dam but I hear they in there.counter meals at the pub and a good all night servo all we needed while we were to Winton tomorrow more adventures to be had.we love our home town bribie island and it will
    have atleast 1 moon rock soon.

  2. @The Budget Wanderers – Thank you!! It’s certainly an unusual spot for a World Championship!!! And if you like rock stacks, there’s plenty more where they came from …

  3. @diane b – Likewise … I’m hanging my head in shame!! And there’s just nothing like that outback sky, is there?!?!

  4. I’m a bit behind in commenting, real life has been busy lately. Thanks for the geology lesson . I hadn’t seen or heard about these rocks before. amazing formations. Love the sky.

  5. @Alessandra – Hahaha! Good point – although maybe if they were polished up??!!
    @Indrani – Hahaha!! Very clever!!
    @PDP – Hahaha!! I realise now that giant moonrocks are my new best friends – they make me look WAY smaller than I really am …
    @Sallie – Thank god for the world wide web, hey!!
    @Charlotte – then my work is done!
    @Dianne – I’ll have to start practising!! Thanx again for your kind words!!

  6. @Betty – Ah, you’re always so good for my ego … thanx yet again for dropping by!!
    @Laura – Thank you!
    @Angela – I’m really not sure if they’re unique to Australia (I don’t think they are), but they sure look amazing!!
    @TMWH – I don’t know how anyone could resist cutting them open – especially the big ones!!
    @Marsha – Thank you!! Drop in anytime with comments like those …
    @Tatjana – Thanx to you too!

  7. @Windsmoke – I’m only guessing that there aren’t any pearls that big!!
    @Raphael & Yvonne – Thank you! So much more to OZ than meets the eye!
    @Jidhu – Thank you, my friend! But I wish I was as good as you with the photos …
    @FruitCake – Good things always come in threes!!! Including pumpkin scones … with real jam AND cream!!!
    @Eccentricess – Hahaha! Thanx!! I never thought of my blog as being a SUBSTITUTE for travel – but I reckon you’re onto a real marketing opportunity there!!
    @George – Thank YOU!
    @MJWC – Hope you don’t mind me shortening your name, it’s what us Aussies do! There’s nothing quite like fossilhunting, is there?!

  8. @Jayne – I guess if you want to look thin, hang around fat things, right? Can’t get any bigger than those moonrocks …
    @Carol – They’re very like thunder eggs – apart from the size and what you get in the middle …
    @darlin – 4 1/2 months, huh? That’s more than some Aussies spend touring!! But this way you’ll come back, right?!
    @Andrew – Hahaha! I KNEW there was something fishy going on …
    @Beach Bum – it’s a thrill to watch them being cut open – you never know what you’ll find inside!
    @Nadege – Thank you! I LOVE finding these weird things …
    @Filip – they make up a kind of natural art, don’t they?!

  9. Heft those pearls! I see a new world champion in the making! Fabulous post! I had no idea these moon rocks even existed. Once again, you have educated me! And that photoshopping is good, but we know the real you! 🙂

  10. I just stopped by from BPOTW. I love going to all these blogs and seeing things I had no idea existed. The moon rocks are fascinating. I enjoyed the post and learned something.

  11. that I know what a calcareous concretion IS, I can say I’ve never met one I didn’t like either. I loved this tour and throw in all the history snippets you want — I consider photo blogs the finest and funnest method of filling in the way too many blank spots in my knowledge base!) Thanks!

  12. It’s quite a fascinating subject Red, amazing how many folk have never heard of the moon rocks before! You know how they say you should never work with animals and children, maybe that applies to moonrocks as well! Only joking Red you look gorgeous, it’s the rocks that are a funny shape haha!

  13. I always learn so much when I visit your blog. I had not heard of fossil-bearing moon rocks before, but I certainly enjoyed your information and your photos. Thank you.

  14. fossil hunting is one of my favourite hobbies.
    i’ve never heard of fossil-bearing moon rocks before…so thanks so much for your info.

    lovely shots as usual, my friend!
    i thoroughly enjoyed your post as well.


  15. Wow, you’re a wealth of information and your photos are amazing! Being in Australia for the first time I’m sponging up any information I can, this is an amazing country with so much to see and do. I’d best change my flight back if I even want to touch the surface, I’m only here for 4 1/2 months. 😉


  16. I have never heard of Moon Rocks, although when I was a kid, we used to find a lot of fossil rocks near us. There was a gravel pit and they dug up all kinds of stuff. When they weren’t working, my sister and I would go fossil hunting. Kinda fun..

    Great post Red!

  17. I’d never heard of moon-rocks till now. Rather like a giant thunder-egg at Mt. Tamborine. Some weight to hurl at the championships. Loved your reference to Lady Flo’s pumpkin scones!

  18. There is a rock behind you that could consider taking a longer walk each day and cutting down on the chocolate, but you look lovely.
    What a fun concept, I’d never heard of Moon Rocks before.
    I so enjoy travelling via your blog. Saves me so much tent time. 😉

  19. Firstly, never heard of moon rocks before so this is yet another fascinating post. Weird country, innit!
    Secondly, thanks for the link to Flo’s recipe – always kicked myself for not buying a pumpkin scone recipe teatowel from the CWA at the show when I had a chance.
    Thirdly, I suspect Andrew is on to something there about someone with a fishy name like pilchard using a fish eye lens. No need for photoshopping at all.

  20. Yep, i’d take my chances with the pearls to and let other people with rocks in their heads throw around the moon rocks. There’s definitely something fishy going on with the photo of you and the moon rocks :-).

  21. Great Post!

    Fossils fascinate me and I have often wondered what extinct species we have no idea ever existed are locked inside rocks like those.

  22. Are they called Moon Rocks because of their shape? Speaking of shapes, I think Pilchard slipped a fish eye lens on the camera.

  23. LOVE these photos!
    Those fossil-filled Moon rocks are great 🙂
    And you don NOT look fat in the pic, you need new specs 😉

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