The Sapphire Gem fields is the perfect budget travel destination. It’s perfectly suited to those who just want to get off the beaten track and disappear for a while. It’s also huge on the caravanning circuit, which means there is plenty of great camping and cabin options. And best of all, you can come here on a budget, and leave with a small fortune – if you just keep your eyes to the ground.
There is such a huge range of accommodation options in the Sapphire Gem fields, to really suit any budget. And I really mean any budget. The most budget way to travel in the Gem Fields is camping or caravanning. There are quite a few caravan parks in the towns surrounding the Gem Fields. You can even free camp within the fossicking area, but you will need a fossicking license first – which is about $7 per month for an individual or just over $10 for family. If you chose that route though, you will need to be entirely self sufficient.
There are also several mid range options available, like motel room and cabins, and of course, if you want a little more comfort there are some really nice self contained rooms available as well.
I stayed at the Rubyvale Motel and Holiday Units which featured a kitchen, a sitting area, a single bed and a queen bed, and even a spa bath! The deluxe spa room where I stayed was only $140 per night, which although is expensive by Rubyvale standards, is still cheaper than most private rooms in youth hostels elsewhere in Australia! Plus the spa bath is great for those tired muscles after a day digging your for your fortune in the ground.
Eating and Drinking
For such a small town, there are quite a few places to grab a bite to eat in Rubyvale. The local cafes aim to provide city standard food and coffee to their patrons, but the food is at country cheap prices and comes in large country style portions. But as much fun as it is to eat out while traveling, when you are traveling on a budget you often need to cut down. Pretty much every accommodation spot in the Gem fields will have facilities to self cater. Caravan parks have camp kitchens, and even my motel unit had a small kitchen.
There is no large supermarket in Rubyvale or the small towns that surround it. If you plan on self catering, then plan to stock up in nearby Emerald.
The whole focus of this region is, obviously, the sapphires. Everyone in this town have sapphire fever. And you never know, you could be the next person to literally stumble across a golf ball sized sapphire. We recommend you check out our post from Monday which will tell you all you need to know about making your fortune in the gem fields.