With the country that has been in shut down the past few and long months and no access to the bush I’ve found this a great time to stop, reset and delve into a stack of research. I get asked a lot on how I find things and so many relics so I thought I’d let you in on how it works.
So basically I’ve been exploring the Coffs Coast bush for nearly 30 years and this has definatly helped in finding ‘stuff’. But it goes beyond this. Before modern GPS un its came out I used to use paper maps that aren’t in production anymore and some of those had mines highlighted on them, so that was the first indication on where to go and explore. But I wanted to know more, so it was back to good old google to see if anything pops up. Now as you know google is a funny thing and you need to put in the right words. Sometimes with things like mines, names changed or they were listed under an old locality or area. But persistence used to pay off as deep in some government websites ( nothing illegal mind you ), I found mine information, the owners, reports and even old map plans. Eureka !. But I wanted more so when I used to find old machinery ( even now too ) I normally look for a name on the relic and with a google or image search its possible to find out a little more info.
These days with the ultra modern offroad GPS’s that have so much information some of the mapping data may show abandon mine areas, bush buildings, heritage sites and more. This doesn’t give anyone permission to go straight to them, so with more research to see where these items are its possible to narrow the exact location down. Online now I use several government and surveyor maps that are available to the public, heritage and historical google sites but the biggest knowledge bank where I find is to talk to others that have the same interest or family that have been in the area for decades. There is so much history within our community its not funny and slowly as people move on, the history gets forgotten, hard to follow up or is inconsistent with its facts.
I don’t mind showing or letting people know where things are but I do keep things close to my chest if I am unsure on the person or if I was told to keep something low keyed. I’m always happy to help but I won’t reveal all. Spending time exploring in the bush and doing your research should be anyones first step to finding these relics in the bush and its a great adventure from when you read about something or see an old photo that intrigues your mind.
It’s a bit like fishing too, you can spend hours and hours hunting a fish ( or in my case a piece of history ), spending money and time out there and get nothing, but when you do its bloody cool and this opens up a new door to something else; you know like asking g questions, on how, why and what else is around. So my advice to anyone seeking out these hidden ( and not so hidden ) treasures is do your research and enjoy your time exploring. Sometimes it's not always about finding things.