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TS2 – TUMBLESTONETWO WEBSITE – HOME PAGE

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“TUMBLESTONETWO” [Under Construction]

INFORMATION ABOUT STONES, BEACH STONE GATHERING, AND TUMBLE-POLISHING, FROM NEW ZEALAND

“TumbleStoneTwo” is a website within a blog, TumbleStone Blog. The website’s home page is always the first post when someone goes onto the blog. Links are then made from there to other blog posts masquerading as website pages. The titles of these website pages start with “TS2” and have the TumbleStoneTwo banner at the top. This is a Companion Site to TumbleStone Blog but presents information in a more systematic way. Author: John Paterson, Whanganui, New Zealand, email john.tumblestone@gmail.com

THIS SITE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Pages will be added from time to time. Pages will also be up-dated or expanded. See LIST OF CONTENTS TO DATE for information on which Pages are “live”.

The information on this website is based on the firsthand experiences and research of John Paterson, a retired academic in New Zealand. I have been collecting beach stones and tumble-polishing them since March 2016, which was also when I started TumbleStone Blog.

Note that the coverage of this website is very limited. Only a few beaches in the South Island are included, because of my familiarity with them. Beaches on the West Coast of the South Island, in the Nelson region, and in the North Island, are not included. Only the stones I have familiarity with will be covered, and it is the rotary tumble-polishing method that is featured.

By early 2022, my Blog had grown too large for people to find easily some of the more useful information in it. And so TumbleStoneTwo, a new website, was born, initially to provide links to Blog Posts within a more accessible website-like framework. New information too will appear on TumbleStoneTwo.

My approach to beach localities and fossicking is similar to that of four books I am familiar with. The first is Bill Myatt’s (1972) “Australian and New Zealand Gemstones: How and Where to Find Them”. Pages 431 to 445 of Myatt’s book consist of a New Zealand section written by Mrs A. Niethe, detailing fossicking places in the different regions. Information is also provided about transport links and accommodation. The second book is Natalie Fernandez’s (1981) “The New Zealand Rockhound”. Her “Locations” chapter (pages 91-122) lists a multitude of places and the main types of stones to be found there.

The third book is Jocelyn Thornton’s (1985) “Gemstones”. This includes sections on seven beach areas, with photos of stones of interest to the stone polisher. Finally, James Crampton and Maianna Terezow’s (2010) book, “The Kiwi Fossil Hunter’s Handbook”, though about fossils rather than stones in general, has 27 chapters on localities for fossil hunting in New Zealand. They provide an excellent set of information for each locality, its geographical and geological contexts, and its fossils. TumbleStoneTwo aims to provide useful information for fossickers about a small number of New Zealand beaches and their stones.

There are three Main Sections to the TumbleStoneTwo website:

FOSSICKING BEACHES BEACH STONESTUMBLE-POLISHING

Two supplementary Main Pages are:

LIST OF CONTENTS TO DATE – ABOUT ME

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 15) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY SEVEN

There was a bitter wind and the occasional shower of rain this morning and I debated whether to go to Gemstone Beach or not. Overnight rain would have swollen the creek and river, maybe making fording impossible. I decided to go, since I was down here on my stone collecting trip anyway, and thought that even a 30 minute fossick would be good. I arrived at the beach at 10.20 am, an hour before low tide. It was cold! But I have a good heavy coat with big pockets. I actually warmed up after about 30 minutes. The fossicking was reasonable, and I eventually reached the Waimeamea River, to find it barely a trickle – the last high tide had thrown up stones and restricted the outflow. When I returned 90 minutes later, the flow had actually disappeared under the stones for a few metres before resurfacing (see photos above). I met two other hardy/foolhardy souls on the lonely windswept beach. Sabina is a local who I often meet but this was the first time I had seen her on this trip. Then Aaron, who I had met just a couple of days ago, came up on his motorbike and did some fossicking just beyond the Waimeamea River.

I ended up spending just over three and a half hours on the beach. I kept finding nice stones (the lack of sunlight meant that some of these photos are not as clear as they could be, with some interfering reflections):

A school group was on the beach in front of the carpark when I returned. They left at the same time as me, leaving the carpark and beach empty.

A shorter version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 14) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY SIX

I arrived at Gemstone Beach this morning just before low tide. I walked reasonably quickly (with a few distracting stones on the way) down to the Waimeamea River to check if it was fordable because of the waves being further down the beach. It was, which meant I had time enough to fossick well beyond the river and get back to cross it before the waves of the high tide became a problem.

It is an eerie feeling once you get past where the Waimeamea River first comes out of the hills – a roaring sea on one side of the narrow stone beach, high slippery cliffs on the other. There is a very long stretch of the beach like this, a number of kilometres, where high cliffs are right at the back – the driftwood is piled up right at the foot of the cliffs, so you know the high tide reaches there (see the photos at the top of this Post). It is not a place to be an hour or two before high tide, the prospect of being trapped being quite real.

I managed to spend four hours on the beach today, walking a few hundred metres further than on previous days. It turned out to be a hydrogrossular garnet day. Before today, I had found maybe only a handful of that type of stone per day. Once I was past the river today, however, small hydrogrossular garnets appeared, and then a few larger ones as well. And this was partly over a section of the beach I had visited before. I was able to collect a nice diversity of types and sizes (photos of the range of types of hydrogrossular garnets can be found here).

About one-third the way through the fossick, I was thinking that today’s Post could simply feature the hydrogrossular garnets. But then I started to find other types of stones that deserved to be shown as well. And I kept finding them right up until I reached the carpark. Some of them are among the best I have found on this trip.

A shorter version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The next Post in this Series describes another visit to Gemstone Beach, this time on a cold day. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 13) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY FIVE

I made another visit to Gemstone Beach, Orepuki, today, this time managing to spend three hours there. I arrived at the carpark at 10.30 a.m. with the temperature at five degrees but with bright sun and no wind. The tide was low and I walked more quickly than usual down to the Waimeamea River, hoping to be able to cross as the channel usually gets wider and shallower when the tide is lower. I managed to ford the river, just, and move on to fossick for maybe 300 metres to the west. All in all, I managed to get just over one kilometre from the carpark. However, I did get a little water in the gumboots on the return crossing.

It was not the most productive fossick but the diversity of stones here is amazing. I found only a handful of small hydrogrossular garnets, and trace fossil stones were relatively scarce today. However, some of the other stones I picked up show amazing complexity upon close scrutiny.

I ran into Aaron again – he was using a chainsaw on some driftwood near the carpark as he has an interest in natural sculpture. He showed me some stones he had collected and gave me a couple, including a trace fossil stone.

On the way home, I had a nice chat with a Dunedin couple just before they drove out of the carpark in their campervan. They were gracious enough to want to see some of the stones I had found.

A shorter version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The next Post in this Series describes another visit to Gemstone Beach, what started out as a hydrogrossular day then turned into something more. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 12) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY FOUR

I arrived at Gemstone Beach for my fourth visit this trip just after 10am, an hour after low tide. The day was sunny and without wind, the temperature being nine degrees when I hit the beach. A handful of people were there when I arrived, with maybe 15 to 20 in front of the carpark at one point later on. I fossicked for just under three hours.

I met a few fellow fossickers along the way and had some interesting chats. Shae gave me a nice stone, and Aaron talked tumble polishing with me. As usual, I found some intriguing stones, a productive day.

A shorter version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The next Post in this Series describes another visit to Gemstone Beach. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 11) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY THREE

Yesterday (Friday 1 July) was too cold and wet to visit a beach. Today was much better. After dropping off my wife at the Invercargill airport, I drove back to Riverton Aparima and then out to Gemstone Beach, arriving at 10.50am (about three and a half hours before high tide). Although the temperature was only nine degrees, it was sunny and there was no wind, so I needed only a light coat, scarf and cap. I walked down to the Waimeamea River mouth, the first half of the walk being in the shadow of the higher cliffs, the second being in sunlight as the cliffs lowered and sometimes faded out. Yesterday’s rain had swollen the river and it was far too swift and deep to ford. I ended up spending two hours fossicking and the temperature had risen to 12 degrees by the time I left.

Two of today’s stones are stunners, found about two-thirds of the way back to the carpark. The first is probably an orbicular jasper. I have previously found small orbicular jaspers at Gemstone Beach, though they have tended to be slightly redder, not so “rusty” in colour (see this Post). The second is an amygdaloidal stone, a volcanic stones whose vesicles (small holes left by gas) have been infilled by a mineral – it too is bigger than others I have previously found here, and the amygdales are less regular in shape (see this Post):

Eight other stones I found today:

A shorter version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. Day Four at Gemstone Beach is featured in the next Post. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 10) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY THREE

The second beach visit I made today (Thursday 30 June) was to Gemstone Beach. I very nearly didn’t go as it was a cold, wet and blustery afternoon. However, I drove out the 30 kilometres from my accommodation base in Riverton Aparima and arrived at Gemstone Beach about 3.15 pm, a couple of hours after high tide. It was 7 degrees with showers of rain and hail but I have a great waterproof coat and warm woolen hat and scarf. It was gloomy, not good photo conditions. At times it was also difficult to see stones clearly (I wear glasses which needed wiping every now and again). I ended up spending two hours on the beach – the Waimeamea River was fordable so I pushed on westwards for a way beyond it. By the time I got back to the carpark, it was very gloomy and hail showers were becoming more frequent. Seven of the stones I collected today:

This Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The next Post in this Series features another visit to Gemstone Beach, but in better weather. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 9) RIVERTON APARIMA, VISIT TWO

I made another short visit today (Thursday 30 June) to the Back Beach at Riverton Aparima. It was in the late morning for 40 minutes, just before rain set in. While my wife found a few paua shells, I found a few stones for tumble polishing. Six of them are here:

In the afternoon, I made a trip to Gemstone Beach, described in this Post.

A version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 8) GEMSTONE BEACH, DAY TWO

Back to Gemstone Beach today, though the weather was cold and blustery. My wife bravely accompanied me and she managed to survive the conditions and collect a few stones herself. We arrived about 2.30 p.m., a couple of hours after high tide, and spent 90 minutes there. There was a lot of foam on the beach, especially in front of the carpark. I fossicked mainly along a stretch of about 350 metres to the northwest, managing to ford the Taunoa Stream. There were limited finds today, but some nice stones. Here are seven of the best.

This Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The next Post in this Series features a short fossick at the Back Beach again. The first Post in this Series is here.

JUNE-JULY 2022 FOSSICKING TRIP: 7) RIVERTON APARIMA, VISIT ONE

This Post features ten stones from today’s (Tuesday 28 June) fossick which started at Riverton Aparima’s Back Beach. I was there for 90 minutes in the late morning, temperatures hovering between 1 and 3 degrees. After looking for stones at the small bay at the western end of the Back Beach, I took the track over the sand dunes to what I call The Beach Past the Back Beach. There was bright sunshine with the sun low in the sky so lots of light/dark contrast made taking good photos a challenge.

In general, the stones here are not quite as good as Gemstone Beach ones but careful fossicking tends to be productive (as you can see):

I spent summer holidays in Riverton Aparima when growing up, and my first batch of tumble-polished stones (completed in April 2016) came from its beaches. For an introduction to Riverton Aparima and its beaches, see the second entry in this Post. For an account of a March 2021 fossick at The Beach Past the Back Beach, see Day 14 in this Post. For a batch of polished stones from The Beach Past the Back Beach, see here.

A shortened version of this Post first appeared in the Facebook Group “New Zealand Lapidary, Rocks, Minerals, Fossils”. The next Post in this Series features my second day’s fossick at Gemstone Beach. The first Post in this Series is here.