Ed Petrie

All Under The Place – 19 Oct, Ararat, Australia

I love a bonkers event, and today did not disappoint. Today’s main event was a gold dig, with Michelle and I pitted against each other to see who could dig up the most gold from some farmland in Ararat, Victoria. The farm is owned by an enthusiastic old farmer called Murray, and for the last 11 years he’s invited metal detecting enthusiasts to his farm for the weekend, where they spend all day combing the fields and woods for tiny nuggets of gold. Since these are few and far between, with only 2 or 3 found over the course of 2 days, Murray also buries all manner of objects and there are cash prizes for the people who find them.

The whole thing was gloriously rough round the edges with refreshments being served up from a tin shack and toilet relief on hand in the form of a classic Aussie corrugated iron “dunny”. At one point while we were filming Murray ran over excitedly and pointed into the woods where we glimpsed a puma sitting on a log. Apparently some escaped from a Chinese circus years back and they now roam the area!

By the time we got started on our gold hunt the enthusiasts had stripped the woods clean of virtually everything metallic, so Murray planted some extra things in there for us and Michelle ended up finding one of his nuggets worth around $7,000. I was quite relieved that she did to be honest, as I don’t think metal detecting is the hobby for me. I was starting to get a bit bored scratching around in the dirt only to find ring pulls or discarded nails.

Saw a couple of kangaroos bounding across a field on the way home. They hopped over a fairly meaty looking barbed wire fence very casually!

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