The Whangarei Rock and Gemstone Club Inc was formed in 1973, but was originally called Northland Gemstone and Geology Group, then becoming the Northland Gemstone Club followed by becoming incorporated. We are an affiliated member of the National Association of New Zealand Rock and Mineral Clubs Inc.

The clubrooms

Currently we have about 48 members ranging in age from over 90 to primary-aged school children. Our activities are designed to be of interest to people of all ages – one only needs to be interested in rocks, fossils or geology! Club meetings are held in our clubroom, normally on the first Monday of each month, excepting for January. However, this is sometimes changed to a Sunday or Tuesday if the first Monday happens to be a Public Holiday. Club meetings start at about 7.30pm, although the doors open about 7pm. The focus of club meetings is rocks or geology. Sometimes we have guest speakers with a variety of topics ranging for example, from the significance of dune lakes to mining, while club members are encouraged to bring along rocks for discussion or identification. Often, we have Spotlight, where the focus is on a particular type of rock or environment, e.g. obsidian.

Workshop in action
Members may use the club workshop which is open the third Sunday of each month. There are saws for cutting rocks, grinding and polishing machines, and occasionally we have silversmithing or bone carving workshops. There is also a small display of fluorescent rocks. A selection of rocks and jewellery is available for sale at reasonable prices, and light refreshments are also available. A popular activity for children (and parents alike) is the creation of tiny animals from rocks and shells.

Making rock animals

Jewellery and rocks for sale in clubrooms

Fieldtrip to Puhipuhi
Field trips are held most months, alternating between Saturday and Sunday. These are especially popular with children. We go to different places such as to Tinopai foreshore looking for petrified wood, and to Puhipuhi for brightly coloured cinnabar and other minerals. It is always exciting to find a good specimen, or “something different”, but even better to enjoy a day out in the countryside and a chat with fellow fossickers.

Petrified wood from Tinopai

In conjunction with the Educational Centre at KiwiNorth, club members have also participated in educational days for local school children. Club shows are held yearly. Important features of these are the colourful showcase displays of rocks and large educational posters usually on local geology. Childrens’ activities are always popular with children and adults alike, especially the microscopic displays of tiny fossils and minerals. Trading tables have rocks, minerals and jewellery for sale, and refreshments are available.

Club show: Umaria family looking at microscope displays
Club members receive newsletters every two months. These not only contain news of club activities but also articles of general interest. Information may also be found on our website, This again lists club activities, and contains photographs of club activities, links to other clubs, a joining slip, etc.

Club contacts details are:
Carol and Bill Adams - Ph 4329639 (evenings) or
Shirley Gates - Ph 4346501( evenings) or
Fay and Rob Carver - Ph 4357373

Club show: fossil poster

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