Lismore Gemfest 2023 – Exploring the Thrilling Realm of Minerals & Crystals
Lismore Gemfest is the biggest gem and mineral show in NSW. The Lismore Gem & Lapidary Club Inc. started the Annual Lismore Gemfest in 1990. Since then it has evolved into one of Australia’s largest Annual Gem and Mineral shows with over 140 tailgaters and dealers over two massive days. You’ll find a huge range of minerals, crystals, gemstones, fossils, jewellery and lapidary equipment for sale.
Date: 19th – 21st May 2023
Location: Lismore Showgrounds
For more info on the show, visit their website at https://lismoregemfest.com.au/
2023 was my first time attending this yearly show and I’m hoping to be able to attend every year now.
Travelling to Lismore Gemfest 2023
I left the coast early Friday morning and headed north hoping to get as far as Tuncurry before needing to stop. I made it to Tuncurry and stopped in at Downtown Kustoms to see Graeme, Damo and the guys. Unfortunately this time I didn’t get to see Graeme as he was out for the day getting tattooed. It was great to have a good catchup with Damo though and gave me a quick tour around the workshop and showed me all the cool things they are working on. It’s so good to see how far they have come!
The next stop was for lunch and one of the things I loved to do as a kid when we travelled north was to make Mum and Dad stop so we could get a pie at Fredo Pies in Kempsey. I went the long way just to stop in and grab an early lunch. Great choice! The pies are amazing, I could have easily had another one.
After a few hours driving further north, I finally reached Lismore and checked into my hotel. After having a rest and chilling out for a while, I caught up with Matt and Nigel for some dinner and drinks at the Sherwood Hotel. So good to finally catch up after a few years!
Saturday at Lismore Gemfest
I got up super early on Saturday to get coffee and breakfast sorted before heading out to the showground so we could be the first ones in there. Nige took off on his buying mission as soon as we walked through the gates.
When they say it has grown into one of the biggest shows in Australia, they’re not wrong! There are so many stalls! I checked my phone at the end of the day and I had done over 11,000 steps, that it a lot of steps for myself in one day!
After a long day walking around the show and looking at all the different dealers and tailgaters, I had a quick shower at the hotel. Then I met up for dinner at the Flavour of India with Dave & Janelle, Tony & Jude, Tom & Tasha, Bruce & Amanda, Matt and Nigel. If you’re ever in Lismore looking for somewhere to eat, I can highly recommend Flavour of India, it was delicious and great value for money.
Sunday at Lismore Gemfest
Another chilly dawn, another early start with coffee and breakfast before heading into the showgrounds for a new day of adventures. A quick walk around the grounds to see any dealers I didn’t get a chance to have a good look at on Saturday. It’s always good to have a look at the dealers on the second day of a show as they generally put new stock out that you’ll have the chance to buy. There were some great specimens available that I would have loved to add to the collection.
After checking out the treasure trove of what was available, I hung out at Dave from Mineral Store Australia’s stall for the rest of the morning. Dave and Janelle pleasantly surprised me with a huge piece of Tamworth Jade as a wedding present. One that will surely be in the collection forever.
One specimen I had my eyes on the whole weekend was a large piece of Chalcedony from Nundle collected in the ’70s. After discussing it with Dave, I knew I had to bring the large piece of Chalcedony from Nundle home with me.
Along with this I also got a 25kg Tamworth Rhodonite, a chunk of banded iron and a chunk of tiger iron. I saw a box of about 5kg of uncut Botswana agates and knowing how good they polish, I had to get them as well. When you see it, you just have to get it. You can never have too much lapidary material!
I grabbed a quick lunch from one of the vendors at the show and after getting some help to load the ute with my new (heavy) specimens, I was on the road home.
What a weekend!
It was such an awesome weekend away! It was the first big drive in my new ute and it drove like a dream! After a solid 7-and-a-half-hour drive home, I unloaded my bags from the ute, walked inside, and went straight to bed.
I have a lot on in the first half of 2024, but I’m hopeful that I can make Lismore Gemfest 2024!
Massive thanks to the Lismore Lapidary Club for organising such an excellent show.
Check out the Trips section to view more gem and mineral show coverage.