A Cairns bushwalker is facing a $665 fine for fossicking in a national park but Harry Ward (66) recons he’s done nothing wrong because he was outside the park boundaries at the time.
Mr Ward regularly goes bushwalking in the far north of Queensland and says the activity “does me a lot of good” as he battles cancer and treatment-related depression.
On a recent walk in the Macalister Range NP, Ward went to a spot he knows is good for fossicking near Oak Beach, north of Cairns.
“On the side of the road, where the river goes under the road, you get a lot of crystals washed out of the park,” he told 7NEWS.
“They tend to get mounded up next to the bridge, when the floods wash them out.”
Ward took home a clear quartz crystal and posted about his discovery on a local hiking enthusiasts’ Facebook page.
To his shock, rangers came knocking at his door about a fortnight later.
“I respect the national parks. I know you can’t dig or fossick in national parks,” he said.
The Queensland environment department is continuing its investigation.