Red Rock Road turns north off the Bruxner Highway, not far from the entrance to Rover Park. The road travels first through private property, then enters Girard State Forest where you will need low range as the road becomes rutted and rough. Water pipes make an interesting bridge across Crooked Creek. If you don’t want to drive across bridge, there are a couple of spots to turn and park, then walk across to the mines on the other side.
A track to your right leads to some rusty old structures – can you work out what they were used for? If you continue up on the road from the bridge, you can find some more mines near the junction of Crooked Creek and Cataract River, or climb the hill to the cliff workings and a view of the rivers. Look for the copper mineralisation in the rock. See mindat.org for Red Rock mine locations.
Gold was discovered at Plumbago Creek in the Drake district in 1886, and subsequently more gold and silver at other sites including Red Rock and White Rock. Red Rock is located within the circular Drake volcanic caldera centred on Mount Carrington, known as a magnetic Quiet Zone.
Sulphide ore were mined at Red Rock from 1969 to 1972, and this may be when these buildings were last in use. Interest in the mining potential of the Drake volcanics continues, with White Rock Minerals (ASX: WRM) considering open pits as recently as 2022.
South of the Bruxner, in Girard State Forest, is a pretty free campsite and picnic area on Crooked Creek, popular with horse riders and trail bike riders. Geocachers can climb to Drake Trig to find a cache.
We continued to Drake Village on the Bruxner Highway, choosing to skip the Lunatic Pub and stopping at the general store for a lunch toastie and coffee. You might enjoy linking Red Rock with the drive through Timbarra, where there were more gold fields, or visit the crossings of the upper Clarence.