Nugget strikes rich in Clermont
THE mozzies are as big as budgies, flies the size of eagles, and a man couldn't have a cold beer when the dog got bored and chewed through the regulator hose on the fridge, but Nugget's loving getting a life!
Actor Gerry Skilton paid Paul Hogan the princely sum of $1 to reprise his character from the Crocodile Dundee films and he's hoping to turn his 16-month adventure living in the bush near Clermont into a serial TV goldmine.
“I don't know whether it's a great or a bad thing, but since completing Dundee I've never been able to drop the handle Nugget because people just won't let me,” quips Gerry, who left his wife Tracy, and family in Brisbane late last month to venture north.
Nugget Gets A Life will follow in the footsteps of the old time miners who flocked to Clermont after gold was discovered there in 1861.
From his camp base 30km north of Clermont, Gerry's got a car, a camera, a modern metal detector, the gift of the gab and gold fever to take with him on his travels.
In the short time he's been in the district, Gerry reckons he has already seen a few ice cream containers pulled out from their hiding places for their contents to glint in the sunlight – including a 90 ounce nugget the size of an emu's egg.
“Some people can't believe I've put myself in this situation but I don't think there would be any other place this exciting,” he says.
“I found a piece close to one ounce and I was probably jumping around as much as the guy with the 90 ouncer.
“A few other people started showing me some pieces and honestly it would blow your mind.
“You wouldn't be dead for quids because the yellow stuff, that gold, is just sitting there waiting for you.”
With its old world charm and swags of interesting characters, Clermont has already captivated Gerry.
“I enjoy being in the Australian outback and I really want to encourage others to do it,” he says.
“There's still community spirit out here, and when people say gidday, they look at you, not at the ground.
“I've got to be honest - I love it!”
Sponsors have reacted positively to Gerry's venture, as has the Isaac Regional Council.
“Locally the council and a couple of Clermont businesses have already tossed their hat into the ring with support,” says Gerry.
“I find that amazing, and if I do my job right, I will happily and proudly promote more tourism into the area.
“Mind you, now would be a good time to get a bet on whether I last the distance.”
Gerry is self-financing Nugget Gets A Life in the hope of selling it to a network.