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Fossicking Resources

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Fossicking is one of those activities enjoyed by many travellers, whether it is for gemstones, gold or even meteorite fragments. From a pleasurable activity with family and friends, it can also be quite a serious pursuit for others. Whilst making the find of a life time, can be a dream come true, it is another way to enjoy this beautiful country we call Australia.

Each state and territory in Australia has it own fossicking laws, so you need to contact the appropriate government body as to their legal requirements.

Additional information about areas known for 'fossicking' or promoted as such, can often be had from the local information tourist and visitor centres.

We have provided some information to a number of government and non-government resources, including listing some places where those seeking to fossick as part of their holiday activities can go, with more to be added over time.

Fossicking - New South Wales (NSW)

• Fossicking - NSW Government
Do I need a licence to Fossick in New South Wales?
No licences have been required to go fossicking in NSW since 1992, however, fossickers are required to seek the consent of Western Lands Leaseholders prior to entry, as is the case for all other classes of landholders and leaseholders. For entry onto other lands, fossickers need the landholder's consent.

Fossicking is not allowed in national parks. Fossicking in State forests is administered by Forests NSW. People wishing to fossick on State forest must obtain permission from the local Forests NSW office. No fossicking is permitted in Forests NSW? flora reserves or forest preserves in State forests.
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Fossickers are now required to seek the consent of Western Lands Leaseholders prior to entry, as is the case for all other classes of landowners and leaseholders.
Fossicking - Locations NSW
Glen Innes
Glen Innes 'Celtic Country' has the world's richest mineral diversity belt, and is famous for the deep rich, royal blue sapphires, among other precious and semi-precious stones, providing one of the regions most popular activities for visitors and locals.
There are reserves scattered throughout the district where you can fossick for a variety of gems.
Lightning Ridge
The home of the 'black opal', Lightning Ridge is a unique place, where people come to visit and some will decide to stay. For the tourist, fossicking on the mullock heaps is a relaxing pastime and sometimes rewarding.
Poolbrook Gems Fossicking Park
• Nullamanna/Emmaville Road, INVERELL NSW • Ph/Fax: 02 6722 2781
Poolbrook Gems Fossicking Park offer the gem hunter and fossicker advice on sapphire fossicking, new sapphire wash, hire of fossicking equipment, view mining plant in operation, scenic bushland picnic sites, bush camping (no facilities yet).
Other NSW Fossicking Resource
NRMA - Gone Fossicking in NSW
Has an informative piece about fossicking.

Fossicking - Northern Territory (NT)

• Fossicking - NT Government
Do I need a permit when prospecting?
To fossick in the Northern Territory you must hold a Fossicker's Permit issued under the Northern Territory Mining Act.
Fossicking in the Northern Territory
Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines • Ph: 08 8999 5322
All you need to know about fossicking, permits and other information.
Fossicking - Locations NT
Gemtree - Gateway to the Gemfields
• ALICE SPRINGS / PLENTY HIGHWAY NT • Ph: 08 8956 9855 • Fax: 08 8956 9860 • Email
Gemtree is located 140 km north-east of Alice Springs, with bitumen road to the front gate!. Nestled amongst the native bush off the Plenty Highway. Set on 250 acres the park has a nature walk, bush golf course, billabong (good for bird watching), camping and caravan facilities.

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Fossicking - Queensland (QLD)

• Fossicking - QLD Government
Fossicking in Queensland
Department of Mines and Energy
Queensland is a fossicker's paradise, with its diversity of gem deposits known worldwide. Fossickers can try their luck finding agate, aquamarine, chrysophrase, garnet, opal, sapphire, thunder eggs, topaz and zircon.  Fossickers in Queensland require a fossickers licence, which can be obtained from a fossickers licence agent. More information on the provisions that apply under the legislation can be found under the Guide to Queensland fossicking legislation.

For your safety, information on how to minimise any risks or dangers while fossicking is available from the The do's and dont's of tourist and recreational fossicking in Queensland (PDF 257 Kb). You can also find information on Fossicking Areas from the Queensland government website.
Fossicking - Locations QLD

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Fossicking - South Australia (SA)

• Fossicking - SA Government
PIRSA Minerals - Fossicking - FAQs
Primary Industries and Resources SA
Part of the frequently asked questions, with information about fossicking, prospecting and exploring.
Fossicking - Locations SA

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Fossicking - Tasmania (TAS)

• Fossicking - TAS Government
Mineral Resources Tasmania - Department of Infrastructure, Energy & Resources
Fossicking - Locations TAS

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Fossicking - Victoria (VIC)

• Fossicking - VIC Government
Fossicking - Locations VIC

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Other VIC Fossicking Resource
Australia Gem Fossicking - Geelong Gem & Mineral Club Inc
Come along and experience the fascinating world of Crystals, Gemstones and Minerals. Learn about the wonderful hobby of Lapidary or buy supplies for your next project. Informative fossicking site.

Fossicking - Western Australia (WA)

• Fossicking - WA Government
Do I need a permit when prospecting?
To be able to prospect in WA you are required to possess a Miner's Right, which can be obtained from any Mining Registrar's Office, including the Department of Industry Resources in Perth.
Department of Industry and Resources
• Contact - see website
Information Series Pamphlets: Prospecting WA (PDF 417 Kb) and Prospect Booklet (PDF 220 Kb).
Fossicking - Locations WA

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Other Fossicking Links
Email (online form)
A site for 'Gemmies', gem hunters and tourists, packed full of information, including the Anakie Gemfields (Central Queensland Gemfields). Includes information on fossicking. Click here to see The Queensland Fossicking Guide.
Australian Lapidary Clubs
The Australian Lapidary Club Directory aims to foster the hobby in Australia and provide access to interesting articles and news about field trips undertaken.


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