Fossicking for gold, precious stones and fossils has been a popular activity in Australia for generations.
If you’ve always wanted to join in on the search, then this list of the best sites for fossicking in Australia is the perfect way to kickstart your treasure-hunting adventure. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get digging.
Glen Innes, NSW
Located in the hills of the Great Dividing Range, and known for its picturesque views, Glen Innes is the most prolific sapphire region in NSW, and one of the world’s richest mineral diversity belts. The area is famous for its rich blue sapphires, and the easy access to fossicking sites for tourists. There’s no licence required to try fossicking here, making it the perfect place for fun with the family.
Coober Pedy, SA
Named Australia’s national gem, opal is the heart of the Coober Pedy mining region. Visitors can search for gems at the Jewell Box, a large area used as a mine dump from the more dangerous mining sites, while taking in the beautiful views when overlooking this abundant and rich land.
In 1956, the largest and most valuable opal ever was discovered in town, weighing 3.4 kg and valued at $2.5 million. Where else would you want to hunt for your own jewels?
Killiecrankie Bay, TAS
Beach-goers and fossickers come together at this remote bay located on Flinders Island. Uncover topaz specimens, known locally as Killiecrankie diamonds, by combing the beach at low tide, before enjoying the serenity of the quiet coastal village. Travelling to Killiecrankie Bay is the perfect way to relax while following your fossicking dreams.
The Gemfields, QLD
For the more adventurous at heart, The Gemfields are a collection of 11 local fossicking areas covering over 900 square kilometres. Here, you’ll find sapphires in rare colours such as green and white, if you know where to look. Hire equipment in town, or join a tag along tour and go on-site with an expert who will teach you how to fossick like a pro.
Newry Station, NT
Newry Station is one of Australia’s most famous fossicking sites, as one of only two places in the world where zebra rock has been found, famous for its unique striped and spotted patterns. Within the area, you’ll also find the Newry Station Gouldian finch site, home to the endangered Gouldian finch, a colourful bird native to Australia. If you’re looking to uncover some quartz, or perhaps even the elusive zebra rock, then Newry Station should be at the top of your list.
Renowned for prospecting and fossicking, Kalgoorlie boulder is Australia’s largest Outback City, and a vibrant mining community. Around three quarters of gold mined in Australia is found in this region, and those hunting for gems are often just as lucky. After a day spent searching under the brutal Australian sun, the abundance of local accommodation and dining options are sure to sweeten the deal.
Once home to hundreds of hopeful gold miners, Beechworth has since transformed into a beautiful historic town, full of breathtaking bike tracks and bush walks. However, nearby Reedy Creek is still an ideal spot for fossicking, turning up topaz and quartz on the creek bank. Just be sure to check the weather before you go, as rain often causes soil and gravel to build up.
These amazing places for fossicking in Australia are just the beginning. Click here to learn about the best gold panning hotspots.