Fossicking can be great fun and many travellers have picked up valuable gold nuggets and semi precious gems on their travels. Ask at Visitor Information Centres en route, Mount Surprise Gems or where you pick up your licence for some background information. Recreational and Tourist Fossicker’s Licences can be issued by the offices below. A Fossicking Licence allows the holder to enter any Designated Fossicking Area in the state of Queensland without the need to notify any authority. Details are at www.dme.qld.gov.au or any office. The holder of a Fossicker’s Licence must not enter occupied land or a mining tenure without the written permission of the landholder or tenure holder (or both). Rules for camping also vary from area to area.
Queensland Mines and Energy Offices and Agents:
- Nth Qld Miner’s Den, 65 Anderson Street, Cairns
- Mareeba District Office Phone: (07) 4048 4785
- Mareeba Heritage Centre, Byrnes Street Mareeba
- Mt Surprise Gems, Garland St, Mt Surprise
- BP Roadhouse & Caravan Park, Mt Surprise
- O’Brien’s Creek Camping Ground, via Mt Surprise
- Prospectors Caravan Park, Forsayth
- Georgetown District Office Phone: (07) 4062 1204
- BP Service Station, Georgetown
- Goldfields Caravan Park, Georgetown
- Cobbold Gorge Camping Village, via Forsayth
- Croydon Shire Council, 63 Samwell Street, Croydon Phone: (07) 4748 7100
Places to Go
Remember – ALL fossicking areas require fossickers to have a fossicking licence.
- Agate Creek- Fossicking Area 95 km south of Forsayth (gravel road). Seasonal fossicking only, due to floodways, where you are likely to find Agates, some Quartz, Amethyst and Calcite
- O’Briens Ceek- Fossicking Area located 37 km north west of Mt Surprise (gravel road). Seasonal Fossicking only, due to floodways where you are likely to find Topaz, Aquamarine and Quartz. Some Citrine, Smoky Quartz and Garnets are still found in this area
- Gold Fossicking- There is no designated gold fossicking area, but there are station owners who will let you onto parts of their property to fossick for gold. For further information contact Department of Natural Resources and Mines (Georgetown) on (07) 40621204
- While it’s definitely not a fossicking area, many earth lovers will be amazed at the treasures you’ll see at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park. This is one of the top 10 fossil sites in the world. You can stay at the nearby Miyumba camping area or at Adels Grove, whose Savannah Guides run interpretive tours to the site.