South-eastern Queensland fossicking
Deep Creek fossicking area
In 1867 a discovery of alluvial gold in a gully near the Mary River began the first major gold rush in Queensland, rescued the colony's economy and founded the mining town of Gympie. Today tourists and holiday-makers can try their luck in a gold-bearing gully in the town.
Deep Creek is at the southern entrance to Gympie, between the Bruce Highway and Brisbane Road.
From the south, exit the Bruce Highway at Brisbane Road or Jubilee Street and proceed along Araluen Terrace to Counter Street.
From the north, exit along River Road and Graham Street to turn right into Victoria Street.
There are 2 entrance turnstiles, one each at the ends of Counter Street and Victoria Street. Yellow metal posts mark the boundaries of the fossicking area; please do not go outside these.
Camping and pets are not allowed. Accommodation is available in Gympie at several motels, hotels and caravan parks.
Gold in the fossicking area is derived from weathering and erosion of the Columbia, Smithfield, Monkland, Never Mind and Russell reefs. No records exist of the early alluvial diggings to indicate the depth of the alluvium or its gold content.
The area was extensively worked in the first couple of years, but it is likely that gold may still be found as a result of reconcentration over the years or in pockets missed by the early miners. The most likely places are along the banks and bed of the creek, in particular on the inside of the creek bends. The alluvium there consists of silty sand, which incorporates sand and small rock chips from old crushing batteries upstream. Depth in the creek banks exceeds 1m and in places may reach 5m.
Panning is the simplest recovery method.
To avoid disturbing stock grazing on surrounding land, pets are not allowed.