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Fossicking rules and responsibilities

Where you can fossick

Provided you have a fossicking licence and the written permission of the landowner, you may fossick on most land throughout the state.

However, fossicking is not permitted in:

  • national parks, conservation parks and high preservation areas
  • nominated waterways of wild river areas
  • state forests and timber reserves, except in the declared fossicking areas or general permission areas (see below)
  • other areas declared by regulation (these will be signposted).

If in doubt, check with the local mining registrar.

Unoccupied land

No permission is required to fossick on unoccupied land, unless there has been a determination of native title.

Road reserves

No special permission is required to fossick on road reserves, but fossickers may only collect and not dig.

Private land

You need the landholder's written permission to fossick on private land, except in areas where the landholder has given a general permission to the mining registrar allowing fossicking and camping (see below). If more than one landholder is involved, all must give permission.

The landholder's permission must be endorsed on or attached to your fossicking licence. The landholder may impose conditions for access, including the payment of fees. Landholders may withdraw permission at any time provided adequate notice is given to remove equipment.

General permission areas

In some areas, landholders have given general permission for fossicking and camping on specific areas of their properties. Fossickers do not require the landholder’s permission to fossick in these areas but must abide by any conditions of access and may be required to pay a fee.

Designated fossicking lands and fossicking areas

These areas have been established by the government in cooperation with local governments and landholders. They are signposted and publicised as part of a statewide network to assist the tourism industry. Commercial mining tenures are allowed in fossicking lands but not in fossicking areas.

Other than a fossicking licence, no special permissions or fees apply. Fossickers must not enter any areas held under mining leases and claims without the permission of the lease or claim holder.

In this guide:

  1. Personal protection and safety
  2. Where you can fossick
  3. Responsibilities of fossickers
  4. Permitted activities and materials

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