Fossicking rules and responsibilities
Personal protection and safety
Stay safe while fossicking by observing the following principles.
- Wear suitable clothing for the conditions, including a hat and sturdy footwear (shoes or boots).
- Apply sun protection and wear sunglasses.
- Use an insect repellent when appropriate.
- Wear gloves when digging and sieving to avoid wear and tear to the hands.
- Wear rubber boots if working in water for long periods.
- Wear proper eye protection (safety goggles/glasses) whenever breaking rocks.
- Carry a well-stocked first-aid kit.
Before leaving home
- Check all equipment, including tools and camping gear, to ensure that it is in working order and safe to use.
- Check your vehicle to ensure that it is in proper working condition and that adequate supplies of food, water, fuel and spares are on board.
- Advise someone of your plans (including when you expect to return) and contact numbers.
- Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closure and conditions.
- Check the current bushfire situation.
- Check weather forecasts and road conditions.
- Carry a mobile phone or other suitable communication equipment to maintain contact or to get help.
- Avoid going out alone.
- Be careful when digging around large boulders because they may roll or move suddenly, causing severe injury.
- Never burrow into or undermine a stream bank or earth face or work under overhanging rocks or earth faces.
- Never dig holes deeper than the permitted depth.
- Use existing roads and tracks only and avoid cross-country driving.
- Beware of noxious weeds such as parthenium that can cause serious allergic reactions.
- When visiting old mining areas beware of open shafts and avoid getting too close, as the surrounding ground may be unstable. Never enter old underground workings.
- Be careful when fossicking on mine dumps, as much of the material is loose and may move without warning.
- Never set a fire to clear grass or undergrowth.
- Don’t carry or use firearms or explosives.
- For the safety of others, make safe and refill any excavations before leaving, remove rubbish and bury human waste.
- Position your camp site well away from any stock watering points.
- Be careful with fire—use gas for cooking or set camp fires in a proper fireplace with a cleared space around it.
In an emergency
- Dial 000 from a telephone or 112 from your mobile phone.
In this guide:
- Personal protection and safety
- Where you can fossick
- Responsibilities of fossickers
- Permitted activities and materials