South-eastern Queensland fossicking

Chinchilla petrified wood localities

Petrified wood occurs in abundance in the Chinchilla area and is much sought after by lapidary enthusiasts for its quality and colours.

Two landowners in the Chinchilla area have given a general permission for fossicking at specific sites on their properties; fossickers must ensure they comply with the special conditions of access (see below). The landowner has the right to terminate the permission and direct visitors to leave the land immediately if they do not comply with the conditions set out below.

If you intend to fossick elsewhere than in the general permission areas, you must obtain the landholder’s written permission first.

Good specimens can be readily found beside roads in the area, but collecting is only permitted from the ground surface in road reserves and digging is not allowed.

Access and entry fees

The town of Chinchilla is about 300km west-northwest of Brisbane on the Warrego Highway.


Travel from the tourist information centre west along the Warrego Highway. At the 0.2km mark, turn left on to the overpass and travel straight along Heeney Street. At the 1.7km mark, turn right into Tara Road (towards the airport). At the 6.2km mark turn right into Greenswamp Road. The fossicking site is on the right at the 9.7km mark.

An entry fee is payable to the landowner (Kel Gaske) at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre, Warrego Highway, Chinchilla Qld 4413. Do not park across or block the access gate adjacent to the collecting site.


From Greenswamp, travel west along Greenswamp Road crossing Charleys Creek at the 1km mark. Turn right into Sturgess Baking Board Road at the 3.3km mark. The fossicking site is on the right at the 3.8km mark.

Alternatively, travel from the tourist information centre west along the Warrego Highway. Turn left into Sturgess Baking Board Road, cross the rail line and travel a distance of 8km to the fossicking site, located on the left.

An entry fee is payable at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre, Warrego Highway, Chinchilla Qld 4413. Please call the landowners, Donald and Lorraine Bell, on (07) 4668 9193 before arrival.



Camping is prohibited. There are several motels, hotels and caravan parks in Chinchilla.

Visitors need to be self-sufficient in supplies, including water.

Fossicking notes

Sedimentary rocks of the Kumbarilla beds of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous age, which are part of the Surat Basin sequence, underlie the Chinchilla area. These include mainly sandstones and other fine-grained sediments that are generally deeply weathered. Most of the petrified wood is found in unconsolidated gravels capping low ridges of the Kumbarilla beds; these are probably remnants of earlier erosion episodes of the sediments, although some may have been transported.

Good specimens of petrified palm have also been collected from the Chinchilla area.

Material is easily collected from the ground surface or in drainages. Some shallow excavation in suitable areas may also prove productive.

Special conditions

  • You must have a valid fossicking licence.
  • Do not interfere with any stock or improvements.
  • Adults must supervise children at all times.
  • Leave gates as found.
  • Keep vehicles to existing roads and tracks.
  • Do not interfere with any wildlife or flora.
  • Remove all rubbish.
  • Refill and make safe all excavations.

In this guide:

  1. Chinchilla petrified wood localities
  2. Thanes Creek fossicking area
  3. Deep Creek fossicking area
  4. Talgai State Forest fossicking area
  5. Swipers Gully topaz locality (closed until further notice)
  6. Durikai State Forest fossicking area

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