South-eastern Queensland fossicking

Talgai State Forest fossicking area

Sections of the Talgai State Forest have been released as general permission areas for gold fossicking. Fossickers must ensure they comply with the special conditions of access (see below).


Talgai State Forest is about 35km north-west of Warwick.

Take the Cunningham Highway west from Warwick for 8km before turning right into Sandy Creek Road, which turns into the Leyburn Cunningham Road.

Pass through the town of Pratten (20km), then take Macalister Street, which turns into Margetts Street. Turn left into Big Hill Road, which will take you straight through the Talgai State Forest.

Once inside the general permission areas, use only formed roads and tracks to access creek areas where alluvial deposits are found.



There are no facilities in Talgai State Forest and camping is not permitted. Accommodation is available in Warwick at several motels, hotels and caravan parks.

Carry all water supplies. No permanent potable water supply is available, and no water may be taken from dams, water bores or pump equipment.

Fossicking notes

Colours of gold can be obtained from alluvial sediments within stream channels, from gravel layers in low banks or possibly from crevices in rock bars.

Panning is the simplest recovery method.

Special conditions

  • Only fossick within the general permission area as indicated on the map.
  • Do not enter private property.
  • Use only safe working practices.
  • Do not undermine a stream bank or earth face or create overhangs.
  • Use hand tools only (including metal detectors). Generators and machinery of any other type are not permitted.
  • Do not interfere with or fossick within 10m of any stock, infrastructure or improvements.
  • Remain at least 100m from registered apiary sites (whether hives are present or not).
  • Carry all water supplies. No permanent potable water supply is available, and no water may be taken from dams, water bores, pump equipment, etc.
  • Adults must supervise children at all times.
  • Leave gates as they are found.
  • Do not interfere with any vegetation, stock or wildlife.
  • Keep noise and dust to a minimum.
  • Ensure that dogs are on a lead and under control at all times. Remove all animal faeces from the area and dispose of legally.
  • Remove all rubbish (including organics) from the area and dispose of legally.
  • As no ablution facilities are available, bury human toilet waste in a hole dug into the topsoil at least 10–15cm deep and 100m away from watercourses (or any body of water) and walking tracks. Fill, cover and disguise the hole.
  • Ensure excavations do not exceed dimensions of 2m x 1m and a depth of 0.5m. Refill excavations to make them safe for other visitors and stock, and contour them to the surrounding land surface.
  • Keep motor vehicles to formed roads and tracks only and bring no other machinery.
  • Do not light any fires.
  • Comply with any directions given by a sign or notice.

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

Print entire guide