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Central gold district

The discovery of alluvial gold in gullies south of Clermont in 1861 triggered one of Queensland's major gold rushes. Today, the old gold mining district surrounding Clermont attracts interest from fossickers and metal detector enthusiasts.

Fossickers require a fossicking licence in all areas and must comply with the special conditions of access (see below).

If you have any questions about fossicking, contact the local mining registrar.


There are 9 separate general permission areas in the Clermont area where landholders have given general permission for fossicking. You must purchase a Fossickers kit from the Clermont Caravan Park or The Outback Prospector. This kit serves as a permit to traverse over the general permission areas of the state forests. The kit includes detailed maps of each of the areas. Stickers included in this kit must be attached to your vehicle's rear window.



Camping is not permitted. There is a range of accommodation facilities in Clermont.

Fossicking notes

Gold occurs in a range of settings in the district. The primary source is numerous lode gold deposits, mostly quartz reefs, in the Anakie Metamorphic Group. Only a small number of these were economic to work.

More important were deep leads in old conglomerates (gravels) of Permian age, which overlie the metamorphics. These have usually been interpreted as ancient buried streams in which alluvial gold shed from the lodes has accumulated. Nuggets in excess of 15g were common and some specimen gold occurred in quartz-rich clasts. Other deep leads were located in late Tertiary alluvial deposits, in linear belts cutting across the present drainage pattern.

Finally there were the alluvial deposits of modern-day streams, derived from gold shed from older deposits.

The deep leads produced the most gold.

The gold of interest to modern fossickers is primarily from the young alluvial material, as well as eluvial deposits formed when gold or gold-bearing rock fragments have been transported short distances from their sources, and concentrated within the soil horizon.

Some older Tertiary wash on the edges and tops of interfluves may also be of interest. Some nuggets may have formed in these environments by chemical accretion of small gold particles into larger fragments or through the chemical action of host soils or sediments on a gold solution.

Panning is the simplest recovery method for the finer alluvial gold. However, the scarcity of water may preclude panning during dry periods. Dry blowing methods may be employed.

Special conditions

  • Adults must supervise children at all times.
  • Leave gates as they are found.
  • Do not interfere with any vegetation, stock or wildlife.
  • Do not interfere with or fossick within 10m of any stock, infrastructure or improvements.
  • Remove all rubbish (including organics) from the area and dispose of legally.
  • Refill excavations to make them safe for other visitors and stock.
  • Keep motor vehicles to formed roads and tracks only and bring no other machinery.
  • Do not light any fires.
  • Observe all conditions as stated in the Fossickers kit.


Contact one of our mining offices for any fossicking enquiry.

Fossicking rules and licences

A fossicking licence is required in Queensland. Make sure you follow the fossicking rules and observe the basic principles of safe fossicking.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
4 April 2017
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