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Great fun for all ages...and possibly profitable.


With a rich history and old mining towns galore, inland North Queensland is attracting fossicking hobbyists who make the trek in search of gold and gemstones.



Gold panning – Tourism and Events Queensland


During some of our OTA bush trips, we’ve gone fossicking and it’s great fun. In fact, Keryn, bush cook extraordinaire, who also does all of our admin, sports a beautiful gold ring set with garnets that we found at the Gem Tree fossicking area, on the Plenty Highway in the NT.

Below is a list of places in North Queensland where you can fossick for gold and rare gems … and maybe even strike it rich!


Agate Creek, Forsayth


Just a short 70km drive south from Forsayth, you can fossick at Agate Creek that’s world renowned for agates of unique colours and patterns. 

These banded gemstones of finely grained microcrystalline quartz are found in a traditional bush setting in this enchanting region of North West Queensland. 

After a hard day’s fossicking, you can relax at the Agate Creek Camping Ground, which is a ‘gem’ of its own, nestled on the banks of Agate Creek and adjacent to the fossicking field.

For gold searchers, the Forsayth area is a small part of the Etheridge Goldfields that was opened for gold prospectors in the late 1800s, so with some luck, you may unearth gold missed in the rushes of the early days.


Gold panning – Tourism and Events Queensland


Moonstone Hill, Lyndhurst


Situated on the edge of a prehistoric inland sea, two hours’ drive from the dinosaur town of Hughenden, this is the site of rare moonstones that are prized for their blue to white adularescence. 

While you may not find a moonstone, Moonstone Hill has an abundance of gem-quality rock minerals, so you’re bound to find a precious piece to take home.

When the day is done, you can head back to Hughenden or stay at Blackbraes National Park in an open grassy area just a stone’s throw from the fossicking site.



O’Briens Creek, Mount Surprise


OBriens Creek – Tourism and Events Queensland


Just 35km from the scenic township of Mount Surprise is the O’Briens Creek fossicking area, where you can search for topaz. Clear topaz is more easily found at O’Briens Creek, but those ‘in the know’ chase ‘blues’, ‘yellows’, ‘greens’ and ‘oranges’.

The Bedrock Village Caravan Park is a 20-minute drive from O’Briens Creek and has tent and van sites, plus units and cabins. 

This area is close to Undara Volcanic National Park, so it’s a good idea to extend your fossicking stay and explore the Undara lava tube system – the longest lava tubes in the world.

The above sites are just some of the fossicking destinations in Queensland and others include gem areas near Saphire and opals around Yowah.  


Footnote: Fossicking for gemstones in Queensland is a regulated activity that requires a Fossickers Licence (you can purchase online here). Licence holders do not need further permission from the landholder to enter the gazetted fossicking area to fossick.



















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