Where you can prospect and fossick
Under the National Parks Act, certain state parks have areas where recreational fossicking and prospecting are allowed.
Always bring your Miner's Right with you – in case you need to show it to park officials or other authorised personnel.
Which parks can I prospect in?
The following parks have designated areas where you are allowed to prospect:
- Beechworth Historic Park
- Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park
- Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park
- Enfield State Park
- Greater Bendigo National Park
- Heathcote-Graytown National Park
- Kara Kara National Park
- Kooyoora State Park
- Paddys Ranges State Park
- Reef Hills State Park
- Steiglitz Historic Park
- Warrandyte State Park
For further information, visit Parks Victoria.
Fossicking for gemstones
The following parks have designated areas where you are allowed to fossick for gemstones only:
- Cape Liptrap Coastal Park
- Kooyoora State Park
- Mornington Peninsula National Park - for zeolite only, permitted for scientific research purposes and collection by mineralogical clubs subject to permit conditions
- Great Otway National Park
- Warby-Ovens National Park
Rivers and streams where you can't fossick
Recreational prospecting is banned in certain streams, creeks and rivers in Victoria.
View the full list of rivers and streams where you can't fossick.
Summary of land access rules
It is important to be respectful, sensitive and cooperate with other people with an interest in the land you are accessing.
When accessing land for recreational prospecting or fossicking, the following rules will help you understand your responsibilities:
|Type of Land||Land Access Rules|
|Allowed with no consent|
Crown land other than prohibited Crown land and land where consent is required
|Consent is not required from the Crown land manager, although if in doubt, you are encouraged to confirm with the land manager.|
Permitted Areas in Certain Parks under the National Parks Act
Consent is not required.
|Allowed with consent|
Consent must be sought from the land owner or occupier.
Mining, prospecting or retention licence areas, but not exploration licence areas (other than Crown land where recreational prospecting is banned - see below)
Consent must be sought from the licence holder. This consent is additional to any other requirements in this table. These licence types can be found on Resource Licences near me.
|Need to check with the Commonwealth land manager.|
|Need to check with the Commonwealth land manager.Banned|
|Prohibited Crown land||Recreational prospecting is banned in certain areas of Crown land (see definition of prohibited Crown land below).|
|Exempted rivers, streams and creeks||Recreational prospecting is banned in these areas (see definition of rivers and streams where you can't fossick).|
Consents may be subject to conditions and may be withdrawn at any time by the person who granted it.
There may be exceptions within the areas listed above which Crown land managers can advise on.
If you are in any doubt about these rules, please seek advice from the relevant authorities.
Prohibited Crown land
Prohibited Crown land is land where recreational prospecting is banned and includes land that is:
- a park under the National Parks Act 1975 including land that is a national, wilderness, State or other park or reserve or a marine national park or marine
- sanctuary, except in designated areas of specific parks under that Act (see Permitted Areas in Certain Parks under the National Parks Act);
- a declared area for ongoing protection under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006;
- a reference area under the Reference Areas Act 1978;
- a Deep Lead Nature Conservation Reserve (No. 2) under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978;
- an area exempted by the Minister for Energy and Resources or Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water; or
- an area exempted from recreational prospecting or an extractive industry or otherwise exempted under the Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act 1990 or any other Act.
There may be exceptions within the areas listed above which Crown land managers can advise on. If there is any doubt about these rules, prospectors are strongly encouraged to seek clarification from the relevant authorities listed in the contacts provided here.
Page last updated: 01 Dec 2021