Posted on Leave a comment

Fossicking-Rockhound- what do they do.


What is Fossicking.

What is a Rockhound.

Rockhound and a Fossicker are the same thing. People that look for Gemstone -Rocks- Stones-Minerals.

They search every where for gems.

What you need. How do you start looking for gemstone.

Finding Gemstones.

What to look for when collecting rocks/ gemstones .

My Story plus things I have learnt while looking for gemstones.RocksMinerals.

I will tell you different things and places to go to look for gemstones, this is my Website, my Story, if you want to add something to it please do.

Contact Me or leave a Comment

Fossicking Means Or Rockhound Means.

1:      To search for gold or Precious stones in abandoned workings , rivers  ect.

2:       To search for something amongst other things.

Fossick Means

To search for minerals for a purpose other than commercial gain to a depth 2 meters by.

  1.     digging by hand
  2.     using hand held instruments

Fossicking is a unique and fun way to see and explore some of the most scenic out back landscapes where ever you live. Just love to go out on weekend trips, do nothing. but digging holes.

Queensland Fossicking Laws

In Queensland Australia, the government has dedicated fossicking area’s, they are located throughout the state. There is a lot of places you can go fossicking outside these dedicated area’s. A lot of stations/ mining company will have camping area’s , some times you have to pay camping fees.  You always have to get permission before going . Ask lots of Question before you go.

Fossicking Laws are Different in All States in Australia and overseas. Do your Research, before you go.

Fossicking Licence. For Qld.

First thing you need is a fossicking Licence. go to

I live in Queensland I  buy  my fossicking  Licence monthly, as you do not go out every month fossicking, If you are going out fossicking it is to easy to get a licence on line before you go. Send yourself a  receipt to your e-mail account. Other wise most tourist shop sell them.  One month Fossicking Licence is around   $11.

Have your Licence on you.

I have been out fossicking in Queensland and a mining department employee came and ask us if we had a licence. We were 200 kl from a town. So It pays to have a  Fossicking Licence.  In Australia every state is different.

Lapidary Club.

Join your local Lapidary Club.

Lapidary clubs have field trips and they show you what  gemstones to look for. They take you to some great spots. Our club have a lot of stones on display at there club house,  from all over the world, None of  them have much valuable.

Going out by yourself,  which we do all the time is ok,  Try to get enough information about what to look for and where to go. It took us two years to find a easy way to get to one fossicking area, everyone told us different stories on how to get there. That is why field trips, tag along tours are great way to find and learn about Gemstones.


When we first started looking for Gemstones everyone, sort of did not want to tell you where to go. Even now they all tell you different stories.  So it is a good idea to do research before you leave.   One place we went to was O’Brien Creek, there is a lot of stories there to find topaz. We dug in the creek, unsuccessful. The other people we were with went over the other side of the hill and found a nice blue Topaz Three times Fossicking to O’Briens creek we found a nice blue 59ct  topaz, plus a lots of  smaller ones.

Field Trips Take along tours. Contact Me

Field trips is a group of people that go out together looking for gemstones. Day trips or overnight. It is good to go out with a groups of people. Showing of your finding  is great fun. Tag along tours is great when you do not know what to look for and if you do not have any equipment. We did a tag along tour for Sapphires, so we could learn and understand more about how to find them, what to do, it was a great help.

What you need To Fossick:

Sunscreen and shade.

When going fossicking make sure all of your own needs are catered for first. First off you need to cover up from the sun. Sun screen and shade is a must have items. We put a shade cover up over our dig.

A chair, Lots and lots of water drinking and washing water, food. Safety  Kit  for injuries like rock splinters cuts . Safety Equipment  and safe tools are a must have items. Safety Goggles ,Gloves, closed in shoes. Tools  Every year rock collectors are injured – including being blinded, by using the wrong hammers.

Hammer and Hammers.

Geologists hammers are made of special steels, and the striking ends are bevelled to prevent steel splinters from flying of them. Special geological chisels are made for the same reason.

Where do I dig.

When starting of in Queensland , designated fossicking areas,  you can get a map of the area on the internet at Queensland Department of Mines and Energy, ( Or Stop at the tourist  shop in the town nearest to where you are going to dig these people are very helpful) It  will show you tracks where you can dig. When arriving you will see a lot off holes every where. If the hole has a bucket , pick, or  some thing else in it, it is a no go area. You can do the same to your hole when you start digging. It is a known rule with fossickers. But be careful because there are people out there that steal equipment. So you have found your hole.

  1.   Know were to dig.

Move a lot of dirt.


You have to move a lot of  dirt , to find a Gemstone .most/sometimes you wont find what you are looking for. We use a sieve . We look through most of the dirt we move. Sieve come in all sizes. We have a  steel stick about 5 feet tall, that holds our sieve, so we fill and shack.

How dip to dig.

The dirt at the Top/Sides of your hole you  are in you have top soil, which is were grass grows/what we walk on. Then you have another layer which is  called sub-soil, you will see the different colour or grit/dirt of the soil. All that soil  has to come off.

You can find gemstone on the surface too.

Next layer off soil is called the wash, this is where you find the gemstones. The next layer is clay that you don’t have to move. Using sieve is a good idea when first starting out. Some gemstones like sapphire do show there colour/shine , until they have wash on them.  Opal is the same.

Virgin Ground.

Some areas the soil that has not been worked,  it is virgin ground. Meaning it has not been dug up.

I can remember digging  a hole 2 meters deep, and in our sieve was a one cent piece.

2  Known were to dig. Luck.

Tumbled Amethyst From Amethyst Castle
Tumbled Amethyst From Amethyst Castle

Amethyst Castle.

At Amethyst Castle there is Amethyst everywhere.  The mine has graded  the roads and have a very nice camping area. We found a nice shady tree and started our own hole. Very easy work. You just have to pick a spot and dig, the soil is very rocky with amethyst.  Amethyst Castle you need permission to go there. The mining company only want to make sure you return home safely from your trip out fossicking.


Crystals from Crystal Mountain

The hardest thing is climbing up the hill.  It again is rocky soil,  just dig softly, you don’t want to brake that cluster of crystal. There  is 3  ways to get to Crystal Mountain.

Toms Mountain.

Toms. mountain again you have to Climb. Lots of different Rocks/Gemstone to pick up in this area.




One of My fossicking trips

Fossicking for Agate July 2015

My first gemstone is The Agate. We did a day trip to Agate creek in Central Queensland.  July 2015. The road is dirt,  It has lots of ups and downs, ( creek/gullies, and hills) This is one road not to be on in the wet season.

Camping Grounds.

After travelling for a good hour we came to a camping ground on our right. Because we did not know,  what or where to go ,we decided to follower the road to the end .( we did have a map of the area) At the end of the road was another camping ground. We turned around and turned off, at the first turn to right, drove in as far as we could, got out and had a look around , there was smashed rocks everywhere.

Tumble the rocks.

I picked up a lot of small whole agates. knowing I can put them in the tumbler. when I get home.

Moved On After Lunch.

Had lunch and move on, We did the next turn to right, stopped at the creek bed first , there was agate in the creek bed, drove on where there was a lot of cows,  we had a look  around picked up a few more agates.

First turn Right.

Our next turn to the right was a long drive in. You have to stop and look around all the time, this  is where we found most of our agates. There was diggings everywhere, smashed agates everywhere. The different colours were everywhere. I picked up a lot of broken agates the colours were beautiful, they can be used for everything, like jewellery , cladding pot ,soap container and more, beautiful colours.

Going Back to Agate Creek.

Agate Creek is must go back to places.

Second time we went to agate creek 2017.  We camped at the first camping grounds. The people there are very helpful. Spent. a week there, at the camping grounds, there is toilets and showers. Cost was $7.50 a night each.

We will be going again one day.

Lake Moondarra Mount Isa.

Another place I went to for Agates. Lake Moondarra near Mount Isa. These we call Gooseberry Agates. Over time I have picked up a lot of broken ones, They have a lot of fractures in the stone, so they just crumble when you cut them, I don’t know if there is a chance of getting a whole one. But again There is  lots of things you can do  with them. They have lots of colours like greens, red, dirty yellows and browns.

Gooseberry Agate.

They are call Gooseberry because the outside of the stone looks , is like a lot of small berries stuck together.

There is a lot of different agates across our beautiful country. The colours are just beautiful.

Please leave a Comment.

I would love to hear about your fossicking trips, love hearing about other people finds. Need any help please leave  a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank  You Wendy

Contact Me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.