Fossicking is looking for and collecting gems or minerals with hand tools. This includes looking for gold using metal detectors or pans.

You must have a permit to fossick in a NSW state forest. With a permit, you can fossick for recreational, tourist or educational purposes only.

You can apply for a 12-month permit online. 

Note: Before you apply, check the state forest fossicking map for areas where fossicking is permitted. It may be prohibited in some areas of a state forest.


Individuals or families who want to fossick in a NSW state forest.

Note: If you’re fossicking in a group or club, each person or family must have a permit.

What you need

How to apply

  1. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  2. Complete the online form to get your permit.

More information

Last updated: 13 February 2024