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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.

The permit gives you permission to fossick for recreational, tourist or educational purposes only.

You can apply for a permit online. 

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

What you need

  • your personal details
  • your residential address
  • a credit card (Visa or MasterCard).

How to apply

  1. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  2. Select ‘Start’.
  3. Select the area you want to fossick in.
  4. Complete the online application form.
  5. Agree to the permit conditions.
  6. Enter your credit card details to pay the permit fee.

More information

Last updated: 7 April 2022
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