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lake at Hart Hill


Hart Hill Camping on Thane is a perfect place for fossicking, exclusive to campers, with large creek frontage (1600m), and a gold seam running along our ridge. Apart from the creek, Hart Hill is located in the guts of several state forests; Leyburn, Durikai, and Talgia - the latter two being known for its rich gold deposits. And, we are a mere 1500m from the public fossicking area at Thanes Creek.  

Want to give it a go!!!
We've got you covered...

Family enjoying fossicking activity at Hart Hill

Whether you just want to 'give it a go',  we've got you covered  for the hire of pans and sieves.


With the huge amount of creek hugging Hart Hill, panning for alluvial gold yields some finds. Panning  workshops held at Hart Hill will help those new to the game, alerting them to tips and tricks to expediate those finds. And for those with a detector in hand, it helps in the search for more illusive alluvial finds. 

People are welcome to go anywhere on the property at Hart Hill, and with a detector in hand, and given the history of the township of Thanes Creek, fossickers have found old English Police buttons, shot gun pellets, various hand-made tools, and alike.

Fossicking Deed of Intent

fossicking at hart hill

I will:

  • Respectfully pan, sift and detect

  • Access any area on the property – foot traffic only

  • Shut gates

  • Fill in my diggings

  • Leave the dirt and water in the creek

  • Ensure I have appropriate health and safety protection – boots, sun-cream, hat etc.

I won’t:

  • Use a sluice

  • High bank

  • Dig into the creek walls where it would undermine the bank and its vegetation

  • Not take dirt or water out of the creek

  • Enter neighbouring properties – only keeping to the creek bed or Hart Hill side.

Please note: If you wish to fossick at Hart Hill, we ask that you read, and abide by our Fossickers Deed of Intent.

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"For leisure not for treasure"

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The Queensland Department of Natural Resources have their rules of engagement.

 If you fossick offsite you will require a fossicking license, which you can get online and download the permit onto your phone or tablet.  These can be less than $10 for an individual, and less than $15 for a family for a month and it entitles you to fossick anywhere in Queensland during that time. 

They have a list of rules and responsibilities that protect the environment and its resources, and provides guidelines for health and safety when fossicking.​

Info Dept Resources

History of the Gold Fields


The goldfields in the vicinity include Thanes Creek, Talgai, Leyburn, Canal Creek, Palgrove, Pikedale and Lucky Valley. Gold was first discovered at Lord John Swamp (Lucky Valley goldfield) in 1852.


Alluvial gold was discovered at Canal Creek 50km west of Warwick in 1863. In the following year the Talgai field (also known as Darkey's Flat) supported both alluvial and reef mining. The richest alluvial gold was won from Dunns Gully, 5km south of Pratten. The largest reefs that were worked on this field were located at Mount Gammie North.

In 1868 alluvial gold was discovered at Thanes Creek, and in 1879 the first reef , Just-in-Time, (located a mere 200m 'as the crow flies' from Hart Hill) was worked. Further reefs were discovered in 1881 and included the Queen and the King mines. The mines were worked steadily until about 1884 when many of the mines reached water level and the ore became pyritous causing a general decline of the fields.


Very little work was then done until early 1887 when another rush followed the discovery of gold at Glenelg to the south. After renewed interest, some existing mines were reopened but with little success. In 1893 the St Patricks (Talgai) and the El Dorado (Thanes Creek) were discovered. Other fields discovered include Leyburn (1872), Pikedale (1877) and Palgrove (1897).

The eventual demise of the goldfields was attributed to the low average grade of the ore, poor mining methods, lack of suitable crushing and treatment plants, pyritic ore, high cost of transport and the periodic discovery of richer fields throughout Queensland.


Thanes Creek Gold Prospecting Area (GPA)

Turn left out of Hart Hill Camping; take the next left and continue down Big Hill Road towards Pratten; over the cattle grid on the left is the GPA (1.5km).


Talgia State Forest

Turn left out of Hart Hill Camping, then left into Big Hill Road towards Pratten (5.6km). There is debate whether Queenslands’ biggest nugget came from Gympie or Talgia – apparently the nugget that came from Talgia broke in half! There are designated fossicking areas within Talgia - keep to the tracks. We recommend you only venture into Talgia if you have a 4WD, and depending how far you venture, you may gain a few scratches on the duco.

Durakia State Forest

Turn right out of Hart Hill Camping; go over the causeway veering right at the top of the road and when you get to the T junction, turn left onto Thanes Creek Road. At the T junction turn right onto the Cunningham Hwy. There are a number of access points on your left into Durakia. It is mostly accessible with 2WD unless there has been significant rainfall. It also has designated fossicking areas.



I suggest you let someone know if you are heading into one of the Forests and provide an anticipated time when you would be back – they can be quite a maze and its easy to get lost. And, work out how to send someone a text to track your location.

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Approved areas
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