Try your luck in Gympie’s gold-bearing gully at the Deep Creek Fossicking Area for some fresh air fun in search of treasure.
In 1867 a discovery of alluvial gold in a gully near the Mary River began the first major gold rush in Queensland and resulted in the establishment of the mining town of Gympie.
Is there really any gold left?
Gold in the fossicking area is derived from weathering and erosion of the Columbia, Smithfield, Monkland, Never Mind and Russell reefs.
No records exist of the early alluvial diggings to indicate the depth of the alluvium or its gold content.
The area was extensively worked in the first couple of years, but it is likely that gold may still be found as a result of reconcentration over the years or in pockets missed by the early miners.
The most likely places are along the banks and bed of the creek, in particular on the inside of the creek bends.
The alluvium there consists of silty sand, which incorporates sand and small rock chips from old crushing batteries upstream.
Depth in the creek banks exceeds 1m and in places may reach 5m.
The good news is that panning is the simplest method and the most fun too.
What you need to know
You are going to need a Fossicking Licence but they are cheap and available online or at the Lake Alford Visitor Information Centre.
Equipment hire is also available from the Centre (picks/shovels and pans).
Camping and pets are not allowed to avoid disturbing stock grazing on surrounding land.
How to get there
Deep Creek is at the southern entrance to Gympie, between the Bruce Highway and Brisbane Road.
From the south, exit the Bruce Highway at Brisbane Road or Jubilee Street and proceed along Araluen Terrace to Counter Street.
From the north, exit along River Road and Graham Street to turn right into Victoria Street.
There are 2 entrance turnstiles, one each at the ends of Counter Street and Victoria Street. Yellow metal posts mark the boundaries of the fossicking area; please do not go outside these.
Have fun and let us know if you find your pot of gold.