Get a taste of the gold rush around Australia – you might even strike gold yourself!
Watch one episode of Foxtel’s Aussie Gold Hunters and we guarantee you will want a taste of the gold rush yourself.
If you’re keen to get outdoors with the kids and try something different (with a little dose of an Aussie history lesson), try these hotspots around the country. You might even strike a little bit of gold yourself.
Before you head off on some gold fossicking, be sure to check the area for any permits that may be needed.
Panning for gold at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat, VIC. Image: Leah Goulis
Some 15 years after the gold rush in Victoria, there is still gold to be found across the state’s goldfields region.
While towns like Ballarat, Wedderburn, Tarnagulla and Ararat are the hotspots for recreational gold panning, the sweet spot you want to get to is Reedy Creek.
Reedy is one of the most popular creeks in the state for prospecting, and a section of the large creek is open to those panning for gold.
Andersons Creek, Mount Misery Creek, Sailors Creek and Slaty Creek are all other great spots, but if you’re after a good history lesson for the family, Sovereign Hill in Ballarat is the place to be. The open-air museum gives you a good feel of what it was like to live in the gold rush era – with a creek running through the town where the kids can get hands on with panning.
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Western Australia’s Goldfields, including the city of Kalgoorlie, still honours its gold-rush history with tours that offer gold panning.
A visit is also a chance for Australians to uncover their ancestry, with an estimated 120,000 people from more than 30 countries flocking to the region during the gold-rush era – since then, there’s been more than 125 years of continual gold production.
While you can try your luck on your own, there are plenty of tours that offers everything you need for a fun first-time experience at prospecting.
Eureka! The kids will get a thrill when they strike gold. Image: iStock
New South Wales
Inverell, located on the Western Slopes of the New England tablelands is one of the most popular spots for mining sapphire, with plenty of privately owned land on offer for beginner prospectors.
Bathurst is also a great place to visit with the family. While the historic village of Hill End is closed for fossicking, there are surrounding creeks that are open for panning. If a more guided introduction is what you’re after, head over to Bathurst Goldfields, who will not only show you how to pan for gold, they’ll also give you the location and equipment.
Other hotspots around NSW include Oberon (for gold as well as zircons and diamonds), Lightning Ridge (notorious for opal mining), and Young.
Plenty of creeks around hotspots are available for a little fossicking with the kids. Image: Instagram
If it’s a spot of gold with a little bit of gemstone fun, South Australia delivers.
Cooper Pedy, located around 750km from Adelaide has long been the best spot for opal mining. Visitors often flock to the designated fossicking area called the Jewell Box, situated on the Eastern fringes to sift through an area used as a mine drop.
This article is produced in partnership with Tourism Australia.