Fossicking safely

Fossickers in regional Victoria

Buy a miner's right
Guide to Recreational Prospecting

Stay safe while fossicking by following these safety tips:

Before leaving home

  • Tell someone responsible where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Check for weather alerts including fire and flood warnings.
  • Wear appropriate clothing including sturdy shoes or boots.
  • Apply sun protection and wear a hat and sunglasses.
  • Wear gloves when digging and sieving to avoid wear and tear to the hands.
  • Wear rubber boots if working in water for long periods.
  • Wear proper eye protection (safety goggles/glasses) whenever breaking rocks.
  • Carry a well-stocked first-aid kit.

Learn more about being prepared at

When fossicking

  • Be careful when digging around large boulders. They may roll or move suddenly causing severe injury.
  • Never burrow into or undermine a stream bank; or work under overhanging rocks or earth faces.
  • When visiting old mining areas beware of open shafts, and avoid getting too close, as the surrounding ground may be unstable. Never enter old underground mine shafts.
  • Be careful when fossicking on mine dumps, as much of the material is loose and may move without warning.
  • Never set a fire to clear grass or undergrowth.
  • Before leaving, remove rubbish; bury human waste; and make safe and refill any holes you dig.
  • Mercury cannot be mined or used in mining or fossicking in Victoria.

Key contacts

Vic Emergency

VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade 000

Page last updated: 12 Jan 2022