Victorian Miners Rights

gold at auction on ebay

Print this page

The Miners Right

Guidelines for prospecting on public land in Victoria

Information provided by Parks Victoria and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) - April 1999

Please note:- (NRE) has since changed it's name to Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE)


Minimal impact prospecting

Prospecting involves the use of metal detectors, hand tools, pans or simple sluices in the search for gold, gemstones, bottles, coins and artefacts.
Prospecting can be an exciting experience for visitors to the goldfields. The Victorian State Government encourages you to enjoy this experience, but also to respect the natural environment.


Do you need a licence to prospect on public land?

Yes, it is called a Miner's Right.

A Miner's Right is a licence for prospecting in the State of Victoria.

The Mineral Resources Development Act 1990 sets out the rights and obligations of the holder of a Miner's Right.

Important points of the Act include that you must not:

  • Enter onto private property without the permission of the land owner.

  • Enter onto a current Mining Title without the permission of the licence holder.

  • Use any equipment for the purpose of excavation on the land other than hand tools.

  • Use explosives.

  • remove or damage any shrubs or trees.

  • Disturb any Aboriginal place or object.

"In addition"

  • You must repair any damage to the land arising out of the search.

  • Children under 18 years of age do not need a Miner's Right but must be accompanied by an adult Miner's right holder if prospecting.


Where can you prospect?

Prospecting is permitted in all State Forests, most Reserves and private property with landholders consent. However, prospecting is not allowed in Reference Areas. A Reference Area is a tract of land that is preserved as far as practicable, in its natural state because it has ecological interest and significance, and is excluded from most activities - including prospecting.

These areas are protected under the Reference Areas Act 1978.

Prospecting is permitted in limited areas in the following Parks:
  • Beechworth Historic Park

  • Enfield State park

  • Kamarooka State Park

  • Kara Kara State Park

  • Kooyoora State Park

  • Paddys Ranges State Park

  • Steiglitz Historic Park

  • Whipstick State Park

  • Warrandyte State Park

Gemstone only fossicking

  • Cape Liptrap Coastal Park

  • Cape Schanck Coastal Park

  • Mornington Peninsula National Park

  • Otway National Park


Please contact the following offices to obtain full details of where you can prospect.


Alexandra 5772 0200 5772 0200
Bacchus Marsh 5367 2922 5367 2922
Bairnsdale 5152 0400 5152 0400
Ballarat 5333 6584 5333 6782
Beechworth 5728 1501 5728 1501
Bendigo 5444 6620 5430 4444
Castlemaine 5472 1110 5472 1110
Creswick 5345 1352  
Dargo 5140 1243 5140 1243
Inglewood 5438 3066 5438 3066
Mallacoota 5158 0219 5158 0219
Mansfield 5733 0120 5733 0210
Maryborough 5461 1055 5461 1055
Orbost 5161 1222 5161 1222
St. Arnaud   5495 1700
Swifts Creek 5159 4344 5159 4344


Help protect our heritage

Parks Victoria would like a photograph of any artefacts found as well as details of where they were found. relics and artefacts that are part of the historical features of a site must not be dislodged or removed (eg. bricks, building stone or mining machinery). This information will assist us in understanding the history and significance of the places we manage.


Prospecting on public land

Where prospecting is allowed in a Park or Reserve, there is normally a designated area for this activity. You can minimise any impact on these areas or on other public land in the following ways:

  • Prospect only in the permitted area.

  • Drive your vehicle only on roads open to the public (constructed roads).

  • Do not drive your vehicle off the road.

  • Take all rubbish home or place it in a bin where provided. Do not bury it.

  • Do not cut down, remove or damage any vegetation.

  • Always fill in the holes you have dug.


Further information

Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustaiability and Enviroment (DSE) can provide information and advice on areas in which you may wish to prospect.

If you are unsure of the status of a park or reserve, or if you are visiting an area for the first time, make sure to ring the telephone numbers above. Staff of these organisations will gladly advise you on your area of interest.

To purchase a Miners Right online go to:-


Central Goldfields Tourist Guide


You Like it?  -  Share it!

This page is optimised
for Firefox

Why Firefox?
Free download below

Your Website could be
featured here

Allied Sites

TOSD image

CodeLines image

CodeCutter image