Fossicking in the Bathurst Region

Fossicking in the Bathurst Region

The days of the gold rush have long since passed but there are plenty of opportunities to get out and find your own gold

Bathurst has a long history of gold mining. In fact, the first gold ever discovered in Australia was found in Bathurst in 1823, by James McBrien who noted its presence when surveying the Fish River. But with the local authorities worried that the discovery of gold would harm the burgeoning settlement which was in a prime position for agriculture, the discovery of gold was kept quiet for over 20 years until a significant grain of gold was found by Edward Hargraves in 1851. 

Soon after, the proclamation was made that gold had been found in Bathurst, and thousands of hopeful miners were digging around Bathurst and the surrounding region, bringing in new free settlers from all over Australia and even internationally. 

Today the allure of gold still draws visitors to Bathurst and the surrounding area with plenty of people still making regular finds. You can go out and try your luck in the Bathurst region with two public fossicking areas close to the Bathurst and five local businesses that offer gold panning tours and services to suit any group. 

All fossicking must abide by NSW Fossicking guidelines, see below to download a copy of A Guide to Fossicking in NSW

Never been panning before? Take a tour!
Get out and fossick today!

Hill End Tambaroora Commons Fossicking Area

1 hour and 20 minutes from the Bathurst town centre the Tambaroora Commons Fossicking Area sits just north of Hill End.

Ophir Reserve

1 hour from the Bathurst in neighbouring Orange.
Ophir reserve is another great place to get out camping, gold fossicking and exploring.

Sapphire Bend

50 minutes from the Bathurst in Oberon. Sapphire Bend is a spot where you can go fossicking for sapphires, and zircons. The method is a little different so read more below on how to hunt for them.
Fossicking Guides

Bathurst Visitor Fossicking Guide

Fossicking in NSW
Rules and Regulations

How to Research Gold Bearing Areas and Apply for Permits

There are plenty of great spots to go out fossicking in the Bathurst region that are not listed here. If you want to plan a trip and find your new favourite fossicking spot click here to see how you can access new areas.