The lure of the deep rich, royal blue sapphire – We’re part of the state’s most prolific sapphire region & the world’s richest mineral diversity belt… Increasingly, fossickers are flocking to Glen Innes Highlands’ to try their luck. You don’t need a licence, it’s simple, cheap & fun for the whole family with the opportunity to strike it rich.

If you are coming to Minerama and have a few hours to spare, you can try your luck at the various free public fossicking sites around Glen Innes Highlands.

Ever since sapphires were discovered in the creek and gullies west of Glen Innes, professional and amateur fossickers have been drawn to the area in search of the deep blue stones for which Glen Innes is famous. You may also uncover topaz, zircon and other fine gems.

Most of the stones are found in a layer of earth called the wash, which sits between the clay bed and the subsoil. Culverts created by creeks expose the layers of earth, making it easy to dig into the wash.

You don’t need much equipment to go fossicking. Basic gear includes a sieve, a miner’s pick, a scratching blade, a shovel and a bucket. You can bring your own gear or hire it in town.

Download a guide here or pick up a hard copy from the Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre at 152 Church Street, Glen Innes, or the Visitor Information Marquee at the Minerama show.

You can also book private fossicking experiences directly with the providers listed in the guide. You may need your own equipment and private experiences are subject to the provider’s fees and charges.

Buy/Hire Fossicking Equipment

You can buy or hire fossicking sieve sets from the Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre or its online shop. Fossicking tweezers and fossicking picks are also available to purchase. There are also traders that sell lapidary and fossicking equipment at our show.