Gold Rat Metal Detectors is located 6/50 Freda Street Upper Mount Gravatt. This is the only store to stock Metal Detectors. Gold Rat Engineering is located 4/16 Redcliffe Gardens Drive Clontarf This is where you will see the largest range of your highbankers, sluices and accessories


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Converting your Pioneer series Highbanker to Bilge pump

Converting your Pioneer series Highbanker to Bilge pump

HI Gold rat customers

We get asked this all of the time its about time i wrote a new post on this, these pictures are from 2015 when we launched the Outback Pioneer series highbanker!

our design allows for petrol pump and 12v bilge pump options, we use a 4700GPH Bushmans bilge pump for 8, 10 and 12 inch highbankers, we regulate the flow by using a 50/40mm rubber reducer and we fit either 32mm or 40mm camlock on the receiving end of that reducer.

The ideal flow for an 8 inch highbanker is 12,500 litres per hour, 10 inch = 14,500 litres per hour and 18000 litres per hour for a 12 inch.

Our hopper design allow you to remove the back upper wall plate to fit a wraparound spray bar as per the image below.

You can run drilled holes and experiment or add more 90 degree elbows off the discharge side and push water back up the hopper.

New Minelab MANTICORE Coils

New Minelab MANTICORE Coils

New Minelab MANTICORE Coils  -  3 more options

In early September 2023,  'Gold Rat Metal Detectors'  received the 2 then-new coils for the Minelab MANTICORE detector - being the M8 coil, and the M15 coil.

In May 2024, MINELAB announced the pending release of a 4th coil - the M9 coil. 

All four MANTICORE coils are of Double-D (DD) wiring configuration. These coils are only compatible for use with the MANTICORE detector (and likewise the Equinox range of coils are not compatible with the MANTICORE detector).

The three new Minelab MANTICORE coils are:

M8 (8x5.5" size or 21x15cm) - weighs about 390 grams  (AU$379)

M15 (15x12" size or 38x30.5cm) - weighs about 640 grams (AU$499)

M9 (9" round) - weighs about 380 grams (AU$429)


Now, you were probably thinking that the new M15 coil will be significantly heavier than the M11 coil.     NOT SO !     Rather surprisingly .....  the M15 coil is only 70 grams heavier than the M11 coil. 

The MANTICORE detector and all 4 Minelab MANTICORE coils are rated as FULLY-WATERPROOF to a depth of 5 metres. They also each have a 3-Year Minelab Warranty.

All new coils (made by Minelab, and also made by the 2 Aussie businesses of Coiltek & NuggetFinder, for the extensive range of Minelab detectors) include a skid plate attached to the coil.




Initial Indicative Testing "in-house"

Preliminary testing of the small M8 coil with the MANTICORE set on the 'Goldfield' search mode, and also set on a moderate Sensitivity setting of only 20 (since this prelim. testing was only inside of our EMI-prone retail store) - achieved the following maximum air-depths (and Target ID numbers - TID) on two different-sized/shaped Aussie gold nuggets: 

> a flat, sub-gram (0.38gram) gold nugget  =  7.5cm / 3"  (with a TID range of 8 to 10); and

> > a "jelly bean-shaped" (ellipsoid), gold nugget - weighing ten (10) grams  =  17.5cm / 7"  (with a TID range of 13 to 15). 

Additionally, preliminary testing of the large M15 coil with the MANTICORE set on the 'All-Terrain General' search mode, and also set on a moderate Sensitivity setting - achieved the following maximum air-depth (and Target ID numbers) on an Aussie $2 decimal coin: 

> > > $2 coin  =  22cm / 9"  (with a TID range of 62 to 65). 


With increased ground coverage, in conjunction with greater depth capability, I can hardly wait to unleash the M15 coil soon at my favourite detecting beaches near Brisbane.

The MANTICORE with the M11 coil already punches deep, particularly in dry sand, so it will be very interesting to see what deeper finds are unearthed using the larger M15 coil (which has a footprint area about 50% larger than the M11 coil).

I am also very keen to use the M8 coil (that I have dubbed the "Mate" coil) at an abandoned, trash-riddled, old town site in the bush in SE Qld - where I have detected many British & Aussie pre-decimal coins using the M11 coil on my MANTICORE.

I have been impressed by the immunity of the MANTICORE against electrical interference when running the M11 coil, so I was keen to see how the larger M15 coil performed when high levels of EMI/RFI were present.

Talking about EMI  . . . . .  on the weekend of Sat 11 May 2024,  Australia experienced a  SEVERE  GEOMAGNETIC  STORM  (Rated as a very high G4 Severity) - the strongest such event in about 20 years !  That afternoon, I went detecting on a Gold Coast beach with my MANTICORE fitted with the large M15 coil. I was able to run my MANTICORE on the-usual Sensitivity of 25, whilst set on 'Beach - Deep' search mode, and I DID NOT DETECT any unusual interference at any time over the 4 hours I was detecting. Fortunately, I also found five rings & several coins !


Early Customer Feedback

One of our customers who has now used a MANTICORE detector on Queensland beaches to find many items of jewellery & coins, recently purchased the M15 coil from Gold Rat. After only 2 hours of use, he rang us to tell us how impressed he is with this larger coil in terms of it's balance, and weight, and also depth performance. He also said that he was very happy to find a gold bracelet on his first use of the M15 coil. What an awesome way to start with this coil !

The same customer subsequently purchased the new M8 coil. After only about one hours use upon wet sand at a beach, the customer detected a 14K gold chain. This customer has now found many items of jewellery on wet sand, and also under shallow sea water. The M8 coil is his preferred coil to use in shallow water and saturated sand.


My Initial Use of the M15 Coil on Qld Beaches

I recently had the opportunity (and pleasure) to swing the M15 coil on several beaches (both north & south of Brisbane) for a few weeks (about 100 hours of use).  WOW !

My MANTICORE was set on "Beach - Deep" search mode, and Sensitivity of between 21 and 25, with a Recovery Speed of between 4 to 6. I was very impressed with how deep some of my finds were (i.e. old/corroded 5 cent coins at significant depths in wet sand). I also easily detected an empty aluminium soft drink can at a depth of about 0.7 metres !  I also detected several rings, a pendent, a necklace, a bracelet, a bangle, and five single earrings (gold, and silver), and surprisingly, an Aussie Penny dated 1962, in dry sand. 

On one of those days, I was accompanied by another experienced detectorist - who also (and very regularly) uses a MANTICORE detector + M15 coil. He easily detected a few silver rings, earrings, a chain, and coins, in both wet sands, and dry sands.

On most days I used the M15 coil I found both coins & jewellery. I was surprised at how sensitive the M15 coil is at detecting small silver jewellery like very small earrings. Using the M15 coil on the beach I find that I can generally cover nearly double the area of beach in a day - compared to when I used the M11 coil. I am also detecting targets significantly deeper than when I used the M11 coil. The weight difference between the M15 coil and the M11 coil is barely noticeable to me (on average I swing the M15 coil for between 6 to 8 hours per detecting day).



I was also impressed by the weight of this coil, and how well balanced it is. It was also easy to use the "Pinpointing" mode with accuracy. So far, I am impressed by the M15 coil. The only thing I could possibly fault (which is only a very minor issue for me) - is that I found that there was a slight build-up of super fine sand between the skid plate and the coil. I rectified this by removing the skid plate, and then using a soft bristle 2" painting brush to remove the sand. 


I would be very excited if MINELAB were to make a 17" or 18" round DD coil (or a 19"x15" elliptical DD coil) for the MANTICORE that weighed under 800grams (for comparison the Coiltek NOX 18" round DD coil - for the Equinox range of detectors - weighs about 1 Kilogram).

A 17" or 18" round DD coil for the MANTICORE would be my primary choice of coil for beach hunting on dry and wet sand (not underwater). I reckon that with a MANTICORE set on the 'Beach - Deep' search mode, such a large & relatively lightweight coil would pick up deep rings and chains that other VLF detectors are simply not able to detect.



In late Nov. 2023 one of our customers used his MANTICORE detector + M15 coil to recover a hoard of more than 100 silver coins buried in a yard near the Gold Coast. He was impressed by the performance of the MANTICORE combined with the M15 coil, stating:

"Was  located  about  1.2 - 1.5m deep  wouldn’t  have  found  it  without  the  15 inch coil." 




* * *  UPDATE  * * *


As of Monday 13 May 2024 - MINELAB have announced that a new (4th) coil will soon be available for the Manticore. It will be called the "M9" coil and will be a 9" round DD coil.

The Manticore M9 coil has a new special lightweight design and is the lightest coil in the MINELAB Manticore range of coils (weighing only 380 grams - which is lighter than the smaller M8 elliptical coil).

This coil has very good target separation in trashy environments, and it maintains great depth for its size. The low-profile and simple shape has been designed to cut through water with ease - with reduced drag within the water. It should be ideal for use when detecting whilst snorkeling, or during shallow scuba diving to less than Five-metres depth underwater.


 * If you place an order with 'Gold Rat' - we will ship your new M9 coil as soon as they are sent to us from MINELAB !





Some Awesome Aussie GPX 6000 Finds

Some Awesome Aussie GPX 6000 Finds

* Some Awesome Aussie GPX 6000 Finds *

(Updated July 2024)


The Minelab GPX 6000 Pulse-Induction detector has now been available in Australia for about 3 years. In that time some awesome nuggets have been unearthed throughout Australia. Some of these significant finds have been publicised, and not surprisingly, many fantastic finds have not been publicised for various reasons.

Several big chunks of gold have been recently found in Western Australia.


Below are some of the Minelab GPX 6000 finds that have been shared online:

The big nugget shown in the two photos above reportedly weighs  about 13 Ounces  (about 0.4 kg).  My "guesstimation" is that the total weight of all of the above nuggets would be  at least 30 Ounces !



The nugget shown in the above two photos was detected using the GPX11" coil at a depth of about 1.5 feet.


"Found with the GPX6000 and 400mm deep. Beautiful piece of WA gold."


Below are some more finds using the GPX 6000:

“Here are two of the nicest bits for the season, biggest is 5.5 oz (171.2g) and the other is just over an ounce (35.5g). Both found with a 6000 while pushing. Interestingly the big bit was laying flat, in a crevice in a rock bar, about 60 cm down I suppose (from the bottom of the push) but it was not an inverted signal, and I have no idea why.

Every other solid bit I've got from a gram or so up has been an inverted signal. It started off as a normal up down signal, sounded very OK like a few gram specie 10 inches or so down, good but not outstanding. It just got louder and louder the deeper I got. By about 40-50 cm down I knew it was going to be a better bit, maybe an ounce or two even, and I was convinced that it had to be a specie as the signal wasn't inverted.

The pinpointer was going crazy over a red rock stuck in the crack and I couldn't see any gold yet so I was convinced it was under the rock, got the biggest shock when I got that rock out and felt the weight. It was flat and heavy and clearly a nugget but even after giving it a wash I still couldn't see any gold.

Took a couple of days in alibright for the red coating to dissolve. It has about 6 g of rock in it based on an SG test so it's technically a specie but I'm happy to call it a nugget. The smaller bit was in a different spot, in old wash, probably 70 cm or so down from the surface. I had pushed it though so I only had to dig a few inches. Before I dug it I tried detecting it from the surface level and got no response. Had to be down another 6 inches or so before any signal but it was inverted all the way. The bit was in a small crack but standing upright on it's side and it looked bright and shiny like it does now when it was still stuck in the hole.”




An old Aussie gold prospector (who has used all of Minelab’s other pulse-induction detectors over the past decade (e.g. SDC 2300, GPX 5000 & GPZ 7000) has also used the GPX 6000 in Western Australia for 118 days (about 1,000hrs of swinging) and on 100 of those days, his GPX 6000 detected 854 gold nuggets in highly mineralised ground. He mostly used the large Minelab GPX17x13” elliptical Mono coil for excellent ground coverage (“patch hunting”) and depth capability. In fact, the GPX17 coil easily detected two spherical-shaped nuggets (a 5-grammer, and a 6 grammer) at depths of between 40cm and 45cm in highly mineralised ground north of Kalgoorlie. The GPX17 coil also picks up the small bits too – using the proven “Low & Slow” technique. He also found the GPX14 DD coil excellent for use in salty/conductive ground (where it was almost impossible to run a Mono coil), as well as in areas within/nearby high electromagnetic interference (EMI).



Liz Pickthall spends her spare time detecting in the central goldfields of Victoria.

"I finally had seen and heard enough, and at the age of 28 I decided to go out and invest in my first detector. Only then did I realise my true love for it, and I’ve been addicted ever since. As the years went by and my love for detecting grew, I started to work less and detect more.

After upgrading my metal detector to the GPX 6000, I was keen to upgrade my coil as well. I waited for the release of all brands of coils, and was lucky enough to be able to try before I bought two different coils – one of which was the Coiltek 9” GOLDHAWK.

It didn’t take me long to see that it was the standout performer in all areas including weight and sensitivity – and it worked wonders on all ground types in the Victorian goldfields. I was so impressed by how quiet it ran for such a sensitive coil. The 9” coil has found gold in the most ‘flogged out’ areas, with the coil’s size making it so easy to get in tight areas under and around bushes and trees.”













Imagine how many tens-of-thousands of gold nuggets (& specimens) have been found throughout Australia over only the past 3 years using the mighty Minelab GPX 6000 detector.

Imagine how many more huge chunks of gold are still out there throughout Australia - that have never had a GPX 6000 scan over them !

To boot ..... there are now  SEVEN  (7)  different coils available for the GPX 6000.  Even better - four of these new coils are AUSSIE-MADE.

Coupled with a super-low 1.225 kHz operating frequency of the GPX 6000 - it's no wonder the GPX 6000 is a gold magnet !     (By comparison the GPX 5000 "is configured to operate at a fundamental operating frequency of 5 kHz", and the GPZ 7000 "is configured to operate at a fundamental operating frequency of 3.675 kHz”, whereas for the SDC 2300 "the transmit frequency is about 3 kHz")

With the gold price at an all-time-ever record high (of over AU$3,700 per Ounce in late April 2024) - you only need to find about 2.5 ounces of gold to cover your investment cost of a new GPX 6000.


WHERE can I go detecting gold in Queensland ?

WHERE  can  I  go  detecting  gold  in  Queensland ?



(Updated June 2024)

Now that’s a great question ! …. that we often get asked by customers/visitors to our store.

To lawfully go detecting gold nuggets (and gold specimens) in Queensland you requireQueensland ‘Fossicking Licence’.

Unfortunately, 'Miners Rights' issued in other States (like W.A. and Victoria) do not apply in Queensland.

You can purchase your Qld Fossicking Licence online using a credit card payment. Costs vary from about $10 for 1 month, up to about $60 for 1 year for an individual fossicker (A one-year Fossicking Licence for a family costs about $80). Your licence is e-mailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Fossicking Laws/Responsibilities

The Queensland Fossicking Act 1994 and it’s associated Regulations contain requirements for fossickers to maintain safety, hygiene and a high standard of behaviour. Infringement notices (on-the-spot fines) and prosecutions may be used to enforce the provisions of the legislation. Breaches may also result in cancellation of licences.

When fossicking in Queensland, some of the general responsibilities include that a person MUST NOT:
•    destroy or injure any trees
•    clear any vegetation except above an actual excavation
•    pollute any watercourse, dam or the like
•    create areas likely to erode
•    interfere with any livestock, wildlife or property infrastructure (e.g. windmills, bores, pumps, tanks, fences)
•    interfere with any heritage or cultural site
•    undermine any banks or dig pits to create any tunnels or overhanging sections.

There are also other requirements a person must follow when fossicking near watercourses, and also upon designated fossicking lands and areas.

When fossicking upon private property in Queensland, a person should also have written permission from the land owner/s.

A Qld Fossicking Licence allows you to search for, and collect fossicking materials using hand tools and for recreational, tourist and educational purposes only.
“Hand tools such as picks, shovels, hammers, sieves, shakers, electronic detectors (metal detectors) and other similar tools can be used.

No machinery is permitted. This includes water sluices with electronic pumps and dredges of any kind.

You can collect from the surface or by digging, but you are not permitted to dig below 2m of the natural ground surface of land or below 0.5m in streams. Overhangs and tunnels are not allowed.”

Also - “You can collect gemstones, ornamental stones, mineral specimens, alluvial gold (including nuggets) and some fossil specimens, but not meteorites and fossils of vertebrate animals. (The finding/ownership of meteorites in Australia will be considered in a future BLOG article).

You don’t need a fossicking licence to search for ‘treasure’ such as lost jewellery and coins on a beach.”

In other words – you can go detecting on public beaches in Queensland in search of coins and jewellery (including those made from gold or platinum or silver) without holding a Qld Fossicking Licence.

However, if you find any item of value, including jewellery – that does not belong to you - then you are required by law to hand such property in to the police. Accordingly, you are entitled to receive an official receipt from the police for the found property you hand in to them. If the police can not locate the lawful owner of that found property within 30 days, then you can lawfully lodge a claim to the police for that property you found.

Otherwise, if you keep valuable property that you find - that does not belong to you – you may be liable to prosecution for “Stealing by Finding”.

The Qld Police Service website contains  a List of Found Property  (including items of jewellery) reported during the past month. This information may also be useful to someone who has lost an item and not reported it to police.


General Permission Areas (GPA's) for Fossicking in Qld
It was recently publicly reported that:  "Queensland currently has 11 fossicking areas, 9 designated fossicking lands, and 21 General Permission Areas (GPA's) for fossicking - totaling more than 20,000 hectares"

There are 11 separate General Permission Areas (GPA's) in the Clermont area where landholders have given general permission for fossicking. Seven of these are in the Clermont State Forest. More than 11,000 Hectares (> 110 square kilometres) of General Permission Areas (GPA's) are available for fossicking near Clermont (about 950km NNW of Brisbane).

A total of about 50 square kilometres of General Permission Areas (GPA's) are available for fossicking at Durikai State Forest, about 30km west of Warwick (about 200km SW of Brisbane).

Also near Warwick (about 30km NW), approximately 5 square kilometres of General Permission Areas (GPA's) are available for fossicking at Talgai State Forest.

We regularly receive feedback (including photos) from customers, and other detectorists/prospectors, about gold nuggets being detected in the above GPA's - mostly found using Minelab Pulse-Induction (PI) technology detectors (e.g. GPZ 7000, GPX 6000, GPX 5000/4500, and SDC 2300).


As at 24 June 2024 - 

A new 507-hectare fossicking area - the Brigalow General Permission Area (GPA) - is now available in Blair Athol State Forest near Clermont.


New GPA's Sought

In late 2022 it was reported that "the Rockhampton Regional Council said it had written to the Department of Resources to try to create GPA's in three locations in Mount Morgan."

Like the 'Amalgamated Prospectors & Leaseholders Association' (APLA) of Western Australia, and also the 'Prospectors and Miners Association of Victoria' (PMAV) - perhaps what is required in Queensland is a similar membership-based body created to protect the rights and opportunities of those who wish to fossick and prospect in Queensland. Furthermore, such an Association could lobby the Queensland Government on behalf of it's members to create more opportunities for fossicking & prospecting throughout Queensland, including far more General Permission Areas.

In other States like Western Australia and Victoria there is far more total areas of ground available for fossicking and prospecting with a Miners Right - than there is currently available via GPA's in Queensland.


Perhaps the following online information with respect to fossicking areas in Queensland, and Qld Prospecting Permits, may also be of interest to you:


Queensland 'Globe'
Queensland Globe is a free online interactive website tool that you can use to identify property names (and their boundaries) including pastoral properties.
e.g. you can select following options:  All Layers > Location > Property Names

Queensland ‘GeoResGlobe’
Queensland ‘GeoResGlobe’ is another free online interactive website tool that you can use to obtain information on Queensland's mining and exploration data, including:
1.    Identify property names (and their boundaries) including pastoral properties; and
2.    Identify ‘Exploration Permits - Minerals’ (EPM’s) – either “Granted” (current) or “Application” (pending assessment); and

3. Identify 'Mining Leases' (ML's) -

covering areas/properties of interest to you. Additional available information includes the “Authorised Holder Name” of the EPM’s / ML's, as well as the “Grant Date” and “Expiry Date’ of them.

Upon accessing this interactive website tool, you can use the menu system on the left hand side.
Click on “Layers” > “Add Layers” > “All Layers”
Then you can choose from a list of different Layers, and also the sub-layers within each Layer (e.g. “Cadastre” > “Properties”).

Example 1 of available information - a simple search via the Qld ‘GeoResGlobe’ database revealed that:  in early May 2023 an Application was lodged for a Minerals Exploration Permit (EPM 28787) covering 230 square kilometres to the west & north-west of Durikai State Forest. Interestingly, in April & May 2023 the same Applicant also lodged EPM Applications for other areas within and around Durikai State Forest.


Example 2 of available information - a simple search via the Qld ‘GeoResGlobe’ database - using the menu system on the left hand side, by Clicking on “Production permits” > “Mining lease” > “ML granted”, and then selecting the letter "i" Information tool and then clicking this tool within the marked area of ML 1870 on the map, provides further information at the bottom of the screen - which revealed that within the Blair Athol State Forest, Mining Lease ML 1870 (re: "Au" - gold) was granted in 1980 and is current until June 2026, including the name of the leaseholder.


The  ‘TRILOBITE’  Solutions APP  (for mobile devices)
Many prospectors in W.A. use the ‘TRILOBITE’ Solutions Application on their mobile phone or tablet.
This App provides off-line geology & exploration data covering all of Australia & New Zealand.
All Users of the “Australia Geology Travel Maps” must have the App subscription. Then the additional “WA Prospector” subscription gives access to current tenements, gold deposits, mineral exploration holes, and topographic maps in Western Australia.

Here is  a link to a recent (2024) video on how to use the TRILOBITE App  to find areas to target for gold prospecting.

The “QLD gold”, “NSW gold” and “VIC gold” subscriptions also give access to the gold maps for the respective States. (All of these subscriptions have a 1-week free trial period).

Some of the many great features of this App include:
•    Runs on Android and Apple phones and tablets
•    Maps are downloaded to your phone - so there is no dependency on mobile phone reception in the field
•    Simplified & detailed geology maps for all of Australia
•    Old mine workings, gold, gems & other metal finds
•    Gold distribution maps
•    Mining & exploration tenement information
•    Data is sourced from the State geological surveys & Geoscience Australia
•    Aero-magnetic imagery for all States
•    Record your trail (Self-Tracking Function), so you can retrace your steps
•    Mark & Record notes on important locations – choose a colour for each marker
•    PENDING ground in Western Australia is shown on the mapping (also marked as a blue colour)

For the cost of only about $40 per year (for both subscriptions I needed for prospecting in W.A.), I found the ‘TRILOBITE’ App an extremely valuable tool for identifying areas with potential to find more gold.

Contacting Exploration Permit Holders/Mining Companies
During my recent several years of full-time prospecting, I contacted several gold exploration and mining companies, and after voluntarily submitting written details (via e-mail) about my prospecting experience, vehicle/s, prospecting techniques & gear (including safety equipment), my Prospecting Licence/Miner's Right, and public liability insurance etc., and my intentions – I was very fortunate to be granted written conditional permission to prospect on their leases. As a result, I provided details (photos & GPS co-ordinates) of all my finds of gold nuggets to the leaseholders, who then permitted me to explore additional ground held via their leases.

Properties Allowing Prospecting & Camping
There are several properties (including large stations) throughout Queensland that permit recreational prospecting/camping for a fee. These include locations near: Georgetown/Forsythe in North Qld, and Warwick ('Glendon Camping Ground' – which is beside Durikai State Forest) in South-East Qld, and Clermont & Mount Morgan in Central Qld, and Palmerville Station in Cape York Peninsula, etc 


The website 'Hipcamp' also features several properties that permit camping & fossicking in Queensland, including in southern Qld.

To lawfully go detecting gold nuggets (and gold specimens) on such properties - a Qld Fossicking Licence is also required.


Unallocated State Land

The Qld Government webpage for "Fossicking Rules and Responsibilities" states: "If the land is "Unallocated State Land", you don't need permission to fossick unless:

  • there has been a native title determination over the land, or
  • the land has been ‘vested’ in another agency and used for a particular purpose."

"Unallocated state land (USL) refers to land above and below the high-water mark (HWM) that is not freehold land or land contracted to be granted in fee simple by the state; is not a road or reserve; and is not subject to a lease, licence or permit issued by the state."

The Qld Dept of Natural Resources & Mines previously reported that:

"There is a sometimes a misapprehension that there is a lot of unallocated state land or vacant crown land across the state. While there are a large number of parcels of unallocated state land, most are small in size and in odd locations. Other than a few occasional large parcels of land, the majority of land across Queensland is allocated either as freehold, leasehold, road, reserve or other tenure such as national park or state forest. Unallocated state land makes up less than 1% of Queensland land."

In June 2023 it was reported that there were "over 16,000 Unallocated State Land parcels" in Queensland.

The Qld Govt. Department of Resources (Lands Services) have recently advised that:  "As there is no list or register of available Unallocated State Land (USL) in Queensland - it is recommended that the departments FREE interactive online mapping service, Queensland Globe is accessed to allow you to search an area of interest and view all parcels of land with a tenure type of USL or SL in Queensland. This can be sourced in layers under "Planning Cadastre", by ticking "Land parcel tenure".

Brisbane Metal Detecting Club (BMDC)
The following information is published on the BMDC website:
“The Brisbane Metal Detecting Club (BMDC) is a non-profit organisation for metal detecting enthusiasts in Brisbane and surrounding areas. The club supports detectorists who specialise in the search for coins, jewellery and relics, as well as the infamous Australian gold nugget.
Together, the members have many years of experience in varying conditions in Australia and overseas, and are eager to share their knowledge and experience about detectors and detecting with anyone. BMDC members have access to the club's collection of helpful and educational library materials, including books, videos, maps, magazines, CDs and DVDs. Organised group trips to national goldfields and local areas of general detecting interest occur on a regular basis.


Books, Atlases, Online, etc.  
'Gold Prospecting’ by Doug Stone – reprinted in 2022, (192 pages) contains a section (26 pages) on goldfields in Queensland, including locations and old maps. Doug Stone has been writing prospecting books for decades, and has also authored a great range of 'Gold Atlas's' for several Australian states, including excellent maps.



A Prospectors guide to metal detecting in Australia - Gold & Ghosts’ - 2 Volumes for Qld (Volume 3 & Volume 4) by Mr. D.W. de Havelland (There are also 2 other volumes for Western Australia). These excellent/detailed books (containing numerous maps) have been out-of-print for decades, and are highly sought after.


Historical maps of various goldfields throughout Queensland - can be viewed online via the TROVE website. This excellent website also contains digitized historical newspapers - including reports on gold discoveries, prospecting & mining throughout Australia since the mid-1800's.

The archived website of the former Brisbane-based business of 'Treasure Enterprises of Australia' contained some excellent information on the locations and details of gold occurrences in Queensland.

The free  online database  contains detailed information on minerals and their localities, deposits, and mines worldwide, including gold in Queensland. has been collecting, and sharing such mineral information for the past two decades.


Queensland Gold Mining Leases  - Historical records held at the Qld State Archives commencing from 1871. This includes bound volumes of gold leases, including names of leaseholders and areas of leases. "Each lease in a volume includes the date of lease, name of the applicant, period of the lease and amount of rent, as well as a sketch and description of the area of the lease, and any transfers of the lease." Digital copies can also be requested.

'The Goldfields of Queensland - Charters Towers Goldfield' - a historical report published in 1899 (which has been digitized, and can be viewed online via the TROVE website) contains detailed information about the numerous gold mines that were operating around Charters Towers over 124 years ago, including old photographic images, and also details of the extent of workings and gold production results.

The 'Outdoors Queensland' website also contains some tips & resources for fossicking in Queensland.

The online ‘Prospecting Australia’ Forum , and also the online 'Gold Detecting and Prospecting Forum'  -  contains valuable information, and has many helpful/experienced members.

Based on my experiences with hunting gold throughout the mainland of Australia - the importance of doing extensive research on likely areas of potential for finding gold can not be under-stated. Sometimes the best areas to find gold are the hardest to get to, often away from any vehicular tracks, sometimes in/nearby rugged, undulating/hilly terrain. Besides using a modern pulse-induction Minelab detector - preparation, patience & perseverance are all a must-have to find gold.

Are you up for a challenge ?


Large Nugget Detected in North Queensland

It was reported in 2017 that a prospector,  using a Minelab Pulse-Induction (PI) detector,  found a  1.17kg  (37.7 Ounce)  gold nugget in a field near Charters Towers. The nugget was 15cm (6 inches) below the ground. The prospector stated:

“It was beneath some vegetation so it was a bit of a challenge to get to, but now I’m thinking maybe those roots are keeping some other big nuggets safe ready to be found another time.”



A Range of Hand-held Pinpointers

A Range of Hand-held Pinpointers

A Range of Hand-held Pinpointers

Compact, hand-held pinpointers can sure save a lot of wasted time & effort digging for and locating targets such as coins, jewellery, relics, and gold nuggets/specimens, upon both land, and also underwater. I know so, from decades of experience of digging (and backfilling) thousands of holes on land throughout our awesome Continent.

The way I look at it – the more time I save from digging, the more time I then have to detect more targets, especially when I am sometimes time-poor on my detecting adventures at the beach, parks or out bush. 

The more expensive pinpointers feature adjustable sensitivity settings - which is very handy in challenging ground conditions e.g. when using it upon/in mineralised ground or upon/in saltwater-saturated/conductive ground. They also feature audio/tactile alert options of vibration mode, with or without target-proximity audio indication.

In late 2023, Minelab released a new hand-held pinpointer – the  PRO-FIND 40.
The Minelab PRO-FIND 40 pinpointer has a 2-YEARS Minelab Warranty, with a nominal 9-Volt battery life of about 20 hours, and costs $269.

I did some simple, in-store testing using the new Minelab PRO-FIND 40 pinpointer – to determine the maximum air-depth range of detection of an Aussie $2 coin, and also a flat (7x4mm) 0.43 gram gold nugget (and compared to using the similar costing, orange-coloured Garrett Pro-Pointer AT - commonly called “The Garrett Carrot”). Both of these pinpointers contained new/same batteries, and were set on Maximum Sensitivity.
The results were as follows: 

$2 coin -  Minelab PRO-FIND 40 = 7cm range   (Garrett Pro-Pointer AT = 6cm range, and Minelab Pro-Find 15 = 3.5cm range)

0.43 gram gold nugget –  both the Minelab PRO-FIND 40 and the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT pinpointers = about 2cm range.

The new Minelab PRO-FIND 40 pinpointer has the following features:
•  10% more Depth than the Minelab PRO-FIND 35
•  A Rapid Re-tune function - making it quick and easy to compensate for ground conditions
•  Improved Stability - for more accurate pinpointing
•  Adjustable Sensitivity - with 5 levels of adjustment
•  A Lost Alarm - that sounds after a period of inactivity & combined with a bright red body - makes the PRO-FIND 40 easy to locate
•  A Ferrous Tone ID - that helps to sort trash from treasure

The new Minelab PRO-FIND 40 pinpointer kit includes:
•  PRO-FIND 40 pinpointer - with speaker and LED flashlight
•  Holster
•  Lanyard
•  9V PP3 battery
•  Multi-language instructions


'Gold Rat Metal Detectors' sell a range of waterproof pinpointers (varying in cost from $159 up to $309) including:


Garrett Pro-Pointer AT (commonly called “The Garrett Carrot”)

The Nokta AccuPOINT pinpointer operates on a frequency of 20kHz  (whereas the Minelab pinpointers, and Garrett pinpointers, and Nokta ‘Pointer’, all operate on a frequency of about 12kHz). This higher operating frequency can make the AccuPOINT more sensitive to detecting small gold nuggets.
I did some simple, in-store testing using the Nokta AccuPOINT pinpointer (compared to the Minelab PRO-FIND 40 pinpointer) – to determine the maximum air-depth detection range on two different sized, small, flat, sub-gram gold nuggets (a 0.7gram flat nugget, and a 0.2gram flat nugget). Both of these pinpointers contained fully-charged batteries, and were set on their respective Maximum Sensitivity settings.
The results were as follows: 
Nokta AccuPOINT  =  2.5cm (0.7gram nugget),  and 1.5cm (0.2gram nugget)
Minelab Pro-Find 40  =  2cm (0.7gram nugget),  and 1cm (0.2gram nugget). 
Other great features on the Nokta AccuPOINT pinpointer include that it contains a built-in rechargeable Lithium battery, has discrimination capability (Ferrous/Non-Ferrous), Bluetooth connectivity, and a replaceable tip protector.
The Minelab pinpointers, and Garrett pinpointers, and Nokta ‘Pointer’, all operate on a frequency of about 12kHz.

The Nokta PulseDive pinpointer, and the Nokta PulseDive 2-in-1 Underwater Metal Detector, both feature Pulse-Induction technology – and both operate on a lower frequency of about 3kHz.