March 2000


  1. Editorial
  2. Kiandra - Cold Gold - Robert Drew
  3. Whipstick - In The Morning - Walter Forsythe
  4. Gold Nuggets & Mulga Trees - Jim Foster
  5. Golden Holiday Down Under - Gus Boyd
  6. Tamar River Gold - Katherine Knight
  7. Ben Hall - Bushranger - Part 2 - Craig Wilson
  8. Flecks - Snippets of interesting info
  9. Tarcoola Basin - John Gladdis
  10. Man and Gold - Jim Foster
  11. Strikes - Recent Finds
  12. Gold Rules - Sue "Goldie" Reynolds
  13. Gold - Beyond 2000 - Katherine Knight
  14. A Trip To Wedderburn - George Forbes
  15. Next Lode - What's in next month's Gold Net Magazine


As we enter the second year with Gold Net Australia Online, we find ourselves moving more and more towards promoting gold tours throughout Australia. This fabulous land offers so much to the discerning gold detectorist and sluicer. Where else can foreign visitors visit a country, and detect or sluice vast quantities of auriferous ground and then take home all the gold they find. It is indeed a golden opportunity that we intend to promote to the world at large.

We are investigating promoting a World Gold Tour which includes both Australia and South Africa, which incorporates visiting some of the great outback sites of Australia, coupled with wildlife Safaris in South Africa and Zimbabwe. At the same time detecting and sluicing the worlds greatest gold fields. We are in the embryonic stages of development, but the concept is most exciting.

In prioritizing our promotional activities, Gold Tours to Australia and beyond are developing such a groundswell of enquiry and activity, we are responding accordingly. Consequently our orientation in future will be focussed on promoting this unique adventure world wide.


Email: [email protected]

All material in this magazine is copyright and may not be reproduced in any part or form whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

Gold Net Australia Online
Box 533,
Kent Town 5071


          by Robert Drew

"Dear Sir,
I do myself the honor to report to you the discovery of a new Gold Field, situated in Gibson's Plains, or "Kiandra", about fifty miles north east of Tumberumba, with steep mountain ranges and the Tumut River intervening, at the foot of a portion of the Snowy Mountains, and about forty miles south-east of Tumut, but over a mountain and severe country."

So began the letter from Assistant Commission of Gold, Mr R. Lynch to the Commissioner of Gold, Commissioner Cloete, dated 18th January 1860, when he reported the finding of gold at Kiandra. Gold had previously been reported in this mountainous region as early as 1852, but due to the difficult terrain and the easy gold in Victoria, the area had been overlooked.

With the discovery of a good gold field at Kiandra in November 1859, by prospectors at Pollock's Gully in 1859 about 3-400 diggers were there within a few weeks working the area. By February there were over 1500 diggers, mainly on the eastern side of the Snowy River. By April 10,000 plus.
The Assistant Gold Commissioner further reported that in his opinion the gold field was so extensive that it would support about 30,000 miners.
So began the great gold field of Kiandra, high in the mountains of New South Wales.

With the massive influx of diggers and the supporting infrastructure which included a good proportion of store keepers etc. The government was under pressure to build satisfactory roads into the gold field. The local government considered that the diggers would abandon the diggings for the harsh winter, but they underestimated the hardy diggers, with a good proportion remaining. Building wooden huts rather than try and endure a winter under calico, the hardy diggers endured an extremely harsh winter during 1860, but they endured.

The tracks into the Kiandra gold field were treacherous, steep and forbidding. More than one digger losing his footing with fatal consequences, as he slipped and fell to his death. Most of the stores transported to the diggings were brought by dray to a staging place at a base camp and from there loaded onto packhorses and taken in along steep and winding tracks. Access was extremely difficult to the diggings and costs of goods and services were well above accepted rates. Still the diggers endured.

Kiandra - late 1890's - Click to enlarge The interest of this gold rush was extensive with the Surveyor General of South Australia, Lt. Col. Freeling, being ordered to the diggings to report on the accessibility for South Australians who were expected to travel to and work the diggings. Given that this was over 1,000 miles from Adelaide, the extent of interest is obvious.

By September 1860 the population was estimated at 3,000. Working this area was difficult. As this area is the headwaters of the great river systems of Australia, namely the Murray, Murrumbidgee and the Snowy Rivers, floods were frequent and regularly washed away sluices and runs that the diggers had constructed. Early nuggets from this field were excellent with Gold Commissioner Lynch reported early in the rush that he had in his possession a 320 oz. nugget encapsulated in about 7lbs of quartz.

Within a few months a newspaper was being produced. The Alpine Pioneer and Kiandra Advertiser produced its first edition on August the 3rd 1860.
The storekeeper's from Goulburn, to the north were instrumental in supplying the general area with stores and contributed substantially to the development of the town. In the first few months a number of permanent hotels were erected along with several banks, constructed substantially, but some traded from calico tents. Although it was thought that Kiandra would develop further it never developed much beyond a town similar to those in the Klondike, frontier style, the inaccessibility being a major drawback.

On 17th July 1860 a public meeting was held to establish a hospital, which was sorely needed. Eighty pounds was collected on that first day, but the hospital was never built. One of the great past times of the Irish was to start a fight for no particular reason other than to simply have a stoush. Several of these "events" were recorded with the end result being an appearance before the judiciary. It seems that such events were part of the local entertainment scene.

The area had its characters. Like "Yackandandah May", an old retired whore who frequented the bars. "Tom the Bellman", who was the unofficial town crier, and Tom Horton, agent for the Oriental Bank, who saw himself as somewhat of a vigilante, who was known to meet out punishment to those he thought deserved it. Knuckling more than one chin, and sometimes two or three at a time. He was feared.

Taking the gold under escort was not without incident, as on the 18th March 1860, armed men robbed the Cooma mail coach near Rob Roy. Crime was rife in the gold fields. The police were forced to provide almost their entire strength to protect the gold under escort, often leaving only one policeman to deal with the entire gold field. That task being impossible with up to 10,000 unruly diggers to deal with.

Mail Coach - Kiandra - Click to enlarge The field was extremely rich and yielded more than its share of large nuggets. Nuggets weighing 100 - 200 ounces were plentiful, and on Surface Hill these were found within 3 feet of the surface. Several nuggets over 400 ounces were pulled from this ground. It was not unusual to find nuggets from 5 to 14 ounces on this gold field. Some claims on the Eucumbene River were delivering from 10 - 60 ounces a day.
On average those sluicing were earning up to ten pounds per week.

Within a year the gold rush at Kiandra had come and gone. The estimated 10 -15,000 that had been there in April 1960, had dwindled to about 300, by December 1860.
The easy gold had been taken and although good gold was still in the ground it was harder to get and only the most hardy remained to earn their living.
The gold rush of 1860 produced an official figure of 67,687 ounces, however this does not include what was taken unofficially from the site. In total from 1860 to 1870 the gold field officially produced about 122,000 ounces. This figure clearly understates the actual amount, as in 1874 a store keeper recorded that he bought 1,500 ounces and two other store keepers did like business, making a total of at least 4,500 ounces. Coupled with the Chinese removing good quantities to their agents in Sydney, it is estimated that at least 6,000 ounces was taken from the field in that year. Official records show that just over 1,000 ounces was recovered that year.

In 1883 a hydraulic sluice operated profitably at Kiandra up until 1900, with some 5,353 ounces being taken from just six acres. Considering this land had been previously worked in the 1860 rush shows just how much gold there was at Kiandra. Today Kiandra only exists as a dot on a map, but I reckon if a detector got into the right spot you might just happen to find a nugget or two, if you're lucky.


Gold Net Australia Online
Gold Tours
GOLD! Year 2000 Tours
Discover Australia´s Fabulous Golden Wealth
In Australia´s Outback
DETECT / SLUICE / PAN Australia´s
Take a golden break down under.

Visit Australia´s fabulously wealthy gold fields.

Detect and sluice to your hearts content in some of Australia´s best gold areas.
Includes access to some private land.

Take home all the gold you can find.

Mine Hosts - Gold Net Australia Online CEO
Brad Williams

Gold Net Australia Online Editor
Jim Foster

Stay in 3 star plus accommodation * *
Twin Share Accommodation
( * High quality accommodation is used on our tours)
( * Highest quality available in some remote areas
may not rate 3 stars)

Be tutored by Australia´s most professional
detector - sluicing - panning - operators.

We provide 1 tutor per five operators. *
( * If tutors required)

Visit some of Australia´s best gold tourist sites and mines.

All meals included. *
( * Except lunch on free days)

Price includes flights to and from major world centres.

All accommodation - meals - and other incidentals included in price.
(e.g. Licence and entry fees - internal flights - tours etc.)

Nothing more to pay. As close to an all inclusive package as you can get.

Use the most sophisticated technologically advanced metal detectors in the world today. Every guest is issued with their own detector for the duration of the trip. All of our equipment is at the cutting edge of technology.

Sluice with the most advanced, Australian developed gold recovery equipment.

Enjoy hospitality you only dream of - while drinking in the fresh air and beauty of Australia´s vast gold fields.

Be entertained and amused by some of Australia´s great bush characters.




Numbers per tour are restricted - to ensure personal attention.

NOTE: Tag along tours - means you tag along and join us
in your own vehicle and accept your own expenses.
We provide tuition and guidance and may provide access to
some private ground - if available.


NOTE: All Tour details may be subject to change without notice.

Tag along Tour
"Tag along" means; join us in your own vehicle and accept your own expenses.
We provide tuition and guidance and may provide access to some private ground - if available.
Commencing... ...from... Period Price per person
13 March Bendigo, Victoria
6 days AU$ 300.00

All Inclusive Tours

Commencing from Look right!
Look down!
Prices include air fare from International locations
Los Angeles, USA
US Dollars
London, UK
UK Pounds
Paris, FR
Frankfurt, GER
Deutsch Mark
Rome, IT
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,450 £4,245 42,300F 12,900DM 12,107,555L
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,450 £4,245 42,300F 12,900DM 12,107,555L
Enter through Sydney/Melbourne. Tour The Golden West, Western Australia.
Exit Sydney/Melbourne.
$6,985 £4,575 46,680F 13,765DM 13,111,825L
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,450 £4,245 42,300F 12,900DM 12,107,555L
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,850 £4,545 44,850F 13,700DM 12,834,500L
Enter through Sydney/Melbourne. Tour The Golden West, Western Australia.
Exit Sydney/Melbourne.
$7,420 £4,850 49,500F 14,590DM 13,898,550L
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,850 £4,545 44,850F 13,700DM 12,834,500L
Enter through Sydney/Melbourne. Tour The Golden West, Western Australia.
Exit Sydney/Melbourne.
$7,420 £4,850 49,500F 14,590DM 13,898,550L
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,850 £4,545 44,850F 13,700DM 12,834,500L
Enter through Sydney/Melbourne. Tour The Golden West, Western Australia.
Exit Sydney/Melbourne.
$7,420 £4,850 49,500F 14,590DM 13,898,550L
Enter via Melbourne, the Victorian Golden Triangle and New South Wales. Exit Sydney. $6,850 £4,545 44,850F 13,700DM 12,834,500L
NOTE: All tour details are subject to change without notice

Postal: PO Box 533, Kent Town S.A. 5071
Brad Williams      Ph: International 61 8 0417 848 910
Email: [email protected]
Jim Foster            Ph: International 61 8 87257093
Email: [email protected]


         by Walter Forsythe

I hadn't been out detecting with my mate "Wack" for a few weeks, so I phoned him one evening and had a good old 'yarn' (talk).
So it was decided after some considerable discussion that we would go out this coming Sunday, and it was also my turn to pick the spot. Wack wasn't too pleased about that, but explaining to him that the last time we went, it was his choice and we ended up cold miserable and wet. Eventually he decided that, yes it was my turn to find a good gold spot.

What I hadn't told me old mate was that I was only going to the Whipstick.
Now the Whipstick is a pretty large park just to the north of Bendigo. It has a wide variety of terrains, mostly pretty flat, but at times the bush is pretty thick and although there is good gold there, the locals prefer to wait for a bush fire to go through there before detecting, as it is so much easier. It is not an area where big nuggets abound but you can get a pretty good share of nuggets up to half an ounce with a little perseverance.

Sunday morning dawned with not a cloud in the sky. It was pretty warm, being February, and by 6am the sun was showing it could still warm this dry and arid land quite effectively. At 7am I picked Wack up. Deefer his dog whined a little as he saw us leave, but we knew he would soon settle down again. Now Wack, thinking we were in for a long drive was very surprised when I headed north out of Bendigo, and then turned left towards the Whipstick Park. He protested loudly. "What are we going here for? Hey don't you know all the good stuff has gone from here?" I declined to comment, and with a wry grin just pointed out that the choice of detecting space was 'mine'. He sat in glum silence, obviously not too impressed with my choice.

The Whipstick - Bendigo - Click to enlarge What I hadn't told my old mate, was that I had been out here about a fortnight before, late one evening just as the sun was setting and tried my luck in a very inaccessible place that one would never suspect was a good gold spot.

I had found it quite accidentally when testing the new elliptical coil I had just bought from Coiltek. I wanted a spot where the ground was known to be "clean". That is with not much mineralisation and with little or no ferrous junk locked in the ground. I had only been testing here for a few minutes, just getting the hang of it when I unexpectedly got a good signal. I didn't even have a pick with me, but decided that as the sound was so good, I should dig it. It yielded a nice 3-gram piece, about 8" deep. I was both surprised and impressed at this little coil. It was incredibly sensitive. I got two smaller pieces before darkness overtook me. But I had locked this spot both into my memory and the GPS, just in case the memory failed me.

Now being a bit cunning I had no intention of taking Wack to that spot until late in the day. I knew I was in for a lot of bitching from him, but to see his face when I eventually got to that spot would be worth the incessant castigations I knew I would be suffering for most of the day. We often teased each other in this way, and today was going to be my day.
I just quietly set myself for the verbal barrages that I knew were inevitable.

My first stop was in an area that was dense bush. I intended to really "wind him up" for most of the day, fully not expecting him to get a skerrick of gold in this rough, hard to detect country. He eyed me with distain as we saddled up, and tested the detectors. I talked him into using the little elliptical coil, and let me tell you he really didn't want to use "that toy" but I convinced him to use it, and at least give it a go. With disgruntled murmurs he wandered off into the dense bush and he didn't see the wry grin on my face. I had a good chuckle to myself as I too moved off more to his right and about 50 yards from him. I wanted to be just far enough away to see his forlorn figure, full well knowing he was detesting the entire experience.

We had both been detecting for about an hour and I must admit my concentration had swung back to the real task at hand - detecting. Sort of an automatic action to concentrate on what one hears in the headphones and for a time I lost site of Wack as I detected. When I realised what seemed to me to be a short time later that I could no longer see him, I moved to me left until I again had him in my sight again. His concentration had clearly intensified, as he obviously had no idea I was near him. I saw him dig three or four times, but I was sure this ground had been pretty well cleaned out.

Whipstick Nuggets - Click to enlarge At lunchtime he said very little, but he had brightened. I thought this rather strange. He munched away heartily at the sandwiches we had brought and drank a good fill of thermos coffee. (No fires are allowed here at this time of year) He seemed far too happy for my liking and I realised that he might have just found himself a nugget or two, but he denied this when I asked him.
But I knew him too well. Something was up.

After lunch I suggested that we head towards the spot that I had previously found the nuggets, and although he mildly protected it wasn't too difficult to convince him that this was the place to be. I really became suspicious when I wanted to get my new elliptical coil back, and he flatly refused. "No mate" he said, "can I keep this one a bit longer, I'm not quite used to it yet". Now I was really suspicious. This was not like Wack, and I suspected that he must have got some gold that morning but had said nothing to me. Had he worked me out?

Although I would have liked to use that little Coiltek coil myself, he was a good mate so I let him keep it, but I wish I hadn't. We detect a lot together, but the ground rules are set in concrete. Whoever finds it keeps it. Once we hit the spot and moved off I thought just how much I would have liked that little coil on the end of my 2200. I was using a 14" DD Coiltek coil. Pretty good for more open country but the smaller coil would have been ideal in this close country. During the afternoon I got a couple of nice nuggets. Small, only about 2 grams, but never the less still a good get.

Wack was off on his own, and I saw him dig quite a few times. He was engrossed in his work. As the afternoon drew to a close and I headed back to the utility, to meet at about 4pm as arranged. I arrived first. I had a total of 3 nuggets for my trouble, but it was quite a good day considering we were in such worked over ground.

My mate approached a few minutes later, with a broad grin from ear to ear. Taking his hand from his pocket and opening his little container he poured out about 10 small nuggets. Mostly about 1-3 grams but most definitely good gold. He was most impressed with the little elliptical coil, and no doubt next time we go he will want to use it again. I might just be able to talk him into getting one for himself.

We arrived home tired but satisfied. My plan had somewhat backfired on me, but never mind, there would be another day and I might just out do him the next time around.


John Dyer's


Gold Diggers Safaris
John Dyer
The Prospector's Friend





From the People Who Show You How and Where:

PO Box 169, Toronto, N.S.W. 2283
22 Barina Avenue, Kilaben Bay N.S.W 2283
Phone: 02 4959 6188
Email: [email protected]


4.  GOLD NUGGETS & MULGA TREES             
         by Jim Foster

Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields is an arid desert of scrubby mulga trees. Water is scarce and the people few. It is said water was so scarce here in the 1890's one prospector had to water his horse with beer, at five shillings a bottle. Thanks to the local station properties water is no longer quite so scarce but at times we did pretend to be that horse.


While we had never been to WA detecting we did have maps, a compass, and a GPS, but not much confidence. Then we met some folk who'd been here and done it before. Within a week we were navigating our way through the mulga with great verve and confidence. Then we struck out on our own. Our first camp was on a slight rise, a gold bearing quartz reef. Here we struck gold. My first big nugget was a beautiful twenty five grammer (31.2 grams to the ounce). The signal was positive but wider than I was used to. Digging down a few inches it became more centred. Sure now it was gold I called Cheryl over to share the excitement of digging a nugget. Down and down went the hole then at last the target was out. Cheryl dived on that nugget like hawk on a chicken, quickly wiping the dirt from it and turning it to the light. Four hundred dollars worth of gold for ten minutes work , wow! Full of excitement we backfilled the hole and began looking for more. Nuggets then kept popping up all over the hillside. Down on the lower slopes we found where the old timers had found gold and used dry blowers to separate it from the earth. We found more gold among the old heaps here but soon it was worked out and we left that spot to search further afield.

Eastern Goldfields - W.A. - Click to enlarge OUR CAMP

We intended to stay for four months on these goldfields, moving on when the gold ran out, just like the old time prospectors. All that time we were to live in a tiny Jayco Finch wind-up camper trailer, circa 1982 vintage. While the Jayco was only big enough for one to stand up and work in at once, it did have a lot of space. We slept in the double bed at the rear, stacking all our gear on the double bed at the front. The table and seats sat four so we had plenty of room there. Outside we had a small awning. It gave just enough shade for two people on a hot day and kept the doorway dry in the wet. To relax by the fire we had some nice comfy high backed folding chairs. These chairs could be laid back for snoozing, satellite watching, or snoozing while pretending to watch for satellites. Our light was a Coleman dual fuel petrol light that we ran on un-leaded fuel. This light was great! It used only a cupful of fuel a night while giving a brilliant light. I doubt it used more than ten litres for the entire four months.

Our water supply totalled one hundred and forty litres. Drinking water we sourced from Leonora, washing water from the nearest bore. Showers were in the open from a canvas bucket shower suspended under a tree next to the fire. Or if people were around, in the toilet tent. Our vehicle was a Mitsubishi Triton Dual Cab 4X4 with canopy. Four wheel drive is rarely used in the outback but good ground clearance is desirable. We saw many people driving two wheel drive utes doing the same thing as us.
Our gold detectors were From Minelab Electronics in Adelaide their top-of-the-line SD2200D model. Mine was fitted with the latest search coil from Coiltek, also in Adelaide while Cheryl used the smaller and lighter standard Minelab coil.


Exploring new country some kilometres to the east of our camp we came out of the mulga and ironstone onto sandy cork tree country. Here a low range of breakaways ran north and south. Captivated by the park like appearance of the country we decided to explore. A faint track ran south along the breakaways, obviously unused for many years. Following it brought us to a gap in the breakaways, turning into it we crossed two dry creeks before coming to another, also dry, but with rushes. A sign of water under the sand. Cameras in hand we left the ute and headed up-stream. Coming around a stand of large trees, another sign of water, we came on a long pool of clear water below an immense granite dome. Cheryl grabbed my arm and pointed. Under the shady leaves of a large tree was a perfect bower bird bower. With water frontage, an easterly aspect and shade from the hot sun we were sure this bird would have no trouble finding a mate to share his bower.

W.A. Gold - Click to enlarge On the slope leading down to the water were carefully arranged white bones, shiny bullet shells, green, blue and brown shards of glass. Inside the bower were the crown jewels, several large green seeds polished till they shone like emeralds. Leaving the bower we climbed the granite dome. The top of the dome was a couple of hectares in area with several large holes still holding water from the last rain. The view from the top was incredible. The small valley where we'd left the ute was alive with kangaroos and emus. Rock wallabies peered shyly from between rocks ablaze with colour from the lowering sun. As we sat stunned by the beauty of it all a light breeze stirred the flowering cork trees wafting their scent over us. As the sun descended further the light show became more intense before fading all into a uniform grey. Finally we made our way down from the dome awed by what we knew very few people had ever seen.


As the days and weeks passed our knowledge of the country grew. We came to know where the good water was. Which tracks went where and our navigation became spot on. Rarely did we use the Magellan GPS relying instead on our maps and compass coupled with odometre readings. But we did use it once. We were in an area where there were many tracks that wound about back on themselves to the extent that from the air it must have looked like a giant bowl of spaghetti. No landmarks were visible, just miles of low scrub. As we always logged in our camp whenever we moved we just switched on the GPS and followed the arrow home, cross country.


We had moved some kilometres south of our earlier position and found some good looking gold country. Setting up camp we were soon digging nuggets again. Our biggest at that time came from just near camp. It was deep, down in the cap-rock and require a crow-bar to release it from where it had rested for eons. In five days we dug two ounces of gold near this spot, then we moved again. Our new camp was our best yet well protected from the weather and out of sight of the main track it was as snug as you get. It was also the luckiest. Our best day was out from this camp, nearly four ounces of gold.


Having heard of a supposedly good spot we set off to find it but took a wrong turn. Thinking we had found the spot, it resembled the description, we began to detect. Straight away we found small nuggets. First Cheryl would find one then I would find one then I heard a signal that promised bigger gold. Digging deep into the earth I finally uncovered our best nugget for the trip. Two and a half ounces of solid gold. Another, weighing half an ounce was lying right beside the big one. We later found we were twelve kilometres from the right spot.
From that day on we found gold every day. Nearby we found two new patches that yielded eleven and twelve nuggets each, with stray nuggets found on nearly every slope.


Gold can be found on the spectacular lake Carey. Driving out over the dry lake bed we were struck by the incredible sight of islands floating high above the horizon as shimmering mirages deceived our eyes. We found gold on our only visit to this wonderland of salt flats bordered by red cliffs and quartz reefs. Away out on the seeming lifeless desolation of salt we found tiny birds who live there. We saw tracks of kangaroo and emu as well as those of dingos and feral cats who had ventured to cross this wide wasteland. It is an enchanting place that grabs your senses and overwhelms them. It was with reluctance that we took our gold an turned away from a truly remarkable spot on our planet.


With our gold stocks mounting the days slipped away and suddenly it was nearly time to head home. For the last week we decided to look for company. There is a very popular camping spot on an old goldfield about fifty kilometres from Leonora. Pulling into the area we were amazed to find it deserted, only weeks before we had heard there was a dozen caravans there. Undaunted we set up camp near a dry creek and were soon swinging the detectors again. In less than a minute I had a nugget. Then Cheryl found a new patch. Over two days Cheryl dug more than an ounce and a half of gold off a patch of ground smaller than most back yards. Helping her clean it out with my larger coil we totalled thirty four lovely gold nuggets, the biggest being found where we had first parked the ute.

A few days later we headed for home. We had spent one hundred and twenty days in our tiny camper. We had found a total of twenty one and a half ounces of gold nuggets worth, at time of writing, over ten thousand dollars. But more than that we had experienced a time of unparalleled peace and beauty in the desert wilderness. Where else but in the wonderful wide beauty of the Australian outback could you do that.


Kalgoorlie and Leonora are popular bases for exploring Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields. The detecting season is from the end of April to the end of September during this time the weather is very pleasant. A good gold detector such as the Minelab SD2100 or SD2000D is a must if you wish to find gold. A Miners Right must be purchased from the WA Department of Mines for Au$19.00. Maps can be bought at the Mines Department Leonora. All services are available at Leonora except banking, EFTPOS only. There is one caravan park. Good sealed roads run north from Kalgoorlie up to Leonora, Leinster, and east out to Laverton. All other roads are dirt. The largest known nugget found for the 1999 season was a 280 ounce lump rumoured to be from near Laverton.

If you want to experience the kind of trip we did look at:
We were so impressed with Western Australia we joined a company doing all inclusive gold prospecting tours as hosts. We will take you to all the wonderful places we found, plus more. We give one-on-one coaching every day of the tour and guarentee you will find gold. Every tour member has the use of a $4,200.00 SD2200D superdetector for the duration of the tour. Tour numbers are limited to 16 people. Try us out, we are sure it will be the adventure of a lifetime.


Troy Oz Gold Safaris - The Adventure Of A Lifetime

The Adventure Of A Lifetime
Go for the Adventure of Seeking Your Golden Fortune with Experienced Guides in the Rugged Goldfields of Western Australia

Goldfields Road "G'day" from W.A.! - and "Troy Oz Gold Safaris". We offer "Tag-Along" and Full Package tours around the rich goldfields of Western Australia. Our tours are based in Leonora, Western Australia, the centre of the Eastern Goldfields and home of some of the richest alluvial gold areas in the world.
The owner/operators of "Troy Oz Gold Safaris" have a combined experience of 20 years electronic prospecting in West Australian bush. So we can offer you plenty of choice alluvial spots along with that all important "local knowledge".

You can experience the rugged beauty of the Australian bush, the splendid isolation of camping under the stars of the "Southern Cross", the rich history of the of "the old diggers" who discovered gold here in the 1890's and of course the chance to find your own gold - and you get to keep everything that you find!

You will be visiting a few known alluvial areas but we also emphasise prospecting for new patches - when you hit one of these then the adrenaline really flows!

The "Tag-Along" tours are our most popular way of prospecting for gold. We provide the guides, metal detector tuition, advice and a safe approach to travelling in the vast and rugged West Australian bush. You provide your vehicle, camping accommodation, your detector, food, fuel and you do your own cooking. A full list of suggested requirements can be provided by us.

Package Tours include transport from Kalgoorlie to Leonora, your transport out into the bush, camping and cooking equipment. Pick-up in Perth can be done by special arrangement or we can assist with your bookings for transport from Perth to Kalgoorlie. You provide a sleeping bag or "swag" and an adventurous spirit.

"Tag-along" tours begin and end in Leonora. Both tours are twenty one days but we can arrange a tailored package to suit you if required. Hire of metal detectors can be arranged subject to sufficient notice of your requirements.

While you're thinking about the adventure of a lifetime and longing to get away from it all, take a look at our website and view some of the nuggets found by us recently. Do you think there's some out there with your name on 'em?

Fossicking Nuggets

You can contact us via email or via our postal address:

"Troy Oz Gold Safari's"
PO Box 7053, Safety Bay
Western Australia, W.A. 6169
Telephone: +61 8 9527 6448
Facsimile: +61 8 9527 6025

Email: [email protected]

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        by Gus Boyd

I had not long ago retired and decided that in retirement I was going to do some of the things that I had always wanted to do but had never gotten around to doing. Having lived near Sacramento, California for the last 20 years or so, And having spent some time fossicking for gold in the creeks and rivers of northern Cal. and up into Alaska a few years ago I decided to take a trip "down under" to Australia.

I had heard that Australia was a long way away - down under - and it was generally a friendly place. I really had no idea of the gold history of the place, so set out using libraries and the Internet to improve my knowledge.
I didn't have much success with libraries, but the Internet aided me considerably in my quest for knowledge. I soon picked up several sites operated by big mining companies, and then I came across Gold Net Australia. Going through this site with meticulous care I read with interest about the gold that was in Australia. I really had no idea that Australia was such a large producer of gold and that it was still pretty easy to get some - or so the site indicated.

There were a lot of advertisers there with e-mail connections - so I sent off a few e-mails to various advertisers and to "the Editor". I didn't expect a lot back and was quite surprised when the e-mails were responded too.
After a few weeks my appetite was whetted for what appeared to be a gold treasure trove in that land down under, and of course being somewhat ignorant of what to expect took some advice from my local travel agent to ensure firstly I would be safe there. The reports were all very positive, so I booked to flight from home to Melbourne, Australia.

The flight was a little long, but otherwise enjoyable and when I arrived I was quite surprised to see such a large airport. I had not really expected to see kangaroos in the main streets, but I didn't really expect to arrive in such a buoyant cosmopolitan city. The cab drive into Melbourne itself to my hotel was a little strange for me. Everyone was driving on the wrong side of the road and the steering wheel wasn't where I knew it should be. But the cab driver was friendly, but his origins were either Italian or Greek, I couldn't really tell, but his English was good.

My hotel was a large multi-story building and certainly worth the 5 star rating afforded it. The staff were friendly and helpful, and although they accepted tips, I got the clear impression that this wasn't the norm here. I took a couple of days to sort the body clock out as the sun kept coming up when my body said I should be going to bed - but I adapted quickly. I was really delighted with Melbourne. A rather large city right on Port Phillip Bay. Lots of big modern bridges and freeways here, just like any US city. I just wished they would drive on the other side of the road.

First Days Gold - Click to enlarge I had arranged to head to the gold fields on the first Saturday and had hired a car for the few days that I was going to these unknown and unseen gold fields. I found the freeway to Bendigo eventually and headed northwest away from Melbourne. Once in the rural areas, what struck me was the dryness. It was November and Australia was just coming into their summer. I knew Australia was dry but didn't expect it to be this dry. Most of the fields were what I would describe as barren but stock was grazing there so there must have been some feed.

Getting to Bendigo was pretty easy as it turned out. I just had to remember to stay on the wrong side of the road. Having spoken to David Watters, from Trackline Detectors by both e-mail and by phone I knew he was going to be a big help to me. He met me on the outskirts of Bendigo as arranged and he took me to his home and office where there is a small shop attached to the back of his family home. I met his mom and dad, Joy and Jeff, and we had a good talk about gold both in Aus. and in the US. I found them a most delightful family and was quickly put at ease.

I could have talked all day, but David pushed the point and we were soon heading into the gold fields, which I thought would be miles away. In fact we only went about 2 miles before we stopped just east of Bendigo. I was amazed that we were so close to a city with about 75,000 people and there was still gold there, or so I was told. I had heard about the Minelab 2200d and Coiltek coils, and was very quickly informed that this was the only equipment to use. I was a little sceptical at first but after about half an hour of instruction I could see that this gear was not a toy at all - it was serious gold detecting gear.

The ground here was somewhat undulating but was easily traversed. I found there was a clear need to practice with this gear and soon realised that today would be an orienteering day only, but I persevered. David was very helpful and attached to my detector was a second spot for headphones, so what I was hearing David was hearing too as he walked with me as I swung the detector.

Shamrock Hotel - Bendigo - Click to enlarge We dug a few signals and initially I had some difficulty in working out the ferrous sound from that of gold - but as the day wore on, I knew I was getting better at it. David stuck with me for about two hours, guiding and assisting, as I required it. He was really very helpful and I was concentrating hard to - "get it right". I liked him actually. He was a character. Warm, communicative and at times downright funny.

We ate about midday, and after that I thought I could use this gear well enough now to go on my own, so we both got fitted out with gear and off we went. I forgot to mention that I hadn't got even a little bit in the morning but in the afternoon - well that was a different matter. We had shifted location a little to a low flat gully, and David has said that he had got gold here a few days before. I had been going only a few minutes when I got a good signal and digging it I found I had a nice little piece of gold. Just a small nugget, but it was gold. I couldn't resist telling him. I was delighted. I kept at it for the afternoon and got another 3 pieces, making a total of 4 all together.

I wanted more, so decided to stay in Bendigo for a couple more days. I stayed in the centre of this beautiful rural city in the Shamrock Hotel. It was a delightful place with friendly staff and very spacious rooms. Obviously built last century the ornate architecture was fascinating. Well-maintained old buildings were everywhere, and I spend the evening after dinner walking along the streets just admiring these fine old buildings.

I was very tired but also very happy with my day. I had gold and I was in a warm and friendly place. I was enjoying this and was looking forward to the dawn so I could get back to those gold fields again. David had promised we would go to Dunolly somewhere west of Bendigo where there were large nuggets. I just couldn't wait. be continued



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         by Katherine Knight

The Tamar River is a broad expanse of water situated at the north of Tasmania, Australia's island state. Tasmania was formerly known as Van Diemens Land, and first settled at Port Arthur as a penal settlement. About 400,000 people, today populate this island, with the capital being Hobart, in the south, and the second city being Launceston, on the Tamar River, in the north. It is a picturesque place and is now known as the "Holiday Isle."

Gold was first found here as early at 1847, but it was not recognised for its worth and was discarded. However after the great gold rushes of Victoria during the 1850's and 60's, interest was again stimulated in the Tamar River around Beaconsfield. The Launceston Examiner reported on 7th July, 1877, that, "A very rich quartz reef has been discovered at Brandy Creek by Mr. W. Dally. The reef is about 18" thick and well defined gold is showing very freely in the stone. The mining registrar of the district was over today and says that it is the richest reef in Tasmania."
The Tasmania reef had been found.

Although gold finds had been reported previously, in the main they had not amounted to much. However this find near Beaconsfield was to prove a great bonanza and eventually produced over 849,913 ounces of gold. Between 1877 and 1894 this area produced about half Tasmania's total production of gold.

Tasmania Mine - Beaconsfield- Click to enlarge Although the area was only some 28 miles north of Launceston, and access was by track the wet winter of 1877, encouraged use of the packet steamers who plied the Tamar up to Beaconsfield which was near the gold field. By August 1877, much of the area had already been applied for by lease. Although water is plentiful in Tasmania, ironically none was situated vert near the gold field and horse and carts were used extensively to cart the wash dirt to Brandy's Creek or to Blyth's Creek, about a mile away.

Although there was good gold here, the Tamar River Rush never really inspired a great influx of diggers. At best only about 1,000 men were on this field at its peak. As most of the alluvial was held under claims disputes were frequent. The gold field was not huge, and the five Dally Brothers were known to hold over 52 acres in leases, but it was secretly known that they held over 200 acres. This was considered more than a reasonable share, and feelings ran high, with many diggers ignoring the lease boundaries and digging across the boundaries. Claim jumping was rife and considered normal behaviour if one could get away with it. Feelings ran very high and near riots, were common place.

In October 1877 the Dally's sold out to W.D. Grubb and W. Hart for 15,000 pounds, plus a 10% share of the new mine. In October the Tasmania Gold Mining and Quartz Crushing Company was formed. At about this time it was discovered that a number of the leases had been improperly organised and boundaries were being encroached on. The situation was slowly but surely becoming more volatile, with the independent diggers being denied access to the alluvial. Companies provided guards around the clock to protect their claims. It is of interest to note that there were no police on the gold fields at all.

Eventually a settlement was negotiated between the diggers and the large lease holders to the satisfaction of both parties. By 1879, that area was taking on a more permanent status. A regular postal service, post office, Courthouse and telegraph office was established. In March that same year the Governor of Tasmania, Weld named the town Beaconsfield after the Prime Minister of England.

A distinctive community had emerged in Beaconsfield with Cornish and Welshmen being the most populous. It is note that here only a handful of Chinese worked this gold field. As the mines became deeper water was becoming a problem. The vast quantities of underground water here were a substantial impediment to further development, and a number of mines were abandoned.

Pumping Gear - Tasmania Mine - Click to enlarge On the Brandy Creek field an over abundance of water was the main problem. Limestone was close to the main quartz reefs and water just kept draining into every shaft that was dug. In June 1879, there was a sudden influx of water into Dally's United mine, a large mine that employed a good number of diggers. The water was so prolific that within a few minutes it was gushing out of the main shaft flooding the surrounding shafts as well. It was not until 1884 when huge pumps partly solved the problem. By 1887 water was being pumped out at about three million gallons a day, and that was insufficient to cope with the ever increasing flow. Late in 1889 the Tasmania Company finally ceased operating due entirely to the excess water.

However the optimist continued and the company ordered huge pumping equipment costing some 35,000 pounds. Almost 140,000 gallons an hour could be pumped with this huge machinery and on March 12th, 1892 the new pumps started. Work on the mine cost a further 35,000 pounds to resurrect the mine to a workable state and the company soon was in difficulties repaying the bank. Over 100 men were stood down and the mine although continuing to work, was not returning as well as it had in the past. Eventually all gold recovery work at the mine was suspended. The work force was now down to just 72 men. In February 1894, the gold reef was re-located at 600 feet. Work was again commenced in April that same year. By early 1896 the company's position had improved considerably. Water difficulties continued to hound the company, and extra pumping gear was ordered from England. Although pumping out half a million gallons each 24 hours, working the shafts was proving quite difficult. The costs were enormous and profitable extraction was becoming less likely each month. Eventually the company sold their operations to an English company but they fared no better. Director's fees were enormous. Water, still the main problem, was getting worse. Although work was continuing into 1906 a massive flood occurred on 25th June flooding the entire area including all mineshafts. Despite attempting to get the mines operational again - it was never to be, at least as a profitable entity. There is no doubt that the gold field at Beaconsfield is still exceptionally rich in ore, but economic recovery is unlikely. Perhaps one day technology and gold prices will combine to allow this once rich area to be resurrected.


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         by Craig Wilson

Ben Hall's association with Frank Gardiner was intensifying. The Wedden Mountains were a long way from law and order, and the settlers were in general a law unto themselves, with many of the families settled in the area former prisoners.

Gardiner had been charged by the local police commander Inspector Sir Frederick Pottinger with cattle stealing and when he was due to appear to answer the charges he had failed to do so. Consequently a warrant was issued for his arrest. In the meantime (June 1861) he had joined forces with John Piesley and had taken to the roads, holding up those who just happened by and relieving them of their gold, cash and other valuables. Following information received from an informant Sergeant Middleton and Trooper Hosie were dispatched to Fogg's humpy, a well known haunt of bushrangers.

When they arrived, Gardiner was inside the premises and was caught off guard. As Middleton entered the hut both he and Gardiner fired at each other. Both men were wounded and Middleton, shot in the hand and mouth staggered from the hut ordering Hosie to go around the back to prevent the escape. The hut had only one entrance door at the front, and Gardiner tried to use it, with the wounded sergeant standing guard, as he attempted to reload his pistol. From inside Gardiner took careful aim and shot at Sergeant Middleton again - hitting him in the hip. Although severely wounded Middleton held his ground and Hosie hearing the shot ran back to the front of the hut and entered facing Gardiner. Both men shot at each other.
Trooper Hosie was hit in the head and collapsed immediately. Gardiner was hit on the side of the temple, and fell. He rose to his feet in an attempt to escape, and having no loaded weapon attacked the sergeant with the butt of his gun. Both men, although severely wounded, fought a vicious fight on the ground for their lives.

Constable Hosie by this time had regained his senses and had rejoined the efforts to capture Gardiner. All three men fought with strength and vigour.
Eventually Gardiner was overcome and handcuffed. The owner of the hut however refused to go for help and Sergeant Middleton although severely wounded was forced to mount his horse and ride for help. In the meantime - the wounded constable was left to guard Gardiner. Just what happened next is unclear. What is clear though is that Gardiner escaped.
Sir Frederick Pottinger - Click to enlarge What is obvious from this is that although the police were often lampooned as being cowards and incompetent - the facts indicate that they were brave and courageous men often putting their lives at risk in the defence of law and order.

Gardiner disappeared and slowly recovered, hiding with friends throughout the Weddin Mountains. He spent some time at Ben Hall's place while recovering. The police (traps) has increased their efforts to capture Gardiner after the shooting of the two police officers and patrols were increased in the Wedden Mountains. A number of properties were searched several times - including Ben Hall's hut, without success.

Hall's marriage to Biddy was not proceeding well. Ben had taken to flirtations with the dance hall girls in Forbes and Bridget (Biddy) was developing a relationship with Jim Taylor a neighbouring farmer. While Hall was in custody awaiting trial Bridget took up with Taylor and left her husband. When Gardiner recovered he made his way to South Australia where he pretended to be a parson for some 6 months, returning to the Weddin Mountains in February 1862.

In March 1862 the structure of the New South Wales police was re-organised. Now with their own uniform, properly armed and better mounted, the police began to make their presence felt in the lawless regions of the colony. With the development of the wild colonial gangs operating throughout the mountainous regions of the new colony, an increased police presence was called for and was strongly supported by the population in general.

Gardiner having reformed his gang was robbing unwary travellers at will.
There is little doubt that Ben Hall accompanied him on some of these raids. Gardiner was a bold and ambitious bushranger and was planning a raid on the Eugowra Gold Escort. Along with his gang and some others including Ben Hall the Gold Escort was robbed near Eugowra on Sunday the 15th June 1862. The haul was 14,000 pounds.

After this robbery the police activity was intense and several of Gardiner's acquaintances were arrested on suspicion of either being involved in the robbery or aiding the criminals. Gardiner himself was almost caught but managed to escape, on at least two occasions. He was so sought after that he left the area. Ben Hall stashed his share of the booty in a water hole and returned to Wheogo and again took up looking after his cattle.

Only a short time later an informant spilled the beans to the police and Ben Hall along with his Brother and their employee Daniel Charters were arrested in connection with the escort robbery. Lodged in the Forbes lockup Ben Hall languished with 7 others who were all accused of being involved in the gold robbery. Police activity in the Weddin Mountains was intense and a large number of suspects were arrested. Five weeks later Ben Hall was discharged - with no formal charges being laid.

When he returned to his hut at Wheogo, he found that the police had burnt it to the ground. The inference was that the police had set fire to it and left his cattle to die of thirst, and this was the real reason that Hall turned to bushranging. This is not true - as the police were acting upon instructions from the licensed grazier who had control over the property. Although Sir Frederick had delayed the event, having previously warned the occupants to vacate the dwelling he eventually acted for the licensee and burnt the hut to the ground. At the time this was entirely legal. Any suggestion that the police left Hall's cattle to starve and die of thirst appears to be a figment of imagination on the part of over sympathetic authors from the 1940's.

Patsy Daley - Click to enlarge The police were still being ridiculed and lampooned by the local press but they were not aware and for that matter, neither were the police, that in fact most of the gold escort robbers, excepting Gardiner had been arrested.
At this time there was an explosion of robberies and murders in the western districts, all committed by bushrangers who were operating throughout the area. Pottinger did not have the men or the resources to stem the tide, but he and his men doggedly fought on against the bushranger menace.

While Pottinger and a large police commitment were in Sydney prosecuting those arrested for the Eugowra Gold Escort Robbery, the Weddin Mountains "Wild Colonial Boys" took advantage of the lack of police presence and stepped up their criminal activity. On one occasion Hall and others raided a police camp that was largely unattended stealing some rifles and ammunition. A police pursuit followed, but he escaped, being better mounted than the police.

On Sunday 1st March 1863 Sub Inspector John Norton the acting officer in charge of the Weddin Mountains district was patrolling in company with a black tracker when they were confronted by Ben Hall and another bushranger, Patsy Daley. Hall called on him to stand - but Norton stood his ground, drew his pistol and exchanged shots with Hall. The black tracker spurred his horse into the thick bush with the bushrangers shooting at him. Norton dismounted and continued to return fire until his ammunition was spent.
Then and only then outnumbered and out gunned, did he surrender.

Fearing that the black tracker, Billy Dargin would go for help, Ben chased after him through the bush. Although Hall shot at him several times the wiley black escaped. Hall returned to where Daley was guarding Inspector Norton and robbed him of a silver watch and some money, before releasing him.
Hall had indeed become a marked man. be continued


8.  FLECKS ! - Glints from here and thereGold Nugget


  • Australian Gold production dropped by 3% in 1999
  • Production was 9.7 million ounces - or 300 tonnes

  • The Top Five Mines For The Year Were:

  • Super Pit - 592,861 ounces
  • Granny Smith - 523,092 ounces
  • St. Ives - 408,937 ounces
  • Jundee/Nimary - 385,088 ounces
  • Telfer - 314,295 ounces
  • All these mines are in Western Australia
  • Gold this fiscal year is expected to average US $295.00 an ounce
  • Average costs of production in Australia are US $190.00 per ounce


         by Jim Foster

South Australia is a dry and barren state. With a total population of just 1.5 million with over 98% living south of Port Augusta, the dry and arid lands of the north covering about 2/3rds of the State, has a total human presence of only about 20,000 people. Most live in remote mining towns, such as the old towns of Andamooka, (opals) and Coober Pedy, (opals).

Roxby Downs, the new mining town north of Woomera is a recent innovation by Western Mining Corporation. Mining copper, uranium, silver and gold, this giant mine has an estimated life span of over 100 years. Since this innovation, interest in the area by other exploration companies has grown, and several mineral companies have been in this area for some time.

With the introduction of Land Sat, the spectacularly successful satellite mapping system introduced several years ago, exploration companies based in Australia grasped the opportunity to embrace this new technology. Improving their ability to locate mineral resources, the resulting finds sent stock markets into overdrive. As a result the great auriferous areas of Australia were at last well defined and several gold mining companies expanded into these "new" areas. It would be fair to say that most of these areas were known about, but the extent and richness were clearly underestimated.

Gawler Craton - Click to enlarge The Gawler Craton is an area that covers almost half of the entire State of South Australia. It encompasses an area from Port Augusta at the eastern most point north to near the border with the Northern Territory, and west in an arcing semi circle to Penong on the west coast of the State. It is a huge area. Metal resources locked away in the ground here include copper, gold, uranium, opal, diamonds and bauxite.

Prospectors have known about Tarcoola gold for eons. However most of the land here is freehold or leasehold and gaining access to private land is sometimes difficult. Additionally, Tarcoola is not a great metropolis.
The population numbers less than 50, and with a hotel, police station, hospital and post office. There is not much else at Tarcoola. It is on the main rail line from east to west across Australia and the Indian Pacific train, incidentally one of the great train journeys of the world keeps this little frontier town operating.

A great deal of the land surrounding and encompassing the Tarcoola Basin is controlled by the aboriginal inhabitants. Gaining access to these regions has become a nightmare for exploration companies. Severe difficulties have been experienced in negotiations with the local inhabitants, and unrealistic demands have been made which effectively prevent mineral exploration in these exciting regions. Some companies, like Grenfell Resources have persisted and in 1999 they were able to gain access to the Yellabinna Regional Reserve. The two most promising areas Childara West and Wynbring South. To date work has been broadly spaced calcrete sampling, with two promising zones of interest being found.

Landsat Image - Australian Desert - Click to enlarge Many of the exploration companies have wound down their operations during 1999 due to the diminishing gold price, but as the gold price rises interest will again be rekindled and exploration continued. Around Tarcoola itself, the surface auriferous areas are extensive but not rich enough to generate sufficient interest for large mining companies to commit large infrastructure costs to recovery due to the remoteness of the region. It should also be recognised that most exploration companies are now seeking a combination of minerals - such as copper-gold etc. rather than just gold.

The gold prospects around Tarcoola are described as "promising over a huge area." To quote Grenfell Resources:" While a major discovery has yet to be made in the region, the extent and tenor of surface gold anomalism along the northern basin contact is remarkable and it is our firm belief that one or more substantial gold ore bodies are to be found in this corridor."

During 1999 the discovery of a very high grade zone at Daly's Dream raised confidence in the area further. Coupled with the already discovered areas of Bonanza Zone, Greater Perseverance, Last Resource, Wondergraph and the Blocks, the company is confident that there are sufficient gold resources to establish a profitable mine in the area.

Undoubtedly the reserves of gold that lay in this area are enormous. Hidden from view of satellites by a huge quartz blanket hidden below the surface. The wealth of this area is extensive and in the future there is no doubt that the Tarcoola Basin in the Gawler Craton will provide massive wealth on a scale beyond the wildest dreams of the explorers.

Detecting in this area can be quite rewarding, but of course permission must be obtained from the landholders before one can get the rich rewards here. Most of the gold is encapsulated in quartz. Nuggets here are somewhat rare, But gold is gold and the value is still there.
Be aware that this country is forbidding. It is remote and the only assistance is from the limited resources of the town itself. Although the terrain is easily traversed, it is desert and water resources here are scarce. It is unique country and as there are few landmarks a GPS is essential for safety. I have detected here but with only limited success. Perhaps you will do better. I hope so.


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10.  MAN AND GOLD - Part 1
             by Jim Foster
On his way to civilisation, man came to learn the use of metals. From the evidence available it appears that gold was one of, if not the first metal he ever used. This was probably because gold was so easily worked. Palaeolithic men, 40,000 years ago, used gold to make amulets and other objects. These have been found in the ancient caves of Spain.

By 5000 BC the use of gold was widespread around the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. About this time the Sumerians erected their famous 700 feet high Tower Of Babel at Babylon. This tower, topped off with gold, was identified with their sun god Bel-Marduk. Inside the tower was a golden idol, half man, half animal, seated on a throne of gold with attendant gold furniture. Around the feet of the idol were heaped the gold offerings from his worshippers.

In 1922, an English expedition headed by Howard Carter opened up the tomb of the Egyptian boy King Tutankhamen (1350B.C.) to find the richest treasure ever found by archaeologists. There were golden chariots, gods, charms, furniture, even a wall of gold.
In 334 B.C. Alexander the Great invaded Egypt, defeated Darius 111 of Persia and went home to Macedon with gold worth more than three hundred million dollars of todays value.

Tutankhamen - Click to enlarge GOLD MAGIC

About the same time, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote of the lost city of Atlantis whose golden spires lit up the world, allowing the inhabitants to live in golden luxury. From then on gold continued to develop its own peculiar mythology. In some countries it was even a sacred metal. It was believed to have magical powers. Right up to and through medieval times, alchemists tried every way they could to make artificial gold through magical means. Medieval miners even sowed seeds of gold to grow more gold. But as ever the Germans were more practical and during the 13th and 14th centuries they mined huge quantities of gold from the depths of the mysterious Bohemian forests.


In 1472 sailors from Portugal raided the incredibly rich Gold Coast of Africa. With their appetites whetted by the tons of gold won from the natives there, they developed a lust for gold that was not to be satiated for hundreds of years. Along with the no less gold hungry Spaniards they plundered central and south America, slaughtering entire civilisations in their unrelenting search for more and more gold.
When Columbus arrived in the West Indies the first thing that he and his men first noticed were the golden nose rings and fish hooks commonly used by the natives.
Golden Image - Click to enlarge One of the greatest civilisations the world has ever seen was the Aztec nation of South America. The Aztecs, along with their neighbours the Chibchas, were also great miners and hoarders of gold. Throughout the centuries that their civilisations had grown they had hoarded huge amounts of gold. When the western civilisations arrived it was only a few short years and it had all flown over the seas to Spain and Portugal and the civilisations that had once been the proud owners of treasure untold now were poor to the point of penury. Only a legend remained in the vast south land of the Americas, the legend of El Dorado, or El Hombre Dorado. This story, and its numerous interpretations was of a gilded man who ruled a fabulous kingdom of gold. Hundreds of expeditions set out to find and conquer this incredible kingdom, to strip it bare of its fabulous wealth and win fame and fortune untold. Even Sir Walter Raleigh was not immune from the lure of the legend of the Gilded Man and set out in an expedition of his own, but like all the others, had to return defeated. The legend of El Dorado persisted right up until the twentieth century, and no doubt there are those today who still believe that the El Hombre Dorado once existed and given even the slightest clue to the location of this legendary land would set out at a moments notice to search it out and plunder it. Such is the lure of gold.


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Having owned an SD 2000 and two SD 2100's and now a SD 2200D I went back to the areas where I had detected with previous SD's. I found more nuggets with the SD 2200D in the same ground especially where it was hot ground. There is definitely an improvement in hot and deep ground. The photos are from a six-week trip which produced just over 16.5 ozs all using the SD 2200D. I generally work in highly mineralised ground and the SD 2200D has enabled me to find more gold in very hot ground.
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Les Hamilton - Australia
"My SD 2000 was an excellent detector, which I had great success with. When using the SD 2100, I found it to be more sensitive to smaller and deeper nuggets, the biggest was 48 grams. Now I have the SD 2200D. This detector is the ultimate. Within 1 hour of beginning with it, in an area considered to be worked out, I located a signal. 24 hours later my SD 2200D over a hole 18 inches deep through solid rock.

I finally unearthed a beautiful 20 oz nugget. Further nuggets from 0.5 gram upwards have also been located at regular intervals. I am the envy of my fellow prospectors."

Les Hamilton
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11.  STRIKES       Recent Finds

FebruaryMaryborough7.5 oz
FebruaryMenzies - area W.A.11 oz
FebruaryTalbot4.5 oz
We will only publish information that has been authenticated. This is by no means a comprehensive list as many quality finds are not disclosed. - Ed.
4.5 oz Nugget Found Talbot - Victoria



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Our firm's business policy is simple, we answer our phone 7 days a week 9am - 10pm guarantee never to be beaten on price and service, and with our technical backgrounds can supply no bulldust advice on all your detector queries. Our field trip every week is a concentrated learning exercise on detecting. IT'S FREE - You don't need a detector and everyone is welcome. Australia's largest mail order firm we send detectors anywhere in Australia. Visit our well stocked shop situated in the best nugget fields in Australia. Advice on where to detect happily given.

WE HIRE XT18000 - SD2000 - SD21000 - SD2200D



Suitable for the SD2000 - 2100 - 2200D
1. Powered by the detector battery, just plugs in, no soldering required.
2. Switches off properly unlike some units which can damage battery if not disconnected.
3. Has loudspeaker & h/phone conditioner.
4. Designed by the firm servicing Minelab for 10 yrs.
5. Headphone volume automatically volume limited.
6. Long lead fitted gives you bonus ext. pwr. lead.
7. When switched off detector reverts to normal use.
Confused on what you need, we run a monthly lecture at our premises, just ring. Authorised Magellan and Garmin Agents
See us for Great Deals for your members

E-mail Barry at [email protected]
for more information
We have now released our book
This book is a collection of articles on all aspects of detecting. It is loose leaf bound and also has each state's mining regulations. As we publish updates they can be added. $19 OR FREE
Good Detecting Barrie Rohan &Pat

(PO Box 84)

PH: (03) 5494 3492


              by Sue "Goldie" Reynolds

If you are a gold enthusiast, you will already know that "gold rules". But when detecting or sluicing there are rules - both legal and moral that should be observed to protect to future of this fantastic hobby.
In recent years the volume of private detectorists has exploded, and with this increase you will always find a small minority that tend to spoil it for the moral majority. All too often when detecting one finds detector holes all over the place which some lazy character has not filled in after digging. This potential desecration of the environment, albeit in some eyes minor, gives our opponents ammunition to support their cause.

There are a number of rules that should be followed when gathering gold in any gold field, be it with a detector, panning or sluicing. These rules both written and tacit will stand you in good stead, establish your credibility, and ensure this fabulous hobby is protected, not just for the present but well into the future. Adherence to these rules is important.

Before heading to the gold fields, research thoroughly. It is important that if you are going to areas that may be restricted, for example onto a Gold Lease, Mining Claim or Development Leases, you seek permission from the owner to enter and search for gold. It is preferable to obtain written permission, but if this is not possible, or not required by law - verbal permission should be obtained and when you arrange this - do it with a third person present to ensure there is no mis-understanding.

Always be polite in all your written and verbal communications. Most of the people you are dealing with will be very reasonable and will generally be responsive. However if entry is refused - do not argue, just accept their rights and politely thank them for their time and leave. When leaving do not show any anger - maintain your decorum and keep calm, and display to them that most people like you will accept their decision gracefully. You might be able to try again in the future and the answer just might be positive in the future.

When you are in the field be environmentally conscious. Always fill in your detector holes correctly. Don't do it in half measures. Fill it all in. Do not unduly disturb dirt when sluicing and keep all your disturbances to a minimum. Certainly do what is necessary to dig your gold - but always be environmentally conscious.

Don't leave anything you take with you behind. Take a bag with you for rubbish. If you are experienced with detectors you will know just how much rubbish there is still buried out there in the ground. Some companies like Minelab now include rubbish bags with each detector they sell. It is a good idea, and rubbish is not a big problem if you are sensible and well organised. If you need to go to the toilet, always bury the results and the paper etc. Dig a deep hole, and bury it at least 9" below the surface, as feral animals will dig it up. They have very sensitive noses and will dig it up.

Typical Australian Bush - Click to enlarge Private land is another matter entirely. When I approach a private owner I always find it useful to offer a share of what I find. The going rate can be from 20% up to 50%. It is important that the offer is made though. Approach positively and sensibly and a lot of times you can keep all you find. Even if I am permitted access with no strings - I usually give the owner a nice nugget if I find one - in gratitude. It certainly helps to develop a rapport and usually gets me back onto that ground. Don't be greedy, it sometimes shows and can get a landowner off side pretty quickly.

A most important rule to observe when detecting is setting the ground rules. If you are with a friend the rules should be well established before you commence. Normally the ground rules are as follows. If you are detecting individually, what you find individually you keep. Other arrangements can be made and often are. e.g. if you find a large nugget, say over one ounce the proceeds are shared. In any case what the arrangement is should be recorded and written down and agreed to by each party with a third independent person witnessing the signatures. This might seem a little strong, but many a friendship has been torn apart by the ground rules not being firmly established. Several Court cases have resulted with the inevitable result. In these cases the only winners are the lawyers.

It is vitally important that you observe the laws of the land. In summer, fires are usually totally prohibited especially in forests, both State and Federal. These prohibitions are in place to preserve the environment and as one knows all too well if you live in Australia just how devastating fires can be in this country. Every summer some lives are lost in forest fires. And while on the subject of forest fires - if you are caught in a forest fire - get out of the area as quickly as you can. Remaining in a vehicle in a forest fire affords little or no protection at all.

Australian King Brown Snake - Click to enlarge Always leave things as you find them. Close gates as you pass through, even if you intend returning in the near future. Carry a small first aid kit. Ensure it contains disinfectant and at least one bandage that can be used as a tourniquet, in case of snakebite. While we are on the subject of snakes, Australia has more than its share of poisonous snakes. Generally they will sense you coming and disappear, as they are intensely private creatures. If you see one - leave it alone. Avoid it and alter your course to avoid it. However if you are bitten, it is important to render first aid as soon as possible. Do not cut the puncture wound and attempt to suck the poison out. Simply remove the clothing from near the wound and use a fairly tight bandage and wrap the wound. Start about 4" above the wound and wind the bandage down over the wound and below for a couple of inches.
Keep the victim still and re-assure him/her. Get to a medical facility as soon as possible. Most hospitals carry anti-venom in Australia for most common snakes.

It is a pleasure to enjoy this hobby and to aid in the preservation of this fabulous pastime. Be sensible and responsible and we will all continue to enjoy what we have worked hard to preserve.


"Trackline customers find more gold"
Try us and find out why
  • Free individual instruction trips with experienced prospectors with every 2100 and 2200 D
  • Great value for money deals available
  • Extensive range of accessories available including
  • Walco's picks, goldfields maps, GPS, pans, scales, S/H detectors, books, etc
  • Geoff, Joy and David are prospectors and happy to give practical advice
  • Minelab Metal Detectors for hire (flexible pickup and dropoff times)
  • Minelab's SD2200D
    Is now even better

    1. Powered by your SD Series Battery
    2. No soldering required - simply plug in and use
    3. Auto power off. Cannot flatten your battery even if signal enhancer is left on
    4. Contains fuse protection
    5. Super quiet operation
    6. Compatible with all impedance speakers
    7. Lightweight, easy to use - proper volume knob
    8. Only $95 (Battery model for other detectors : $90.00)
    Signal Enhancer

    Trackline Detectors once again produces a first for the prospecting community. Our "hands on", fully functional testing centre allows prospectors to assess signal response;
    A) On different sized targets
    B) At different depths
    C) In both highly mineralised soils and "quiet ground"
    D) Determine the maximum depth of various coils on a range of objects
    Minelab Generous Club Discounts!!!
    EFTPOS facilities and COD anywhere in Australia
    Please phone for a free catalogue of prospecting accessories

    PH: (03) 5447 1696 FAX: (03) 5447 1697 MOB: 0418 507 067

    E-MAIL: [email protected]


    13.  GOLD - BEYOND 2000
                   by Katherine Knight

    Just where is gold going in the world today? This question is asked around the world in gold, government and banking circles - daily.
    It seems that some governments and some central banking organisations appear to have completely "lost the plot" with the role of gold in today's volatile market place.

    This begs the questions, why and for what reason has gold lost its lustre in some sections of the world's market places? Since early 1996, the price of gold has been slipping on world markets, from a high of US$ 414.00 This slide continued to a low in mid 1999 of about US$254. A horrifying low price that has brought an entire world wide mining industry to it's knees.

    What has caused this decline is open to conjecture, but undoubtedly the economic growth of developed nations, coupled with low inflation and interest rates has been a major contributor to this decline, with reliance on gold as a base asset commodity losing popularity. What most governments realise is that within capitalistic societies, which effectively control the worlds financial markets, there is always a degree of volatility, fragility and uncertainly that cannot be ignored. If it is ignored, as it was in the Asian region, with the Asian Tiger economies collapsing, the economic ripples have the potential to turn into tidal waves. Fortunately most governments recognise the real value of gold that underpins their economies.

    Tutankhamen - Click to enlarge The World Gold Council, based in Zurich has been most critical of the UK government in recent times. In fast the World Gold Council is not opposed to sales per se, but will oppose sales of gold that debase the value of gold.
    The CEO of the Council Miss Haruko Fukuda, speaking in Zurich earlier this year said,
    "To re-iterate my main point today: it is not the World Gold Council policy to oppose all official sector gold sales, rather it is its policy to oppose any official sector gold activity which undermines gold's important function as a reserve asset. Britain's plan to reduce gold reserves to a mere 300 tonnes, on a par with the gold reserves of Albania in percentage terms, is surely relegating gold to a less important category".

    This action by the UK Government sent more than ripples throughout financial institutions worldwide and the decision was extremely unpopular with central banks and governments throughout Europe. Approaches by the World Gold Council to the UK Government have been met with what the Gold Council describes as "obfuscation and evasion".

    Unfortunately it appears that the UK government is going to continue with these sales. All was not lost though, as there was an immediate response from the European Central Bank, calling for an agreement on gold and a meeting was held in Washington that resulted in the Washington Agreement on Gold, that effectively moved to stabilise gold as a sound asset.

    Several of the signatory organisations and governments included the US, Australia, the IMF, the BIS, and Japan. Other European countries have agreed to limit their sales, to ensure stable markets are maintained.
    The Washington Agreement also limited gold lending and gold derivative operations to the same level as when the agreement was signed.

    It is of note that the British Government's decision has been the subject of widespread criticism within the UK. Not just from economic analysts and banks, but from the general population as well. It appears that Prime Minister, Tony Blair and his Chancellor, Gordon Brown have adopted the line that "everybody else is doing it". What rubbish! This is simply untrue and their actions can do nought but degrade their standing in Europe, but with the added difficulty that their actions are debasing the price of gold.

    Gold reserves worldwide are extensive. It is estimated that worldwide government reserves stand at 33,588 tonnes. However it should be remembered that present production worldwide is being outstripped by demand by over 1,000 tonnes per annum. With the decline in mining due to the falling price of the commodity, usage compared to production will accelerate.

    Comment has been made by many economists that the level of economic growth and market buoyancy cannot be sustained, particularly in the United States. The Dow Jones Index continues to grow with many economists now openly predicting a substantial correction, "soon". When and if this happens there is no doubt that the base assets of governments will surge and as gold ranks among them, the price will rise.

    Confidence that we are about to see a resurgence in the gold price is gathering momentum. Obviously this is open to conjecture but the indications and the actual price has risen in recent weeks. All indications are that this will continue appear to be soundly based.
    Gold will remain a precious commodity into the 21st century. Despite some irresponsible governments actions in this world - gold will shine through as a great investment for the future.

    It is of interest to note some of the major gold reserves held by Governments.

    Country Gold Reserves
    United States









    United Kingdom
















    Saudi Arabia



    South Africa































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    E-mail : [email protected]


                 by George Forbes

    "Dear, next time you go detecting, can I come with you? You seem to have such a lovely time. Can I come?" "Yes dear," I replied. But deep down I really didn't want to take Mavis along, as I knew what would happen, right from the start. Well when you have been married for nearly forty years you learn to put up with a lot, sometimes.

    Well on Sunday I had planned to go to Wedderburn in any case, and just potter around the gold fields near the town. This was one of my favourite places, and I had always got a few little pieces here and there. So dutifully I advised that on Sunday we would go from our home in Bendigo to Wedderburn just less than an hour away to get my few little scraps of the yellow metal. There was an air of excitement in the house all Saturday.
    "George, what should I pack? George, what clothes will we need? George, will we be out for lunch and dinner too?" Dutifully I advised, a few recommended things, but as it was only a day's trip, we only needed a little water and some lunch.

    Sunday morning dawned, warm and bright. It was a clear crisp morning with a weather forecast for mild warm weather - just right for detecting. By 7.30 am I was ready, with all my gear packed into the four-wheel drive.
    "Are you ready dear?" I asked. That was a mistake. "Not quite", was the reply. I went to see what was the hold up. In the bedroom a large case was on the bed and was half full of clothes, toiletries and sundry items I never wear in any case. "What is that for?" I asked. "Well dear, we might have to stay overnight, somewhere, I just want to be prepared." I wasted half an hour talking her out of bringing that suitcase, but I eventually compromised and just the overnight gear and toiletries were loaded, plus about half what was in the case. I think that was a mistake too.

    Mavis and George - Click to enlarge With the smaller case loaded I was now ready. "Shall we go dear?" "I just have to pack a few last items of food George," she said. I went to the kitchen to help and there were three, yes three Esky's. (Large sealed boxes suitable for food storage) As we were only going for lunch, and all that we could have eaten for a week would have easily fitted into one, I make my next mistake. "What is all that for dear?" "You might get hungry," was the reply. "But dear." I was cut short. "No George, we are taking the food. We might have to stay out overnight." "Yes dear." I loaded the food.

    Well the trip to Wedderburn was pretty normal. The Calder Highway is flat and straight and the trip there is pretty mundane. It seemed to take a long time to get there this morning for some reason, but we eventually arrived.
    I was going to head straight out to Soldiers Gully, just south of the town, but I had to divert into town to the public conveniences, so Mavis could do her business, so to speak. Well that little diversion being over, I was ready to head out, but. "Just wait a minute George. I'd just like to have a look in this little shop for a minute." Well that minute turned into almost an hour, and several shops got the once over, several times.

    Finally we were heading south to Sailors Gully. I smiled as we pulled up and I got out of the vehicle. "Would you like a cuppa George?" "No dear", I replied, donning the gear and intending to head off. By the time I had got it altogether and turned around, there was the table all set up with cakes, biscuits and a cuppa, with Mavis looking expectantly at me. "Drink your tea George,"she said. I dutifully complied. "Would you like another one George?" "No dear?" After a second cup I finally got decked out and was at last under way.

    I don't think I had been gone for more than half an hour, when Mavis caught up to me. "Lunch is ready George." "Yes dear." So back to the bus I went for lunch. I really didn't want to eat a thing, but with all that food - I just couldn't see it wasted, could I? I ate and drank my fill, and was completely sated, when out came a large Pavlova, that Mavis had specially made for the day. It looked pretty good, but I was really full. Lashings of cream and fruit as adornments on that Pav. made me over full, and I didn't feel comfortable any more. "Have you had enough George?" "Yes dear."

    Sailors Gully - Wedderburn - Click to enlarge I was decking up again when, "George, I need to go to the toilet." "Yes dear. There is a big tree over there, that would suit." "George I need to go back into town." "Yes dear."
    So taking the gear off again and packing all and sundry into the vehicle again we drove back into town. Well I thought that it would be just a few minutes, but after four of five more shops, antiques and collectables, and another hour we headed back to the Gully. "Would you like afternoon tea George?" "No dear." After I had eaten the rest of the Pavlova and had more tea, I decked up once again, and headed off. I had hardly been gone for about half an hour when, "George, isn't it getting late?" "Not yet dear." As I finished packing up and putting the table and chairs into the back of the vehicle, I wryly suggested. "Did you bring the lamingtons dear?" Now lamingtons are a favourite country food of Aussies. Squares of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and covered with desiccated coconut. "Of course George."

    I ended up trying to eat lamingtons all the way home. That will teach me to ask. I really knew better, but occasionally I tested the water. When we arrived home I was a little disconsolate, for obvious reasons. Although I tried to hide my disappointment with the day, it was cearly not well enough concealed. "You don't seem happy tonight George. We had such a lovely day, didn't we?" "Yes dear." "Can we do that again George?" "Yes dear." That will be something to look forward too.


    15.  THE NEW LODE - Next Month's Issue

    • Ben Hall Bushranger - Part 3
      The continuing saga of the famous Bushranger
    • Men and Gold - Part 3
      The History of Men and Gold Continues
    • Talbot - Amhurst
      The fabulous wealth of this great detecting area
    • Future Directions
      Gold Nets Future - Disclosed


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