Gemstone Fossicking

Lune River

This 5 square-kilometre area is located about 100km south of Hobart, and is reached via Huonville on a good sealed road as far as Lune River.

The main collecting area is in the vicinity of the junction of the South Cape and Catamaran roads, at approximately AMG reference 491 800 mE, 5 187 400 mN. Material is widespread on the surface on rocky outcrops, creeks and small pits.

This area is east of Lune Sugarloaf, starting 2km south from the old Ida Bay township, extending east to cover flats surrounding the now disused (old) road to Catamaran.
Please note that collecting is not permitted in the wildlife sanctuary, which covers most of the area to the east of the Leprena Track. Collecting within the proclaimed Lune River Fossil Site is not permitted.

The area yields petrified fern (commonly, but incorrectly, described as
manfern), agate, petrified wood and jasper. The petrified fern is highly
prized in lapidary circles and this is one of the few sources of the material
known within Tasmania. The material is derived from the weathering of
some Jurassic basalt and sedimentary rocks.

Coal Hill

This 9 square-kilometre area is about 90km SSW of Hobart, about 2hrs drive from Huon Bush Retreats and is reached via Huonville on good sealed roads as far as Lune River or Dover, and then on fair unsealed roads and forestry tracks. The Lune River fossicking area is nearby. Travellers should watch out for log trucks and forestry operations.

Fossicking is possible in the area around and to the southeast of Coal Hill, approximately four kilometres northwest of Hastings. Collecting is best in recently clear-felled areas.

The area yields fine specimens of agate and chalcedony. Some agates may contain geodes with crystalline quartz, rarely amethystine.