Metal Detecting Laws NSW

To ensure the continuation of the hobby of metal detecting, it is important that we follow several guidelines set to protect sensitive environmental and cultural sites.

To remain up to date, it is best to check with the governing body of the land you wish to detect.

In NSW, there are several places where the use of metal detectors is prohibited, and failure to abide by these rules can result in the loss of equipment, and some hefty fines. These places are:

  • National Parks
  • State Conservation Areas
  • Nature Reserves
  • Heritage listed buildings/sites/grounds
  • Cemeteries
  • Aboriginal Sacred Sites

Below are areas where metal detecting is allowed, but first permission must be gained:

  • State Forests (see here for instructions on obtaining a permit)
  • Private property (with permission from the landowner)

Finally, these are the places in which metal detecting is generally* allowed:

  • Beaches
  • Public reserves

*At the discretion of the local council in which the park/beach is situated, and assuming the park/beach is not part of an area in which the use of metal detectors is prohibited.

Metal Detecting Etiquette

Metal detecting etiquette are the unwritten rules of metal detecting, that we all must follow to ensure the continuation of the hobby. Mainly, this set of rules is basic common sense.

  • Fill ALL holes – Beach, bush or park.
  • Take ALL items with you – whether is trash, coins or gold.
  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it – similar to camping and hiking
  • Report any items of historical significance to the appropriate body/organisation – It’s great to share the knowledge!

If these simple rules are followed, the public perception of the hobby will remain positive, resulting in the continuation of the hobby!

See below for a video on the topic:

A video overview of metal detecting laws in Australia

More info/references

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