Metal Detecting in Australia

Metal Detecting in Australia

Metal Detecting in Australia


Metal detecting is more than just a hobby; it's a thrilling quest for hidden treasures, each with its own story and a glimpse into the past. Australia, with its unique history and diverse landscapes, offers some of the most exciting opportunities for metal detectorist. From the sun-kissed beaches to the historical goldfields, the continent is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. This guide delves into the world of metal detecting in Australia, offering insights, tips, and guidelines to help you uncover the hidden gems of this vast land and makes sure you get the right gear for the job!

The Allure of Metal Detecting in Australia

Australia's unique landscapes are a haven for metal detecting enthusiasts. The country's history, marked by the gold rush era and extensive wartime activities, leaves a lot to be discovered beneath its surface. Detectorists have unearthed items ranging from ancient gold nuggets to military relics, each find telling a story of Australia's past. The thrill of discovering something unknown is what draws many to this hobby, making every outing an adventure.

Australia is a particularly attractive metal detecting country because it gels perfectly with camping, caravanning and outdoors travelling. The freedom to detect in so many locations in Australia both inland and on the coast means that we can pull out our metal detector and search for treasure almost anywhere we travel.

Choosing the Right Metal Detector

Selecting the right metal detector is crucial for a successful treasure hunt in Australia. There are various types of detectors available, such as Very Low Frequency (VLF) and Pulse Induction (PI) detectors, each suited for different environments. For coin, relic and jewellery hunting it's normally essential to discriminate trash. Our team at Detect-Ed will almost always recommend a VLF or multi-frequency VLF metal detector for this type of treasure hunting. 

For Gold prospecting, the most powerful and advanced metal detectors use Pulse Induction technology which is incredible for ignoring ground minerals as well as scanning deep into the ground for small or large gold.  If you need any help choosing a metal detector please contact our team here for some professional advice or check out our range of metal detectors here.

What can you find with a Metal Detector in Australia?

The better question might be “what can’t you find with a metal detector in Australia?”
Although we don’t have a huge history, Australia is a totally unique continent for metal detecting. Most people new to the concept of detecting vastly underestimate the amount and value of the things hidden in the Australian soil. To start with, Australia has the richest goldfields in the world, this combined with our unmatched access to goldfields means that anyone with a metal detector who sets their mind to it can find some serious gold in Australia!

As an interesting side effect of the gold-rush, the thousands of abandoned gold camps from the days of old make for some of the best relic hunting locations, where coins, tokens, relics and rare items left behind by the “old-timers” remain in wait for the keen detectorist. Coins varying from modern currency to pre-decimal (penny’s, shillings etc) to British currency and even ancient chinese coins are all scattered across these encampments. The Holy Grail of coins in Australia being the Australian Gold Sovereign, a real gold coin and bucket-lister for anyone with a metal detector in Australia!

In addition to our goldfields, we have some of the best beaches surrounding our biggest cities!  With the popularity of beaches in Australia, it’s just a numbers game! The amount of jewellery, coins and miscellaneous items lost at the beach makes beach metal detecting in Australia an incredibly thrilling hunt. It’s not unusual for a seasoned beach hunter to find multiple rings on an outing as well as a handful of loose change!

Legal Guidelines and Best Practices

We are blessed in Australia because of the many and varied areas we are allowed to go metal detecting but before embarking on your metal detecting journey, it's important to understand the legal framework governing this activity in Australia. Regulations vary by state, you'll need permission to detect on private land, and some historical sites are off-limits. Always respect the law and obtain necessary permits where required. Responsible metal detecting not only protects Australia's heritage but also ensures the sustainability of this hobby for future generations. 

Top Metal Detecting Locations in Australia

Australia boasts many locations that are perfect for metal detecting, each offering different types of rare, interesting and valuable items to find. The Golden Triangle in Victoria, for example, is renowned for large gold nuggets, while the beaches of our large cities are ideal for finding lost jewellery and coins.  Venture into the Australian countryside and the ghost towns, old military grounds and abandoned mining camps will provide endless adventure and unknowable treasures! (until you find them that is). When you are starting out, the best locations are the ones which are most convenient to get to. 

Get some hours up,  get familiar with your gear and find yourself a few hundred (or thousand) targets so you can learn to quickly and accurately find each buried item.
TIP: don’t forget to use a pinpointer to exponentially speed up your target recovery!

Once you’re confident with your detector, start doing some more research and going on some road trips to test the waters. You’ll quickly discover how incredibly productive the most unsuspecting locations can be!

Tips and Tricks for Successful Metal Detecting in Australia

Success in metal detecting comes with practice and patience. Understanding your detector's signals, proper digging techniques, and learning to read the terrain are all skills that develop over time. It’s no secret that your first outings will probably be your least productive but it’s incredible how rapidly your skills will develop once you’ve cracked the code and then incredible finds will start stacking up quickly!

Without a doubt, there is always luck involved when you’re out metal detecting and to be honest this is a huge part of the fun, but the strategies, locations and settings that the most successful Australian detectorists use are often shrouded in mystery because the most successful people using metal detectors are often the most secretive!

To give you an idea of what makes for a successful metal detecting hunt, we’d say that it’s 40% location, 30% time, 15% gear and 15% skill.  If anyone of those ingredients is totally absent then it’s almost impossible to find anything.

SKILL (15%): Although the skill ceiling isn't super high for metal detecting, it's still important that your detector is swung nice and low to the ground and that your settings aren't totally off. If you can understand these basics then you’re off to a great start! With experience across a handful of locations in search of different targets,  it’s easy to try new things with your metal detector and see what happens (it’s that easy).

GEAR (15%): With a metal detector from Aldi, finding and identifying targets in the ground will be very difficult. There are varying metal detectors with very different strengths and weaknesses so It’s important to have the right tool for the job but once you get some good advice and suitable gear for the task then this section is practically complete.

TIME (30%): For the sake of covering more ground, gathering more experience, understanding your gear and analysing different locations, time is one of the secrets to successful metal detecting. It’s not much of a secret, but on average someone who detects twice as often will find at least twice as much, but with the experience they gain with their metal detector and the varying locations they encounter, their intuition will probably lead them to find much more than double the amount with their detector. It’s an interesting phenomenon where it feels like the more you go metal detecting, the luckier you seem to get!

LOCATION (40%): At the end of the day, if you are metal detecting at a location that has nothing to find, then that is what you will find. Trying new locations is essential but more importantly, don’t make assumptions about a site you haven't thoroughly covered with your detector.  In our experience, some of the most significant and productive areas we have gone metal detecting were almost written off because of our preconceived ideas!

The moral of the story is that it is always worth a go!

The Future of Metal Detecting in Australia

Metal detecting in Australia is evolving, with advancements in technology making detectors more efficient and user-friendly. The community is also growing, with more people discovering the joys of this hobby. As we look to the future, the prospects of metal detecting in Australia are as bright because of the ever evolving metal detector tech!


Metal detecting in Australia is an adventure that offers much more than the physical items unearthed. It's a journey through history, a connection to the land, and a community of like-minded individuals sharing the same passion. Whether you're a seasoned detectorist or new to the hobby, the thrill of the hunt and the potential discoveries await you. So grab your metal detector and start your own Australian treasure hunt today!

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