You can’t stay in the Goldfields of WA without getting caught up in the excitement that is prospecting….and we were no different.

Wherever we stayed we came across people who were looking for gold, some come away for a month or so each year to enjoy, what can be, a profitable hobby and then there was the couple we met who only spend one month a year at home! All of the prospectors we met had  a number of things in common – they were happy to share a wealth of knowledge for as long as we wanted to sit and talk with them and they all agreed that if you are serious about metal detecting then you have to have a Minelab 5000.

Full of these words of wisdom we headed off to the Mines Department to get our Mining Licenses. A license, in WA, costs you $25 and lasts you for your whole life…..and it is a government fee, go figure?? The only bummer is that you have to get a license for anyone who is going to “swing a detector” and that includes the kids.

Next stop, the detector. So, a Minelab 5000 will set you back a cool $6000 or you can hire one of these beasts from somewhere like Finders Keepers in Kalgoorlie for a much kinder $350 for a week. Despite Little’s pleas we opted for the week rental option and walked away with the tip that if we could find nails and bullets with the detector then we were doing the right thing and should find gold….if it’s there to be found.

So, we have the detector, we have the licences, we have the high vis shirts thanks to the Salvo’s store at Boulder, we have the van hooked up and full of food and water. Where do we go to find the gold? Laverton 359km, Menzies 131km or maybe Leonora 235km….how about we just go 20km back the way we just came and go to Woolibar Station.


Okay Dad I think I can do that.


Just do a quick air balance


That’s how we roll…..”fresh kids D”












Here’s what we have learned after a week of prospecting;

  • we are absolute champions at finding bullets, nails, alfoil, tin and staples.
  • you probably shouldn’t spend your “findings” before you find something (Kids)
  • you won’t find gold in your first hour/day/week of prospecting – especially if you give up in the first day (Little/Sista)
  • flies and mosquitos come from everywhere when you are the only humans in thousands of acres of bush.
  • I should take up nature photography because I absolutely suck at metal detecting and am much happier looking at trap door spider nests and lizards that look like rocks – I do make a pretty mean “pick bitch” though.
  • that B was born to detect – small shuffling steps and earphones on so that he doesn’t have to listen to any of us moaning about being bored.
  • you should probably know what a She-oak tree looks like if you are going to use it as an  indicator.
  • that if you keep your eyes open there are treasures everywhere (apparently I have found a bottle that is worth $120 & Little found a gold pan in new condition).

But when you do find that first little piece of gold there is no feeling like it and you want to just keep on doing it for as long and as often as you can…..yep, I’ve got GOLDFEVER.


Around about 1 gram of gold – about $80 worth.