This 5 km2 area is located about 100 km south of Hobart, and is reached via Huonville on a good sealed road as far as Lune River. A collapsed bridge has made the Leprena Road impassable to normal vehicles after 1.5 kilometres.

Collecting Area

Over an area east of Lune Sugarloaf, starting 2 km south from the old Ida Bay township, extending east to cover flats bordering the now disused (old) road to Catamaran. The best collecting areas are in more open areas, such as recently clear-felled sites. Material is widespread on the surface, in outcrop, creeks and small pits.

Please note that collecting is not permitted in the wildlife sanctuary, which covers most of the area to the east of the Leprena Road. 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 and is geologically unique in Tasmania, and therefore of geological significance.

Special Conditions

  • The Southport Lagoon Conservation Area is excluded from the Fossicking Area.
  • No speleothems (stalactites, etc.) to be collected from any caves in the vicinity of this Fossicking Area.
  • Unusual specimens of petrified fern must be submitted to the Parks and Wildlife Service to allow study of palaeofloras represented by these finds.
  • The Fossicking Area excludes the Lune River Fossil Site and the Southport Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, as shown on the attached map.
  • Open fires are not to be lit and there will be no `burning off' to facilitate digging without the approval of the District Forester.

Additional Information

Fossickers sometimes journey to Benders Quarry, off South Lune Road, whilst in the area. Specimens of travertine and calcite crystals have been found in the quarried limestone. The quarry has been closed and the area is now National Park within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service. Collection of specimens from the quarry site is ILLEGAL without the permission of the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Laumontite, heulandite and other zeolites (crystals and massive forms) have been collected at another quarry on South Lune Road, operated by Forestry Tasmania. Entry into this quarry can only be made with the permission of the District Forester.