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Mineral Resources Tasmania

Lune River fossicking area


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.  The Leprena Track is located 2.3 km. past the South Lune Road turn-off. The track itself continues for 1.6 km to a locked gate and a creek crossing which prevent further vehicular traffic.

Collecting Area

The main collecting area is in the vicinity of the junction of the South Cape Road and Leprena Track, at approximately MGA reference 491 910 mE, 5 187 580 mN. Lapidary material is widespread, occurring on the surface, in buried gravel layers (digging tools required), or in outcrops, creeks and small pits.

Please note that collecting is not permitted in the Southport Lagoon Conservation Area, which covers most of the area east of the Leprena Track.

Collecting within the proclaimed Lune River Fossil Site is also not permitted.


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

Special Conditions

  • The Southport Lagoon Conservation Area is excluded from the Fossicking Area.
  • Any finds of unusual fossils or other geological features should be referred to either Mineral Resources Tasmania or the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
  • The Fossicking Area excludes a block of private property, the proclaimed Fossil Site and the Southport Lagoon Conservation Area, as shown on the 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 in a 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.

Stilbite, 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 Forest Manager.