The soaring price of gold is sparking a renewed enthusiasm for fossicking in Queensland.
And panning paradise Deep Creek, near Gympie, north of Brisbane, is at the centre of the new gold rush.
"For the June-July period we had an increase in 40 per cent in the number of (fossicking) permits that have been issued," Gympie mayor Glen Hardwig said.
The driving force pushing people to join the rush is the gold price.
In 2000 it was about US$300 ($410.60) an ounce – about 28 grams.
That price had risen to just under $1800 an ounce 12 months ago, but the pandemic has given it a further push.
Right now, an ounce of gold fetches about $2700.
As well as Deep Creek, sites around Warwick including Thanes Creek and Talgai State Forest are also becoming popular.
Further afield, Clermont is also attracting attention.
"If people want to spend some time in our playground chasing that little alluvial nugget then we're more than happy," Cr Hardwig said.
"I think everybody would be excited about finding a big nugget and maybe setting themselves up for life."
But anybody planning to look for gold will need a permit.
They're available on the Queensland government Mines and Energy website, for $8.65 a month.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-gold-price-soars-sparking-new-fossicking-rush-in-queensland/1f795a57-3598-43d5-ab65-99685c4321b1