Just a quick note to say I have bought a gold pan and a map of good local panning spots, also a little shovel. In case you feel like trying your luck, there is plenty of gold around still. You will need to get a prospecting license, it costs $17.90 and is valid for 10 years, children under 18 free as long as they are with an adult who has a licence. Get it online from here: http://www.energyandresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/recreational-prospecting-and-fossicking. You don’t have to share of your findings but let me know how you went! A flake, a nugget, or just some soggy gravelly gumleaves? Panning is simple.Gold is heavier than anything else in your pan, so dig up some possibly gold bearing gravel and sand in the pan, swirl it around so the gold gets a chance to go to the bottom, and wash away everything which has risen to the top. Gold will not rise. What is left in the base of the pan will hopefully be gold. Hooray. This is why the pan is black, in order for you to see the gold easily. Well, it is a great reason to go bush anyway. Bring a picnic. I just realised I have to buy a second pan, as it is more likely to be two panners and not one. Will do so on my next trip to Ballarat. I know one of my regular guests is keen to have a go, so this is for you! Good luck.
By the way, the gold you find might only be a tiny fleck, not to miss. Also there are gemstones such as zircons and sapphires. Before your trip, look around the web and read the prospecting forums, to see what people are saying. I think most will be pretty quiet about their best spots, but you can get some help from reading.