Metal Detecting Code Of Ethics

Getting a metal detector is super exciting and we know that you just want to get out there and find cool targets. But there's a code of ethics that us detectorists follow and it's important to understand and follow this code so our hobby can continue to thrive for generations to come.

1. Get to know the state and local government laws regarding metal detecting in your part of the country. Rules and regulations differ from state to state and council to council, so understanding where you can and can't detect is really important. You can find links for your state at the bottom of this page.

2. Respect private property. Before detecting on privately owned land, always check with the land owner before entering their property. You would be surprised how many people are open to having you detect their land if you approach them first. Offering them a pick of what you find is a great way to get approval.

3. Leave the environment as you found it. Learn how to dig a neat plug when retrieving your target. Do not damage or destroy vegetation to get to a target. Fill in your holes neatly. If you open a gate, close it behind you. It's all just a bit of common sense and courtesy at the end of the day. You can learn how to properly retrieve a target without leaving a mess HERE.

4. Don't leave junk behind. There are a lot of junk targets between the good ones. Don't put rubbish targets back in the ground. Carry a backpack or finds pouch with you and dispose of trash properly. 

5. Report valuables such as rings or other jewellery to the proper authorities. People lose things and we often find them sometime down the track. As a detectorist, the correct thing to do is to report valuables to your local cop-shop so that it might be reunited with its rightful owner. In many cases these items are never claimed and will be given back to you after a short period of time. But by handing it in, you are giving the owner a chance to get it back and you can give yourself a good old pat on the back for being a good person. 

6. Use headphones when detecting in public places such as parks and busy beaches. We might love the sound of a metal detector but the general public probably don't. So if there are people around you enjoying the outdoors, use headphones so you don't disrupt them. Using headphones is also an advantage as you will hear faint sounds that you might miss when solely relying on your metal detector's speaker.

7. If you see another detectorist out and about, stop and say G'day. It's always nice to meet like minded people and it's fun to see what others are discovering in an area. If you see someone struggling or not doing the right thing then give them a hand to educate them. The best way to learn is to learn from others, so if you can pass on knowledge or advice then it's more power to our hobby. 

8. Enjoy yourself. This one is pretty self explanatory. Happy hunting!

State resources for Metal Detecting:

If you would like to learn more about metal detecting then have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Metal Detecting. Or get in touch with our Detectors Direct team at or by calling 1300 230 461.