Beach Detecting in Winter


By John ‘Nugget’ Campbell

This year Sydney experienced the wettest and wildest July weather since 1951 and while most people would be hard pressed to find a reason to celebrate this fact, I saw it as an opportunity. As the wind and rain wreaked havoc, I charged up the battery on my Minelab Explorer XS, fully expecting Mother Nature to cut back the local beaches and expose long lost treasures.

I realize that the most lucrative time to detect beaches is in summer when the crowds are buzzing but I don’t enjoy idiots directing beeping noises at me so I detect in winter – providing the conditions are right. On Wanda Beach and an adjoining beach under similar conditions I had once found 483 coins in eight hours detecting winter cutbacks.


On Friday, July 22, I had an unexpected day off and even though the weather was still wild, a rush of blood to the head had me setting out for the beach.


My first mistake was not to check the tide chart. Driving along the beach strip I saw a huge cutback right in front of one of the surf clubs but unfortunately it was high tide and the cutback was one of the biggest I’ve seen in the area – at least 4-5 metres high – and way too steep to scramble up before waves broke against it.

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