New to this. Where to start

Hi all

I’m new to all this and am trying to find out the rules and regulations around panning in areas that are not marked as public areas.
The stream in question is surrounded by DOC land and runs along side a public road.
I can find no history of gold in this area and there are no claims either.
I have found many gold looking flakes in the area and am going to work on confirming that its gold when I get some time.
What do I have to do to be allowed to pan in this area:
1. If the surrounding land is marked as DOC land?
2.If the river is marked as hydro (owned by the crown, queens chain, ect)?

You are only legally allowed to pan for gold in the fossicking areas.
Or on a claim / Prospecting or Exploration permit.

But, if you’re just having a go and not doing anything too serious, most people won’t have a problem with it.