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Where is the GOLD??


One of our most asked questions is “where is the GOLD?” Well you have come to the right place!!

In the South Island of New Zealand there are 17 public GOLD fossicking sites spread throughout the Island and you don’t even need a GOLD claim or permit to use them.

Yes you can just grab your GOLD pan and shovel head to the nearest fossicking site and start panning it’s that easy!

Below is a list of all of the available public fossicking sites:

Nelson-Marlborough and the West Coast:

-Aorere river (2 sites) Collingwood Golden Bay

-Lyell creek  35 km west of Murchison

-New creek 5 km northwest of Rotoroa

-Louis creek 4 km west of Howard

-Moonlight Creek 27 km north-northeast of Greymouth

-Nelson Creek 26 km east-northeast of Greymouth

-Jones Creek 0.5 km southwest of Ross

-Waiho River Franz Josef National Park

-Shamrock Creek 14 km northeast of Hokitika

-Slab Hut Creek 7 km southwest of Reefton

-Stony and Britannia Streams 17 km northeast of Westport

Central Otago

-Twelve Mile Creek 10 km west of Queenstown

-Five Mile Creek 5 km west of Queenstown

-Arrow River Arrowtown

-Shotover River 2.5 km from Frankton

South Otago

-Gabriels Gully 3.9 km from Lawrence

To find out more about these Fossicking sites and for maps please click the link below.


Gold fossicking care code

Fossick with care for the environment:

  • Be informed of all statutory regulations that govern prospecting activities in New Zealand.
  • Prospect only in the permitted area.
  • Only drive your vehicles on tracks and roads open to the public.
  • Do not remove or damage any shrubs or trees, and minimise damage to ground layer vegetation.
  • Restore the ground as you found it. Backfill any holes you dig and replace any leaf litter as it was as best you can.
  • Equipment for excavation on the land other than hand tools may not be used. Never use explosives.
  • Don’t disturb, destroy, interfere with or endanger an archaeological site or place of cultural significance.