Arrow River Fossicking Area

Hi guys,

Thinking about going and having a winter sluice in the fossicking area behind Arrowtown. Only really done a couple of pans there before.

When it comes to the fossicking area what sort of areas or layers am i looking for?
Is it a case of chasing flood gold in the first 30 to 40cm or is it more like find gold and then try to get as deep as possible?


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Bedrock is always my favourite, if you can find a section that hasn’t been picked over recently. Arrow’s flood layers can produce surprisingly heavy gold too. Often (but not always) in the first 30cm. Take test pans whenever you see concentrated areas of large (golf ball sized and bigger) pieces of ironstone & heavy dark green cobbles on the surface.
When you find a spot that gives you good colours in every pan it’s time to get the sluice box out.


Super helpful!! Thanks heaps.

Was up there on Saturday and found some good colors up near the entrance to the gorge on bedrock.

The Arrow had a lot of water coming down it the week before and has bought a bit of flood gold down.

Saw a few panners in Bush creek which is the very first water crossing by the shops. Looks like some nice gold coming out of there as well which I saw. It’s under permit now as they had permission from claim owner.


Hi ya; I have the perfect solution for you, so take a moment and sit down. First, stay sitting down, reach for another cuppa while I will… (second), cycle for three days and set up my tent in some out of the way spot and with my trusty pan and shovel explore for you. You need do nothing… think nothing, plan nothing, experiment nothing, sweat nothing, get no callouses… spend no time or energy… in short I will do it all for you… I will breathe for you, eat for you, even poop for you… so… then… there is no need for you to exist for I will do it all for you… If you like you can join the endless lines with hand out down at the dole office (economic parasites) or in some easy no risk government job… you get the drift… or…


Wow take a chill pill mate, everyone has started somewhere. Were you just miraculously gifted with all the knowledge needed to exist? Did your father not pass on knowledge? So why do you feel the need to treat a fellow prospector in such a way, not cool bro!


I know you were trying to be humorous, but it sorta just comes off as bitchy, especially the beneficiary bashing. Try to imagine you are a new person to the hobby, this sort of thing can be enough to sour someone’s experience and cause them to shy away from posting again, with the furore that happened the other month I would have thought people might have put in a little more effort to be pleasant than this.


well said misterschmoo there is alot of bitching pointing of the finger etc on this site sad but true but i like your comment and i certainly am not shy to let you know so thanks for a good kind friendly reminder to all to be kind to one another it is after all about having fun and putting a massive nugget styled smile on not only my dial but everybody else that i can …makes for a better place to live in kind regards danno


Thankyou for your kind thoughts.

I haven’t managed to get to a river yet, but I am watching a lot of videos, Vogus prospecting, Dan Hurd etc. and building up my equipment so when I do I can have a fun time, I have a batea pan, 9mm classifier, cheapish metal detector, a couple of smaller plastic ordinary pans and I have 3D printed a mould to make some dream mat equivalent, and I’m thinking of using my router to make some solid wooden sluices to try out a bit more old school sluicing, oh and I almost forgot, I got a vintage pick head dredged up from the river near canvas town I’m restoring so I can actually use it, this really is a fun hobby.


nice one mate yea too right its alot of fun …gold fever

Dear Ned; Yes, you are right… not cool. I will write to misterschmoo and apologise. My father taught me nothing that I can recall. From a little boy I was too scared to talk with him. I learned near everything I know by constant zig zags; go left hit a wall, got right fall off a cliff, eventually surviving long enough to get to my white hair days. A few people did help, alas very few. I found solace in books and am an avid reader… opps I am going on… so Ned, sorry for being a bitch and thanks for the course correction. Ivan.

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Dear Misterschmoo;
Sorry! Yes, you are right; I was being bitchy. I was not trying to be humorous I was being a bitch; again, Sorry.
Sometimes it helps if a person explains but please do not think this is my excuse for bad behaviour. I said dumbass things and own them and you were right to hit back as did another poster.
Read on if you want an insight where such thoughts as “benefit bashing” comes from.
First though I do not know about a “precious furore”.
Misterschmoo; I am in my greyhair days and have worked alot and paid a lot of taxes. I guess I am not overly bright and did not think too much about where that tax money went or why it was deducted. In 1986 I got out of jail after 6 years and 7months doing hard time in Max in Australia (Manslaughter… dimished responsibilty due to mental health…) and faced disaster after disaster as everything was so big and fast and expensive… and my "family was worse than useless as for all the time I was away they seemed to have made no progress in life and led lives as Morris West put it in Shoes of The Fisherman; “lives of quiet desperation.”.

For a few days I stayed with a cousin and was amazed at how much welfare she recieved, even her toll calls were paid for, her car, etc. ( I only go on what she told me… I did not see her financials). To me she was quiet crazy living a life of luxury on others money without a care in the world. It seems that several of her friends were doing the same or trying to get preganat to any guy including me. I dodged a bullet there and many men have learnt to their great cost.

My brother got me the dole (three weeks payment, one of which I paid back) and then I got a job washing dishes and helping out in a bakery; eventually the baker broke an arm and I burnt the first batch of bread but I was off and running and in quick order began to save money, living in a tent for more than a year eating left overs until I had to improve my diet dur to all the boils I was getting. I used to walk to work, in the dark until I bought a bicycle and then a motor bike… Eventually I was financed into a business, a bakery and for the next few years felt as if I was in a dream as sleep was a rare visitor.
Of course fortune comes with misfortune and i sold up and went to university at Lincoln getting a Bachelor of resources degree… sort of a greeney degree. It was a complete waste of time as most of the degree was propaganda against working people and how the elite should tell others how to live their lives. I remember one leturer, a man turned woman, who squeaked that she/he had the right to tell private farmers how to shape their forestry blocks to a pleasing "shape"and another farmer that he could not use rock from his land to pave his farm tracks.
Anyway it was back to baking and living in a tent again. It was a time of huge interest rates so I figured I would save like hell… put it in term deposits and live off the interest. But zigs and zags… I got a hernia and spent a lot of money getting well again… and started saving again and then two more hernias and more money gone… so i gave up… saved up a little and went homeless, travelling on foot or bycycle eventually working the fruit seasons down in central.

That is an education in life if one pays attention. All the young people got their checks on a Thursday and simply letf work sometimes coming back several days later; the growers would go crazy tring to organise labor… work schedules etc. Often people would turn up and work so slowly and cause all sorts of trouble…so that eventually the growers started to bring in foreigners who wanted to work. It was always strange and still is how our unemploment rates are so high yet people from overseas could come and get jobs and earn a decent living.

Well being in Central I went witha girl who had the loan of a steel pan and we dug in a local creek and I was away (thanks Beanie). I bought a steel pan and spent all my free time panning all the local creeks and then the mountain streams…

I really was living ther life of Reilly. But then the world cup came along and freedom camping became a thing and crack downs began and all the OSH stuff had farmers facing problems if they let people on their lands and then Tenure Review and the gold price went up (and claims everywhere) an then zigs and zags for me as I met sweet talking people who could charm the snakes out of the trees ( Yes I was naiive or stupid if you like) because I had hit a jackpot panning a lot of gold and every one wanted in on ther action… some even following me so that I took round about ways to get there.

I could see the writing on the walls that living rough in a van (yes I had graduated to a van) was soon coming a thing of the past. People would hassle you and DoC would hassle you…etc. I bought a cheap house and then got a claim myself and worked as hard as always… The CRUX… I was getting older now and carrying a four inch dredge to my sites in pieces and away again took four hours on average plus 5 to 6 hours of actual dredging… and as anyone with a claim will tell you there are endless institutions with their hands in your pocket some making demands … e.g. you "must"do this or that… so as I carried my stuff each day and risked my life (working solo underwater is inherently dangerous) I looked over my shoulder for a helping hand from all the people taking my money and making demands of me.

You may know how it is to be dog tired and you see people ( I am being oblique here so as no to identify anyone) living the life of reilly off my taxes… where are these fucks I would rant as I would clear another blockage or tell another person to please leave my claim (after giving them permission to pan almost everyone wanted to set up camp on my claim… Note to self; do not evere let anyone pan on my claim; child under adult care excepted… I am simply not mentally equipped to tell the good guys from the pure evil guys).
Well I saved; and the demands became more strident and I had the good luck to get the internet and on searching for (freedom) found Stefan Molyneux;

It was him that explained that taxation is theft at the point of a gun. We are just tax cattle. If you do not pay; they will (and have; GST; here, I mean; escalate the threats util you comply or they will get the courts to order big burly men to come to your house and take your stuff and if you resist… the police come and out come the guns to shoot you dead or take you to jail.

Some call this the red pill. It made me mad as hell to finally realise that I was being completely robbed… the "government robbed me to bribe people… many of them benefits, for votes. Vote for me and I will raise benefits…etc. And I guess it is the smart ones (in a manner of speaking) who milk the system to the max. Sure, the shiny bums take my money and pretend to give services… (Environment councils have existed for decades and ever need more staff and money (taxes) … One would think that if after decades of NOT acheiving their very mandate they woulf fall on their swords in shame… but taxes get higher every year.

The whole idea of people being responsible for their own health, wealth or lack therof is gone. so many look to anyone else to do things for them… for many a hand out is their birthright… a system meant to help the truly needy is now used as a way of life.

I am content with my life… but angry at myself too for getting soft and lazy and feeling the cold so much that I prefer my home to my tent. Oh;I did cycle up past Arrowtown… it took 4 days… freezing every night trying to recapture some of my youth; I spent two days getting some dust and another 4 days getting home.

So the benefit bashing comes from seeing people milk the system to the max and it is my money and it pisses me off. Sure the target is wrong… I should be aiming at governmnets etc…but do you see that if some one takes the benefit when they are young and strong and there are jobs going begging and the trades are screaming out for people and around the lakes there are signs out wanting laborers… where are the hard working Kiwis? Why do we need thousands of Phillopines people on our dairy farms ( comes with a house a wage etc,)

It makes people weak to thrust out their hand, makes them lazy and studid and kills motivation…

I know it would be nice to live with everyone getting along all nice and aairy fairy… but we are men… we are humans… our several million years of hominid history has been one of constant warfare with a few short periods of flowering . e.g. Socrates or Impressionism… otherwise it was charging horses and slashing swords and terror and hunger and pain and MEN fighting to protect their women and their children… provide food… food dammit… something… anything to put in the gut… (lard and sugar on bread for me as a kid).
Even though I was a bitch… there will always be a bitch somewhere; if you want something then fight for it. All those athletes… all those hours of training… Freddie Mercury and his countless hours of training to produce perfection… in voice and stage presence… Nothing comes easy… or shouldn’t anyway for anything easy is not woth having…

With kind regards. Ivan.


lol I loved it! well written!

Many a true word written there sir…

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Hey Mate, how you getting on in this lockdown? Hope it’s not too bad, be great to hit the creeks again shortly fingers crossed, regards N

You have obviously never been in the public fossicking area of the arrow river

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I recognize some of what you went through.

But you need to get iver sone shit.

TAX is not robbing you.

Who paid for your education.

NZ and asstrakua it is “free”.
It is like this because we pay tax.

Im nit keen on taxes myself but i kniw were some of it goes.

As for the state bkudgers-hell yes,easier to pop out a kid or 3 and get dpb than work,but only if you have no skills.

Gold mining is not easy or get rich in NZ

Bloody hard dangerous work .

You chose to do it you have to put up with it

Where precisely is bush creek?

I kniw the public fossicking area of the arrow like the back of my hand andvthere are no permit areas around the shops(or as close as you can get)

Might want to start with nzpam for the permit info related to the claim there

You have obviously never been in the public fossicking area of the arrow river