First Try Sth Island

Going to Sth Is 1 months time. Printed off most of the free fossicking areas.Starting at Lyell down to the 2 sites near Glenorchy. Saw on an old forum that Lyell not very good. Any recommendations? Should I dig down. Am making sluce box ( Aluminium ) Read a few books re parts of stream to look for gold.

To be honest no gold is easy gold & all the more so in public fossicking areas. Especially straight after the xmas holiday period. Need a few big floods to stir things up & re deposit some goodies.

JW. :cowboy_hat_face:

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If you go to Public Fossicking areas then remember that the further you go on many of them the less fossicking has taken place. Many just potter close to the car parks etc and cant be bothered going too far because they find the climbs, the bush, the rocks and gorges a bit formidable.

Study the areas well and head to spots least likely to have been heavily worked.

Number 1 hot tip from me would be to find crevices in bedrock that are tightly packed with gravel / clay and hopefully gold. Sometimes you can find a crevice with stones in it that are worn off flush with the bedrock. A sure sign they’ve been there a long time and are probably unworked. The biggest thing to remember is to scratch them out completely and then scratch them out even more. Often the best gold is hidden right at the very bottom. Good luck!


Just back from 14 days at Slab Hut & 7 days at Goldsborough, lost 5 kgs and gained 3 grams of gold. Good returns at Slab hut just out in front of the camp site, digging most days 9.00 to 5.00. Most are averaging around .25 grams a day more of less depending on amount of shingle moved. Good Luck !!

That sounds like a lot of hard graft for not very much reward in my opinion.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

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I figure that out to about $1.25 per hour. I reckon those public areas rooted.

Yes you are right JW however the comradeship with other diggers made it all well worth while for me. At Goldsborough we all had one hell of a good time.


The Public areas are basically a token gesture by corrupt politicians to keep the Peasants quiet while they keep the real gold for those who can folk out thousands for a claim and for their ultra wealthy banker masters who dictate terms.
The only one that will give and keep giving for a while to come is the Arrow. Last time l passed through l got half a gram in half an hour with nothing more than a pan.


Hi Lammerlaw

I’m coming to see you in a couple of weeks so could you make sure you have your false teeth in as I don’t want to spook the dog.


Yep, the gold is just an excuse for getting out there. The real gold is the people you meet, the adventures & fun you have & experiencing mother nature. Any gold is just a bonus.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


Is it worthwhile taking a big steel prybar ( about 2m x 35mm round ) and breaking lifting rocks with it?

Yes for moving large boulders you need a crow bar, I also use a medium sized jimmy bar, amazing just what you will shift under water, plan to move them downstream when plotting your hole.

Pretty much sums it up JW and right now with no overseas backpackers the DOC camps at the fossicking sites are just like the old times.

I agree just come back from the 12 mile site with not much gold (less than 1 g for 2 days) but great being in the water and meeting some real kiwis.