Fossicking sites and rules

I’m not entirely sure on the rules of fossicing. Can I go to a random river that no one had claimed and do a couple pans just for a bit of adventure or can I only do it in the sites publicly available like the arrow river ect?
Any info appreciated. Cheers Logan

1 Like

Without holding a claim or being granted permission from a claim holder we can only pan or sluice using hand tools on the Public Fossicking Sites.

Everywhere is pretty much claimed anyway so it’s not easy to find somewhere else, those that aren’t claimed as a hobby are under exploration permit by large companies, if you look on nzpam you’ll see the whole of NZ is covered pretty much

I have been looking at the maps there, forgive me if in wrong but it looks like there are heaps of areas yet to be claimed. Also if I get a claim how long does the 575 payed last? One off or each year?
Cheers Logan

You have to check all the layers, the first preloaded screen is usually the hobby claims, you may find that a big percentage of the unclaimed rivers are probably unworkable or have no history of gold deposits. A claim is usually for ten years but that fee your referring to is just the license fee, you may need to speak to other owners but that is usually just the start, you may need access fee for land owner/owners . You have to have insurance, the council may have restrictions in place for certain rivers, if there are native fish or birds about then you have to pay for a count and forget about dredging if they find anything!
New regulations mean that some rivers are now unable to be dredged unless you take over an existing claim. It really will pay to do as much research as you can or you could end up losing heaps of money.

Ok thank you for your guys help. I’m going to ask a few people if in exchange for some cash I can do some fossicing on there permits. If you know anyone who would not mind, would be much appreciated.
Cheers Logan

Hi Gav, Good advice here but rare native fish or birds arnt really a worry. You just need to demonstrate you understand they are there, they are rare and a process for not upsetting them too much and no worries from the authorities. I’ve helped a number of hobby guys get consented with them with few worries.


thanks Pete. We did some fossicking in QT last year with good results and are keen to go back. My 13 yuo son even got a small nugget at the Kawerau DOC site.

Thats cool. Any photos? Good luck out there

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

…also a question about the Public Fossicking areas. Can you use a metal detector in these areas?

1 Like

Should be okay I’d imagine as they’re “hand tools” and “not mechanical”. DoC should be able to confirm though as I believe they’ll be the claim owners for the public spots.

Sorry, left the phone in the car. Ex took all the gold and left me with 5 specks. We got pretty excited when we figured out where the gold was.

I haven’t looked so don’t really have an idea where claims are filed. WHere do you look as I would hate to look where someone has a claim.

Public fossicking areas:

Gold mining claims:

cheers for that. i’ll be out this weekend!