Hi, and some advice please!

Hey there,

First post so apologies if this is in the wrong place or asking a question that has been asked a thousand times.

I’m an Englishman now living in beautiful Titirangi, West Auckland who is interested in getting into detecting. As is always the case in NZ, there seems to be slightly limited options in terms of equipment, but I’d rather purchase from an NZ supplier.

I’d love to pick your collective brains on how to get started, especially around purchasing my first metal detector. So here are my details:

Me: 6ft2, physically active, so weight isn’t too much of a problem. But I’d rather not be stooping! A reasonably technical mind, but not really a knob-twiddler. Happy to plug-and-play to start off with. This hobby represents more fun than science to me.

Where: Beaches predominately I presume - although I assume west coast beaches are a no-go given the iron sand?? Is this correct?? Also domains, fields, and creaky old farms and riverbeds. Any good spots in this part of the country?

Budget: This would be a gift, so hoping to keep it around $500. Some flexibility on this.

I’ve been looking at the Garrett ACE 200i and the Garrett ACE 3001 as their on budget. Also the Minelab GO-Find range (44 and 66) but here conflicting things about them. I like how they pack away, as I travel around a lot. There’s also the Minelab X TERRA 505 which is expensive, but may be worth it? Both these brands are readily available here.I’m open to looking at anything however.

I also spotted CScope CS4PI. Looks good for beaches (although not west coast right??) and almost in budget! I notice it markets itself very much as specilaist beach detector. How is it in fields and paddocks etc?

Anyway, and help and guidance is really appreciated.

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Hi the Garrett 300 would be a good start … I was born an bred in Titirangi and I wish I had a detector back then when you get started pm me and I’ll give you a few spots that may not have been to hammered

I hunt with a mine lab from the go find range, have no trouble picking up 22 shell casings and live bullets, duly handed in to police for disposal, in mineral sand, have also picked up a piece of copper, seriously, half the size of that eyelet thing you hang your curtain nets with, in wet mineral sand.
You can check Archsite public sites for where you shouldn’t go, going nor west along the current railway line are loads of older blocks of land, maybe a case of rocking up and asking. Archives at the airport has more info on that, some searchable, one to begin searching maps for was the Kerr Taylor block and the kumeu swamp was drained and crown purchase of rail easements and subsequent housing that was first for rail workers then council, after the settler’s canal to Helensville idea failed. The old wharf estuary area, parts not heritage listed, at Riverhead is not something I’ve tried, but there’s parts of old coach road through there.

Thanks for the help guys. So are you saying you could use a minelab Go on somewhere like Piha beach?!

And given I’ll be on beaches a fair bit, would a PI detector be a good idea? Or are they only good for beaches and not much else??

Questions, questions, questions…

I’m in Wellington harbour, it’s a black mineral sand. To be frank, I haven’t tried the West Coast nor Piha. Maybe a more technical person could interrupt about now …please.

Hi’ I live on the Auckland West Coast and have yet to find anything that will detect the coasts black sand, too much iron content. Be happy to hear if anyone has mastered it yet because there must be plenty to find. I use a pi machine on the East coast beaches and its brilliant if you’re happy to dig everything!! I have used it on “clean” sites before because it will find pretty much everything but use my Fisher F4 or x-terra most of the time. Get whatever your budget can afford and get out there, you’re sure to upgrade again later once bitten by the bug

im in auckland ,there are no real set rules with metal detecting in public spaces with the exception of recognized historical sites ,digging or any ground disturbance in a historical site can get you into very serious trouble ,also if you take to public spaces with a spade you are going to have a series of issues and for this exact reason metal detecting was banned from western springs , please learn how to cut and plug and preserve the turf as the metal detecting community is slowly getting into disrepute from people new to the game hacking up grounds , if you go to mitre 10 mega at new lynn they stock or will order in the fatmax digging tool which is ideal for cutting plugs and it is only $15 the product code is sxgt8050nz ,most detectors dont handle beaches that well especially once you hit the wet sand ,the x-terra you spoke of might but my friend who had one was not that impressed with the whole range ,mine lab tend to be the brand that dominate the beach and if you want a serious detector for the beach that is reasonably user friendly then i would point you toward the minelab equinox but that will cost about triple your budget , from the machines you have mentioned if you wish to stay in budget and have a user friendly machine i would suggest the garret ace series ,they do work on the beach but are not spectacular there however if you switch the machine on with the coil sitting on the wet sand it will auto ground balance , doing this will greatly improve the performance of the machine on the beach

please note iron sand is a real issue with detecting and what detector is an age old question that i have yet to see a solid answer to , some say the atx but if you have multiple thousands to throw at a punt then your well ahead of me, i have a few friends on social media who have bought equinoxes and they are saying they function better on iron sand than any other detector they have tried but to what level of concentration they are talking about i have no idea and dont suggest you blow your budget buying one under the illusion it is capable of detecting west coast beaches

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