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How to begin prospecting for gold - where to begin?

Hi, after years of talk, my 83yr old dad and I are getting into prospecting - well, I’ll be doing the work and he’ll be doing a lot of commenting and possibly fishing if the location is right.

So, we’re in southland and am going to get a detector (probably a goldmonster) and a small sluice. Am I allowed to sluice at the various beaches? DO I have to go to designated areas in Otago to use a sluice or detector? Is there a local community/clud I can join?

BTW, my main priority is getting dad out and about, and if any gold happens to be found, then that’s a plus

Should probably stick to the public fossicking areas or you will get in trouble, the gold producing beaches are claimed in Southland and the owners are quite an angry bunch to say the least. No clubs that I know of to join but there are a lot of active gold miners on Facebook who share claims ect.