Marlborough panning options for newbie

Hey team. This is my first post after reading through the last few weeks what’s been posted in the past.

I’m am based in Blenheim and have never panned but keen to get out there and enjoy our backyard. I am a member of the local rock and mineral club with my daughter and we enjoy fossicking when we can

Looking up the public areas for gold panning, it’s a good few hours from Blenheim at least before even getting a pan out.

Is there anyone closer to Blenheim with a claim that would allow us to pan very occasionally using a pan and shovel.

I would consider myself honest and responsible and my daughter is a good kid

Any help with be grateful



Hi Nigel.
Based in Marlborough as well.Go up to the Howard a few times every winter and the occasional trip to Slab Hut Creek.I’m told there’s a bit of fine gold in the Wairau and have been meaning to have a pan there but haven’t yet.
The camp at Pine Valley has a claim I think and you can pan or sluice as long as you are staying there

Pinedale motorcamp up the wakamarina Valley let’s people pan. I understand that they have an agreement with the owner of claim

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Cheers Rob. Those places you mention are ok for the public to fossick in or do you need to get permission?

Thanks Mathias. I’ll give them a call and see what the deal is. Some good history up there!

Howard and slab hut has public areas. There are two up the Howard, one on the Louis and one on New creek.

Ah got ya, sorry wasn’t sure where those places were but I have seen those creeks mentioned. Easily accessible by car/foot? I’ve had a 4x4 on Santa’s wish list for a while but I keep getting socks instead

Somewhere in or closer to Marlborough would be preferred

There are no public fossicking areas in marlborough so you’re limited to getting permission from a claim holder or getting a claim for yourself. Unless you did the unthinkable and had a look at some of the areas that produced gold historically and go panning in a creek where there is no claims. Although this wouldn’t legally allowed, so I can’t suggest that you do that! :wink:

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Shame there isn’t any public ones in marlborough after all the history of mining here. I’d rather not go down the road of mining where I shouldn’t be. Zero chance of getting my own claim, I haven’t even had a pan in the water and I might end up hating it lol… not that I think that would happen though.

I’d imagine those who have claims work them pretty hard to try and recoup their $$ eh.

Public fossicking mate.

Cheers Surtees. I mentioned the public ones available being at least two hours away from me so hoping somewhere closer to home.

I wonder if submitting recommendations to DOC to get a public fossicking place added to the South Island list? Shit up hill ya think?

yes. waste of time but go for it anyway. nothing will change if we don’t at least try.

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I’m sure it’s been asked of DOC but I’ll try my luck. Any suggestions of DOC land worthy of its name on the list, give me a holla. I’ll see if Mr Google can also help

I’m unsure if DOC will renew let alone make new fossicking areas. Mining doesn’t exactly receive a lot of good press

Well I went and saw DOC, they were helpful and asked me to email them so I’ve done that. Will see what they say. What I didn’t learn was there used to be a public fossicking area up the whakamarina 10+ years ago but she wasn’t sure why it was stopped

I did make this up, it shows the approx locations of public fossicking locations in the South Island. I gave 100km zones to show how far people would need to travel to get to a public spot.


Good work Nigel.It’ll be interesting what Doc do and say

its mine and 2 aver m8s

claim at Pinedale motorcamp is my claim

Hey Jade. Are you open to let people pan at your claim? Do you run the camp also? I heard if you’re staying at the camp you can hire pans but not sure if it works if someone just wants to pan for a hour or two…

Jade the YouTube guy!! I just clicked!! I watched a lot of your videos, very cool