My kid wants to try gold panning

Who can help direct me to informtion please.

my 7YO son would like to try gold mining. said people and go gold panning but where, when, and if permits are needed or just go and is some dirt is allowed.

I live in the Mid Canterbury region and would love to make his school holidays and spending $40 for a pan and petrol is a cheap way to make his day. and getting out of the house is never a bad idea.

where would be a good place to try that we would find something that would show him some gold. not trying to make it rich, just a day out to introduce im to what he thinks he would like to do.

thanks all

I believe Goldsborough is probably a great introduction point, it’s a public fossicking site, which means you don’t need a permit, it’s simply open to the public 24/7.

My experience with Goldsborough so far is that it’s a fairly tame river, quite shallow at most points, and I’ve always left with some gold, never a lot, but enough that it shines nicely in a small vial with some water. The river sits only 30 seconds from the campsite (access point is up by the toilet block, not down by the car park area, that’s a walking track and will take you up a steep hill, it’s a nice walk if you’re up for the challenge though). You can either walk down into the river from there, or follow the path around and continue across the bridge (or dip down on the right side of the bridge, there’s a small entrance point), after the bridge there is a walkable track if you’d like to go a little further down the river (maybe a minute or two of walking before you reach it, it’s also fairly flat for the first little bit so it’s easily accessible, if you go further down than maybe the first hundred or so meters after the bridge you’ll find less accessible entry points and the track get’s a little bumpy).

If you’re close enough it would make for a good day trip, it won’t cost to park up and pan the river; otherwise the campsite is suitable for tents/caravans for longer trips. Just my thoughts and recommendations from my own experience so far! The campsite is a doc site, so it does cost (can book online, or there is an honesty box at the campsite).

Also thought it’d be worth mentioning; Hokitika is also only a 15 minute drive from the campsite, so if you’re staying overnight, the Glow worm dwelling is well worth a check, even if you’ve been before (it is free) :slight_smile:

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Go to the very top of this page & click on Locations. It will bring up all the legal public fossicking areas. Living in mid canterbury you are a good few hours away & your closest would be on the West Coast I would think. That would mean doing an over nighter but quite a few have DOC camping right on site. That is all good father son/family bonding time & you will most likely meet other fossickers doing the same thing & many of them will be seasoned fossickers & be a good source of help & info & only too willing to help out. Good luck.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

Travel is expensive these days, I suggest you contact the folk at Danseys Pass Holiday Camp at Livingstone near Duntroon. They will allow you to use hand tools in the river next to the camp if you stay at the camp. Gold pans for hire and cabins available. You will find fine gold there & it is a beautiful spot. Have fun.

If you PM me your address I’ll courier your young feller a new 10” black gold pan. It’ll get him started.


Buy some paydirt off dillon on here. Guaranteed to see some gold. That’ll get him super excited. Practise on it over and over til you can get over to a gold fossicking spot.