Newbie! I need to understand what is "legal"for fossicking about & where

Hi everyone, Im just a curious individual with this crazy urge to fossick!! I enjoy wildlife photography with the need to dig about as well . I am planning on a holiday (summer) down around Atarua way, Ive not searched for gold but I will. However I do not know what rules & regulations are in place. Don’t want to “poach” on someones paid for claim! That probably cuts out a huge area. So just a few tips at this time would be appreciated before the bug hits!! thanks for your time & help!

Here is where you are legally allowed to fossick for gold, You are not allowed to use as much as a gold pan without a permit in New Zealand, my advice would be to stick to the fossicking areas set aside for this activity, good gold can still be won from them, a few in particular have some quite good stories of decent hauls made recently with not much more than a shovel and small sluice.

Thanks Darren - thats very helpful. Been considering the option of metals because there are a lot of Maori war/Pa sites on farms about where I live, Taranaki. But I plan on a camp/holiday at moonlight creek next year, hopefully lots of gold washed down over winter!!

If you do find your self straying out of the fossicking areas use map site to see where people have claims, and stay well away from those areas:

Some public fossicking areas end and a private claim begins.

Some claim owners might let you have a go on their area if you ask about.

I’D better keep a map handy, but I guess as my main interest is photography, even poking around could be seen as “trespassing

Well billy goat I think photography and gold fossicking would go well together,there are many beautiful places to take photos and have a good scratch around for some of that yellow stuff.(especially in the south Island)
Yes fossicking areas are a good start but you’ll want to take photos outside these boundries like sites of old historic gold mining towns in central Otago and the west coast.Lakes ,waterfalls,10 storey high piles of hand stacked terraced rock formations partly obscured by a thick blanket of lush regenerated native bush sunlight reflecting in the misty dawn…sorry getting carried away.
Knock ya self out mate ,New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where you can freely access our reserves and state forest parks,as long as your not causing environmental damage(digging up vegetation) or being a dick.
Take a collapsible spade,quarter inch sieve and a pan in your pack is all ya need,or detector!Keep sampling them move on!.Dig ya hole in the stream bed anywhere in the flood zone,top flood gravels usually hold little or no gold so your going to have to dig smart like around a bedrock zone or behind a large rock/waterfall or dig deep especially somewhere like moonlight creek as beach gravels hold nothing and you may get disheartened.If its large or deep hole fill it in before you leave and the next rain will wipe away any sign you were even there.
Download your fossicking area maps sure,great fun and usually near facilities…or Permit Map - New Zealand Gold Prospecting & Fossicking will give you google maps of all the claim areas,you can look up the claim holders, if you really keen on a certain area or you can ask the paydirt community here if anyone has a claim you be able to explore,you never know your luck if you ask nicely.Get out there son!!!Send us in some cool photos!!Mal

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cheers for that Mal, yes now I have all the time in the world… can’t see the sense in wasting it! So yes your imput is encouraging & Ta!