NI Fevered man, beginner in the SI, sluice or detect?

I have some love quartz of various colours Ive picked up over the years from NI mines before they were closed. Is what got me started panning in Aus.

Ive had some experience sluicing in Aus which seems a lot easier to find gold. I enjoy it a lot. I also like crushing rock. But come summer you got gnarly funnel web spiders and a million king brown snakes which are hyper aggressive at that time of year (the most deaths come from this snake, its not the most poisonous, its just the most common and most aggressive, and snakes love water.

But it appears there are still nuggets to be found in the SI? So is metal detecting and picking effective?

Is it legal to dive some of the areas and pick around trapping rocks (crevices etc) etc?

I plan my first trip this summer, so any tips on which river area I should try to suit my style would be appreciated. I think I will gold detect (but not sure if a mine 1000 is powerful enough) and if legal dive. I imagine panning rock traps with sediment may pay off as well? Or is all water bound sediment/gold off limits?

I do miss a good sluice session though. I have fever bad watching all your videos from the SI on youtube my gold brothers and sisters.

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Fossicking in NZ is slightly different to oz, over there you buy a miners right for the state your in and off you go, whereas here we are limited to the public fossicking areas, technically all gold outside of these areas is owned by the crown, you can’t just set up in any unclaimed river that you find. As for detecting I’m sure the rules are the same, and supposed to be limited to public fossicking area!. But out in the hills you don’t meet many rangers

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Thanks Gav.

I imagine all the public rivers are well and truely thrashed with little gold left?

Are you allowed to fossick in the water, ie can you a. fossick around bedrock cracks and crevices under water b. can you collect silt from the river bed to pan?

Are sluices banned in public river fossicking as its no longer really fosicking but then nor is panning really?

Can I use an underwater metal detector and are you allowed to chip rocks? Most of the videos I see of fossicking in NZ guys seem to do some form of picking.

From my recent experiences with Oz, I think I find gold easier to find over here in NZ :stuck_out_tongue: I guess it’s what you get used to.

You can only Fossick in the water and preferably with a sluice as panning would take forever - the main rule is no motorized equipment, some banks possibly but the exact rules on detecting are unknown to me. There’s plenty of gold in these areas, it gets replenished in big rains or floods.

Look on the old paydirt site for more info, there’s infomercial on this site about each fossicking area, should pop up in the search bar.


Thanks mate.

So when you say sluice, isnt that considered mechanical machinery?

But you are saying I can free dive mask and snorkel in catchment areas, either fossicking with a detector and picker tool to move dirt? Or I can fossick raw material from what I consider catchment areas/rocks/bedrock cracks under water and run that throrugh a sluice?

Oh man im itchy, Im feeling weak at the knees, Im getting giggly giiggly Dr, its a FEVER!

Really, wow that would be awesome just to get an idea of what each site offers, I like flooded still waterfall pools onto bedrock.

Is using one of those mechanical yabbie type pumps like the do in Australia allowed? All it is, is a pvc pipe suction set up to suck the dirt up by hand


Yabby gold pump

Nah man a Yabbi pump isn’t classified as mechanical so you will be fine.

It’s more you cant you something with a motor

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Ok, and what about chipping away at gold in bedrock etc, are you allowed to use a miners pick?

So you could put a sluice in the creek, find a hole, grab that material and suck out the bottom with a yabby pump and then run it through your river sluice?

What about underwater gold detectors? They allowed I presume…

LBD posted a photo of a DOC sign in the old forum - DOC Fossicking rules - General Gold Discussions - Old Forum Archive - New Zealand Gold Prospecting & Fossicking

I’d imagine you’d have to obviously break the rules for anyone to take any interest. I assume metal detectors are fine as they are pretty low impact. Whoever came up with the rules probably hadn’t even considered metal detectors.

Actually, I just found a more modern photo from Slab Hut Creek here - Reefton and the Surrounds | Licenced To Retire

“Non-motorised hand tools” I would imagine means you can use anything that doesn’t have a motor. Everyone uses yabbi pumps etc. from what I’ve seen. “Permitted hand tools” info doesn’t say other tools are excluded in my mind, just a guideline.

Thanks for that. It wouldnt make sense banning yabby pumps imo. Using a metal detector would make no sense if you cant chip or dig dirt/rock.

I assume its the guys using motorised dredges in public non fossicking rivers they are REALLY going after?