North Island fossicking area,up dates

Hello all…

First up thanks Pillie76 (Nigel) for the kick start,and good luck with your South Island bid,I hope you dont mind but Im going to use your letters you have posted on Pay dirt as a template for correspondence to PAMs and (like Pillie76) all progress will be posted on the Paydirt forum.

Obviously as we all know there are no fossicking sites in the North Island,but with the help of my friend Matt a mineral expert we will endeavour to stir the pot a little to get something started up here ,there are areas we are researching some criteria is, Is it Public DOC land, easily accessible, any mineral history,not under claim and not privately owned (Any thing else let me know)

There are areas we are researching mainly in the lower half of the Coromandel,which has a rich mining history from the later half of the 1800s,most areas are easily accessible by car,

Just leave any helpful comments below,and we will be back in a day or two.



Yeah top effort on that…any chance of exposer to mercury in corro?If you get a serious response from PAMS then I think we could all contribute as a group so they know that there is a whole community wanting this and not just a couple of people here and there…good luck!!


Thanks Mal for your comment,local council and doc should know mercury levels in there areas, if any, and I think if there are it will be very minimal, I will add to the list. Remember folks coromandel was hard rock mining ,but that’s not to say the streams are buck, not at all.

And yep it will be great if the community gets behind it.

FYI…Going to consider sending to PAMs and DOC the following three areas as there are no claims on them and are under DOC control and are historical mining areas.

WAIORONGOMAI , In the kaimai Mamaku range,closest town Te Aroha,historical mining area operating early 1800s, there was a small township established here ,now gone of course good for MDs need farmer permission of course to detect.

TARARU STREAM Tararu Thames,Part of the Coromandel ranges Runs alongside Victoria street up in to hills popular with the locals for swimming and other activities.

KAUAERANGA VALLEY,Thames, Part of the coromandel Ranges,lots of DOC campsites set up along the length of the stream,very accessible

These three areas are under DOC control,and historically part of the major areas that AU was discovered in the Coromandel,there are other regions in the southern Coromandel area Waihi etc, but they are all covered by Mining company claims, so we wont go there YET.

Unfortunately for us North Island fossickers AU discoveries are very restricted to one area being the coromandel areas down to northern bay of plenty,so anyone outside those areas are in for a wee bit of a hike,unless there are areas that people would like me to look in too else where in the NI,but really they need to be AU producing areas,but you never know till you look

Feed back please thanks

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Best of luck Tom. I didn’t get a response yet after sending through some locations of interest in marlborough.

I did pan for the very first time today. A local camp ground has permission from the claim holders to allow people to pan there. If not staying there, it’s $5 to spend the day. Really enjoyed it, just a little fine gold but gold all the same


You’ve found more than what Ive found my friend ,best of luck to you too “,gold is where you find it” as the old timers would say


This is the Email drafted and sent out to NZPAM MBIE just one day ago,regarding a proposal for fossicking areas up here in the North Island,not expecting a reply straight away,but will post there reply when and if I receive one .
“QUOTE” Have you heard the one about the squeaky wheel.“UNQUOTE”.

To whom it may concern,

This email is regarding the gold fossicking locations set aside by the Department of Conservation freely available to the public in NZ.

As you know all fossicking locations in NZ are currently located in various areas of the South Island. Unfortunately access to these locations by the majority of the public living in the North Island is just unrealistic,due to the large costs and distance involved in travel.

I am writing to propose an introduction of fossicking locations to areas of the North Island ,accessible to the public ,for the public.

The areas that Im proposing to be looked in to are in the Coromandel and Mamaku/Kaimai ranges. There is a long history of mining in all these areas,they are all on DOC land and no claims of any sort involved,easily accessed by the public, used daily by the public,and used for outdoor activities by individuals,groups and clubs.

Proposed areas put forward for consideration.

TARARU stream, Thames, Coromandel.

WAIORONGOMAI stream, Te Aroha, Kaimai/Mamaku.

KAUAERANGA Valley stream,Thames,Coromandel

The rules around a new area would be the same as the others, only panning and sluice boxing, stream beds only with, no motorized methods allowed to help conserve the waterways.

May I also propose for the longevity and future fossicking of these proposed areas, that metal detectors be banned from these areas for obvious reasons, I my self am a amateur detectorist and others I’m sure would be very supportive of this notion

Introducing more activities like this in areas to what is already available will give more New Zealanders access to the wonderful backyard of our country while still setting boundaries on how we do so, as well as reducing the unlawful mining of gold by some. These areas are not to make money from but rather, to enjoy and explore as many do hunting, fishing and tramping on DOC land.

I would be more than happy to discuss or offer any help regarding this proposal with you at your convenience.

Kind regards​

Thomas Gillespie-Daniel

MBL 0278141637

Rock and Mineral collector

Paydirt community member


Looks good mate, best of luck. I haven’t had any calls back myself so I’ll follow up

I think with these govt depts the squeaky wheel gets the grease,keep hammering them every week till you get a reply…:+1:

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I called the lady I have been dealing with today and she actually emailed me yesterday, it went to my junk folder. The wheels in motion at least

Nice work! , good on you guys for making some noise. Im curious though about the idea of a no metal detectors rule - what are your reasons?

Up north here hard rock mining was the predominate method of mining ,meaning the gold was trapped in quartz veins, several hundred feet below ground,there is very little eluvial gold in the streams up here compared to the streams down south.With metal detectors it will not take long to clean out streams, then all you’ll have left is sand , basically that’s the gist of it.

Got a reply back from PAMs today,I am under no illusion that this is going to be easy,but so far so good.

Hi Thomas,
Thanks very much for your email.
Could you please outline on maps where you are interested in these fossicking areas to be. Perhaps looking at the DOC website DOC maps: Discover the outdoors , and the NZP&M Permit web maps to identify areas of appropriate DOC land (not over Schedule 4 land, or other protected land) which is not subject to private permits.

OK I have emailed the Thames and Hamilton DOC offices,regarding schedule 4 land etc etc, and also if there are mercury traces at all in the water.

I don’t know the Tararu Stream or Kauaeranga Valley streams that well,I have spent time in these areas but not alot,they have asked for locations,so those of you that frequent these two areas I need your knowledge of where the better areas would be
for fossicking,it has to be on DOC land or have public access,Waiorongomai is the same its in my back yard (well almost 3km away)I have only fossicked as far as the old bendigo battery site,easy stroll,2.5 k up river,for this one I was going to suggest an area from the carpark up to bendigo or has anyone been further?I was there one day on a school trip years ago with the DOC ranger as a guide,when one of the kids found some small flakes panning great stuff.

Use NZ terrain topo maps, of where you think is a good area and send it to this page(if thats ok Gavin don’t want to clog the system))or my email at bottom of page,and with the help of the community we will sort it out,if you cant figure out the maps just send a description of the area,where it is etc.

If we want this up here community lets get behind it,especially those prospectors in the North Island keep a look out for further updates .


Nice one mate, seems you got the same lady as well. She seems ready to look into things as least… which is great! I wasn’t even expecting a reply or if I did, a generic email saying we have looked into your email and can’t help you at this time. Fingers crossed

Hi Nigel,yeah mate this must be the easy part the hard part is still to come wait and see i guess.Also coromandel notorious for any form of mining,hopefully this is not big enough and they leave us alone,wishful thinking I say,maybe .

Hey Tom,
About finding rivers on DOC property and/or with public access, if you give me some time I can work on QGIS and try to get a map of promising rivers next week. It will be easier than trying to cross the DOC and NZP&M online maps visually :slight_smile: Let me know if that’s needed or if you have already received enough good suggestions from people.

Hi golgui,thanks for coming on board, qgis will help immensely with the mapping, take all the time you need, no suggestions in yet but I’m not rushing into it either, just waiting for more info to filter down from where ever,if you need more info mate just get hold of me,

These streams I’ve suggested are just that suggestions but will go with them if nothing better comes up,

Once again Golgui thanks for coming on board.

Hi Tom,

So, here is a folder with the necessary QGIS files to display rivers that could potentially be a gold fossicking area around the Kauaeranga Valley and Waiorongomai.

I aimed a bit wider than just these two valleys, but I did not look at the whole Coromandel Peninsula. I tried this at first but the layer “NZ Primary Parcels” is so heavy to load that it crashes the programme if I load such a wide area).

The map was generated on QGIS v. 3.0.1 - Girona (you will need this version or more recent for best compatibility). Just as a preview of what this map looks like (the symbology may change when you try loading it):

The idea is that rivers that are within DOC land and that are accessible via a “Road” or a “Hydro” primary parcel are good candidates, because they are on public land with a public-ish access. Public-ish access because, as I understood from doing the same investigation in the Karangahake area***, roads are public access unless they are fenced (which may happen if they are unformed), and DOC does not mind people wandering and doing stuff in “Hydro” parcel rivers, subject to exceptions.

I also added a layer of the DOC tracks, so we can see that some rivers can be accessed via such track.

In a nutshell, there are plenty of opportunities in both the Kauaeranga Valley and the Waiorongomai areas, but we need someone (let’s say DOC staff) who knows the areas very well and can tell which rivers can actually be relatively easily accessible. This should narrow down the number of possibilities for gold fossicking areas, because for now there are too many rivers ah ah :smile:
Also not that the rivers are from the 1:50000 map only, which does not list very big rivers, like the Kauaeranga river itself. Which is why looking at the Topo50 maps is interesting too.

In this regard, the Waiorongomai area is the most promising. There is a good network of rivers, all on DOC land, with a good network of tracks to access them. And it does not need to be a very big area to access lots of rivers, even though on the map I took a wider zoom just so we have more opportunities for a gold fossicking areas.

You might want to share the link to these files with whomever you are in touch with in DOC/NZPAM or whatever, so they can help narrow down the possibilities :slight_smile: And do not hesitate to ask any question about these files.


*** I have done the same kind of investigation to pan on someone’s permit around the Karangahake area. Did not find any gold there but very pretty quartz crystals ah ah :slight_smile:


Hi Golgui
Wow that’s impressive,must have taken a bit of work to do all that, I can download but what do I need to open it.
DOC…have replied,
Schedule 4 land information request…
Jaime White

Tue 26/11/2019 8:44 AM

Morena Thomas,

I have been asked to help you with your enquiries regarding fossicking areas in the North Island.

While the land surrounding the streams is DOC and protected land, the streams themselves are not DOC. The streams come under Waikato Regional Council management.
I would suggest contacting them to answer your enquiries and someone there may be able to answer your question regarding mercury leftover in waterways.

I would recommend contacting either the Paeroa or Hamilton office, I do not have a direct contact person though sorry.

Please let me know if I can help with anything further.

Nga mihi,

Jaime White
Community Ranger, Hauraki District
Department of Conservation – Te Papa Atawhai

Looks like Im been pushed to another Dept but that’s ok,very interesting reading.
Once I can look at the above maps,I think Ill just send them off to NZPAMs and let them do the hard work unless they specifically ask me to follow up on all the departmental Emails,I will fill them in with what Ive done in my foot notes.
I think that DOC mail has come from the Thames office,I also mailed the Hamilton branch but they have not replied yet…Ill also pop one off to Regional council, I guess its just a process of elimination ,but I get the feeling that I should communicate with NZPAMS only,we will see
cya `