Public Fossicking Area Collaboration (Nelson Creek)

Please feel free to contribute to this tread,any information you would like to share on the public fossicking area (Nelson Creek)26 km east-northeast of Greymouth… Information may include-vehicle access and parking,track locations,hazards,camping facilities,toilets,accommodation,access and/or local info contact numbers,boundary locations,how bad the sand flies are and last but not least any general locations for finding a little gold.(Or a lot who knows!)

Dont forget to upload any good photos or Youtube links too!!

The more of us who contribute the better so don’t be shy.

This could be an excellent resource for us Paydirt gold seekers!!

This vid shows the working terrain at Nelson Creek quite well …thanks Jade

Anyone else have info on Nelson Creek?


I walked up Prices creek to the fossicking area, and did several test pans finding a few flakes. The creek would be a good place to set up a sluice, and run concentrates. I only spent an hour here, but I would definitely return and run buckets if I ever get the chance. I dont recall the sand flies being a problem. I was happy seeing all of the prospecting sites in NZ, and with them being spaced apart on the south island, there is at least one within a couple hours drive or less from most towns.

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I enjoyed seeing that video. It brought back memories. I last passed through there maybe 14 years ago and saw few familiar land marks. I worked near there fifty years ago. Stationed at Totara Flat…in my mind I still see the sun shining in the window at the Totara Flat Hotel, The Heather Bell.
There was an old guy at Nelson Creek. I remember a drag line going over the river. He had two old Model A pick up trucks in the remains of what might have been an old saw mill if my memory is correct. He offered my cobber a 1918 motorbike for around $150 and my cobber bought it…possibly a Triumph. He also had a yellow 1948 Ford Mercury sedan but he wanted too much for it…$200 I think. I also think he lived in the only habitable house there at the time and it was near the old school but my memories a bit hazy. I remember at work walking through miles of tunnels underground but they had sort if windows cut in them where could could look out and into gorges. Happy memories - great days. Getting old is a bastard! A lot of that country was going to be milled and I clearly remember us doing inventory surveys to determine the millable timber.


Been in here on my big West Coast holiday adventure…lots of new trees down, more things to climb over while walking up to the fossicking area. As I’m only new to prospecting I only managed a few small flakes with just a turbo pan. Sand flies weren’t too bad.

Hi, I notice that the lower reaches of Callaghans Creek, down to and including Nelson creek itself do not appear to be covered by any claim. Anybody fossicked here? Any possibility of complaint for doing so?

Went down to Nelson Creek over the long weekend. We went down to both Clauhgeys creek and Prices creek, Claugheys creek is a long 1 hour hike to get to the back end where the clay is reachable, we walked for ages and found no signs of workings but in the end there was very little gold there. We then went to prices creek the creek near the campsite we got a little bit of gold in the spot we first tried right in the creek but still not much, we then finally went miles up prices creek and found a little waterfall area, 10 buckets later we actually got a good result and pulled out just over 1/2 a gram from the hole which was not to shabby. The site seems pretty underused as over all our walking up and down both creeks we saw signs of only one, possibly two other workings and no one else was there over the long weekend and it does actually have a good chunk of gold if you know where to look .

Heres a link to a video we shot while mining in the creeks if you want to see where we were digging.


very interesting video. thanks for posting it.

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I’ve just spent a few days on the coast checking out a few creeks and trying out my Nox. Stopped at Nelson Creek and went for a wander up Prices Creek. Very little water - hardly enough to pan, let alone sluice. Went up paste @The_Sluicer waterfall and the creek ran dry not far past.

Using the Detector came up with a couple of hot rocks and a few old bits of rusty junk in the creek. Talking to the guy who looks after the camp people come back with specks of gold but he hadnt heard of anything from a detector.

Using the pan tried a few test holes but got nothing. Ended up back by the waterfall (its an easy walk and not far from the camp and dug another hole not far from @The_Sluicer video (eel had gone). Just panning as couldn’t be bothered trying to dam any water. Unfortunately shovel handle broke trying to shift large rock so that was the end of that. Left that Creek with only a couple of very wee specks.

I was the only one there.

Campsite is good with covered cooking area, running water and toilets. Great spot for kids - not so sure about finding gold (disc - I am a newby at this so I’m sure there must be stuff there if you knew where to look and had the time to dig a big hole. But for a quick pan and a few specks its not a great place.

Anyhow, after the broken handle, decided to head north to find a replacement. Ikamatua has a Farm Supply store so got another shovel there.

Went past the Ahaura community campsite. Its Ok - but just head out to Nelson Creek. Its only a few extra minutes away and much nicer.

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Only one way to find out. :laughing: That is what I did at Goldsborough. I went down stream & not up.

This for a few hours sluice boxing late in an afternoon. Running pre classified material.

classifier bucket 4

operating sluice box 003

operating sluice box 006

operating sluice box 016

operating sluice box 020

operating sluice box 021

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


good haul from Goldsborough ! I have done reasonably well ( not as good as your haul !) also downstream, 50 metres or so below fallen pines, in the gorsey bank ( left side), nothing over to the high bank right side.
Tried further down where flood protection work is, but nothing. Walked down to the bridge (on the road,) dropped down into the creek, then prospected all the way back to camp
All this a year ago


We went back to Nelson Creek this weekend and got a HUGE gold strike actually in Claugheys creek, after a ton of searching we found the entry to the lower end of the stream and it went into this awesome cave, we got nothing nothing nothing and then BOOM hit a massive gold strike in front of this rock and came away with an incredible haul compared to anything else we have got there before, it was even a lot better then what we would expect from a good spot in one of the richer public sites. It seems like both of the creeks they are really hit or miss as I did around 30 test pans in tons of diffrent spots and none of them even came close to that spot and most had nothing. But it turns out claugheys creek was not the horrible creek with 5 flakes for 6 hours like last time, if you can find the right spot it actually has some colour, will be going up on our gold fossicking area ratings in future. And I think overall Nelson Creek is probably one of the most underated sites, we have never seen anyone else digging there, we barley ever see other holes and everywhere seems to be almost untouched, considering we hit a spot like that about 30 metres in from the creek entry, plus it is one of the closest gold sites from both Christchurch and Greymouth and its got good facilites a pub next door and is a super awesome creek and area.

This is a video of our trip and the hotspot we got onto :slight_smile:


Awesome work guys! Great clean up


Heading to Nelson Creek this weekend and early next week. Both previous times I’ve been up Prices Creek with reasonable success. I couldn’t find access into Claughesys Creek easily. Any tips to get into there? Do I just walk up the Callaghans Walk and then drop down

You may have already been and gone We have a guide on The Sluicers youtube on our “Huge gold strike at Nelson Creek” video I believe earlier up in this chat, let me know if you can’t find it.

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Hi, yeah spent half a day up there last weekend. Ended up at Prices creek, good day considering the creek was but a trickle🤦🏼‍♂️ I have prob seen the video, watched most of your stuff but if you could link it again that would be great.

Nice one, yeah the creeks have been super low. Cheers, Ill explain directions to get there. Basically go across the swingbirdge as if you were going to prices creek, then when you reach the fossicking area sign follow prices downstream until the track crosses, then follow the tailrace walk for about 3 minutes, on your right there is a tiny side track going down and that goes to the claugheys creek cave, the gold is a lot more patchy then Prices creek however has richer deposits if you can get to them, just keep test panning and you may get there.

Good luck and if you want more advice just let me know.

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Just stopped there to check things out. Very little water in prices so you will need a good sluice for low water conditions.

Blowed if i could find claugheys. Got to the wee cave but it was all dry ground with no sign of water flow for ages.

Stomped all around the tail races and still couldnt find it.