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Public Fossicking Area Collaroration (Waiho River)

Please feel free to contribute to this tread,any information you would like to share on the public fossicking area (Waiho River)Franz Josef National Park… 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!!


Tried this area once,ended up raining cats and dogs,river flash flood!!
Camping at Franz Josef,beautiful area!!
Anyone prospected this area?

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I brought a small pan, hand digger, and “snuffer” bottle with me on holiday. After crossing the one lane bridge from Franz Josef, I turned left on the glacier road, and drove up as far as I could in the gravel just left of the bike trail. I did four test pans along the river bank, and found black sand but no color. The sand flies let their presence be known as soon as I sat down with the first pan, so they are an issue. If I had my largest pan, and perhaps my sluice, I might had found something. But just like at home in my local river, sometimes its hit or miss.

Thanks for checking this one out for us TJ,looks like it confirms our suspicions of lots of gravels and not very much sign of gold,guess you never know until you try so big up’s mate:yum:

best sandfly repellant is brown dettol and olive oil in a 50:50 mix. shake before use and keep out of your eyes. My cobbers used to buy the commercial products and have given up and rely on me to bring this brew which works a treat…



We where in the franz josef area and we thought we would try out the Waiho river site.

Its a huge river that feeds straight down from the glaciers, the problem is its impossible to get to the 30M deep bedrock in the river within the sites bounds, we spent about 2 hours prospecting up and down the river with only a few bits of placer gold found, we finslly found a spot next to the parking area on the inside bend with a lot of big rocks and nice looking materials around it, we did a test pan and got a big flake whe then spent about 1 hour digging and sluicing and did 4 buckets, it was really easy digging as we just cleaned off the first 30CM or so of ground as that was where we found all the flood gold (,as when that river floods it floods hsrd) after the cleanout we actually didnt do that badly, and there was a very chunky 0.04 gram picker, we ended up with only 0.1 of a gram which is not that bad for 1 hour mining. Overall an alright spot and worth checking out if your in the area but not worth a trip just to go there as gold is still not great, just a reasonable amount.

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have you or are you going to the public site at ross. i have been there a couple times but never really had a lot of success but know of others who have done ok.

Yep already have, we were about to give some info on the collabaration and we shot some footage, but in the 6 hours we spent prospecting and sluicing we got very little, 2 flakes bigger then micro fine and a dozen or so micro fine pieces so at that point we realized there may be a little bit in ceartain spots but we would just be wasting our time going all out there compared to some of the richer public areas like slab hut and nelson creek.