What aspect of the hobby are you looking at?
Gold nuggets in the wild and woolly hills
Gold rings on the beach…or in the sea
Coins and relics…with the occasional lucky gold find.
There’s not really any one detector that does it all well, although there are many that cover most bases but are better at some forms of hunting.
Budget? You really need to start at $400 then work up from there (Avoid the TradeMe $100 wonders)
As to which brand/model, it turns into a Holden vs Ford situation whenever someone asks unfortunately. Each will praise their own machine because it suits them - may not suit you though.
I personally prefer the tone-only machines with no display (I have a couple of display ones, but rarely look at the numbers).
I would advise against lashing out $2k on a machine until you’ve been hooked. Any entry to mid-level machine will quickly pay for itself, and likely subsidise the next. If you decide it’s not for you, a brand name machine will hold resale well.
There’s a few rabble from Chch on here, one will likely take you under their wing if you ask nicely…maybe even get you onto your first silver coin .
Welcome to the Monkey House.