Wairiki stream gold?

Hi I’m new to this forum, after a lot of googling it looked like the wairiki stream on wellingtons rugged south coast was worth a look as it was one of the places alluvial gold was found back in the day, and is one of the earthquake fault lines in the area, I drove around the coast via red rocks only to find it was the stream mouth and beach I used to fish at as a teenager, all that time gold might have been flowing past me into the sea ! I put a bucket of gravel through my home made sluice box and was surprised to find a small amount of colour, this was only 100 m from the beach, I’m planning to go back soon with a proper shovel and classifier and give it another go, has anyone else had any success in this stream ? if so how far up ?, I don’t want to get into trouble by going to far upstream and getting snapped by the land owners

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get hold of "terawhiti and the goldfields " by james Brodie it has all the imfo you will need

please check the spelling or a closer reference point and I will research it for you in my library

Thanks I’ve heard of that book before, will have to get a copy.

Hey buddy mums the word - you will have a gold rush there and find that as the modern day discoverer every paydirt opportunist will be stalking you…being serious though I suggest that you walk up the stream you mention to see if there is any solid bedrock. I do not know this stream nor the area at all though I do fly over it a lot…mostly above the clouds!
If there is bedrock take a sharp and long pinch bar that you can drive into small cracks and crevices in the bedrock and prize them open. You might be more than pleasantly surprised.

Good luck and if you work hard you might even pan a mint a minute!

Hi again, yip I got the spelling wrong, It’s Waiariki stream,it’s on nz topo maps, it’s two bays around from tongue point (karori rock ) and one bay before cave bay, theres an old homestead up from the beach we used to camp at when we went there as kids. The headwaters of the valley are over the hill from the karori golf course. Does anyone know who owns terawhiti station now ? A bloke Eric Walden let us through the farm years ago but I imagine the farms changed hands by now, wind turbines everywhere now.

Haha, I’ll be the guy sitting on the beach selling buckets, pans and shovels, Thanks for the advice, I’ll add a pinch bar to the toolkit.

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your creek if you follow up will come into breakneck creek.there was alluvial gold in there, found 1869. when they also drove tunnels into hard rock and gold bearing stone. the area was worked right through to 1942. there was a road put into the area so maybe it is a legal road to give access , check that out.
if I lived in wellington I would be round there digging great bloody holes. nice and handy to home


For checking access https://www.wams.org.nz/ is a good resource. If there’s marginal strip, old paper roads, etc. then you don’t need permission to access. Best of luck finding some good colour :slight_smile:

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Thanks for that link, there is a road around the coast that is ok for a decent four wheel drive, gives access to the stream mouth, walking upstream from there.
I’ll post a few photos after my next trip.

Click to see full size, there was considerable interest placed on breakneck creek.

This is one of Ashcroft’s quartz crushers, although I do not know the name of the mine on breakneck I did find a little bit of information about how that quartz was processed.

24 JULY 1883

Waikato Times

A trial of Ashcroft’s patent gold seperator took place this afternoon, and as I thought the description would interest a number of your readers, I was present. The machine generally consists of a large berdan; the grinding apparatus consists of two balls, and to which are attached two wheels of chilled steel. The upper portion of the side of the berdan is filled with fine gratings, through which the whole of the ore is forced. After being pulverized the ore finds its way into an amalgamator, a square box fitted with dashers, which completely mixes the gold with the mercury. The weight of the machine does not exceed three hundred weight, and it will crush a ton and a quarter per day with ease.

Certainly no lie, there are small pockets of rich gold to be found in Makara, Karori, out to Cape Terawhiti.


There is an information board with some interesting facts about the diggings in this area at the wind turbine farm at Makara,its says that hundreds of men worked this area over 45 years and only got 200 ounces!!!

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I have done a few pans further up the creek & got some good colour, if I had the time & permission I’d love to set up camp there for a week and run some dirt through a small sluice. If anyone is ever heading out to Terawhiti give me a yell as I’d be really keen to come. Some impressive country down there!!

So did anyone else have a sniff around breakneck creek?
I do highly recommend the Terawhiti and the Goldfields book, quite hard to find now but a very good starting point.