What Rules are there?

Hi there

I am new and looking at getting into the hobby, but I would like to know what rules there are for this hobby?

For example, I gather get permission before going on to Private property. But what about Parks, bush, beaches etc.
I have seen posts about people going into parks, but I can see my local council being miffed if I go digging up the fields etc.

Advice would be much appreciated


As long as you’re digging a nice plug of turf you can easily put back after you’ve finished, no-one should be able to tell you were ever there :wink:

This is possibly the best technique:

If you can, detect at the beach until you feel confident about being a detectorist (the general public won’t look at you too funny if you dig up the sand). Graduate to the grassy area adjacent to the beach.
Rarely will a detectorist be the most destructive thing happening in parks/sports grounds.
Children dig mountain bike jumps, dogs dig holes, and events destroy the ground (including Hangi fire pits).

Try to stay away from places that are historic 100 years or older, but that can be confusing. Hagly park is okay, but Western Springs is not ??? Definitely stay away from anything that was a maori pa site or such, any thing very early settlers - Thames. (if it’s overgrown with bush though you should be fine).

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Thanks for the info and that video was interesting as well

Have fun

Hi there,the golden rule is get permission,try to keep your digging and hole refilling as neat as you can,dont assume anything.Alot of the time I get permission only because I bothered to ask.many landowners I,ve talked to have had bad experiences with tresspassers,but also said quote:if they had bothered to come and ask me I wouldn,t have minded,so worth remembering,otherwise metal detecting is a very rewarding and interesting hobby,good luck out there.

Personally, I stay clear of any mown grass in summer, move out to the edges and into the undergrowth. If you can, practice at the beach first (tidal estuaries are usually virgin ground - A lot of what is mud today was sand not that long ago…)

Ask family and friends if you can have a look on their properties first, get the hang of pinpointing where a target is, and how deep. I have moved into pretty much just doing permissions when not on the beach. So much easier without having to deal with know-it-alls - Who are usually breaching several dog bylaws (fouling/leads/kiwi zones etc) when they challenge you anyway.

Some old-school types frown on pinpointers as ‘cheating’ but after 30 years detecting I love the ability to surgically extract shallow finds with no disturbance at all, and they save valuable time when in the sand. So would put one of these high on your list.

And practice! aim for a minimum of 20Hrs slow, methodical learning.


Thank you everyone :slight_smile: I am looking forward to learning more

Always pick up rubbish- even if you didn’t find it. It sets a good image for detectorists. Try to avoid sports grounds as well.
Good luck