Public Gold Fossicking Areas

Areas set aside and freely available to the public for gold fossicking.

If you know of any public gold fossicking areas not listed below, please contact me with some details so I can include them below.

Department of Conservation Areas

Areas set aside for recreational gold fossicking that are administered by the Department of Conservation. Some of these areas are equipped with picnic, barbecue and camping facilities and have good public access.

Alluvial gold is present within all these gold fossicking areas, although the concentrations are often low. All these areas are suitable for gold panning and sluice boxing, mining being restricted to hand-held non-motorised methods within the active stream bed.

Nelson-Marlborough and the West Coast

  • Aorere River - area A
    Aorere River - area A

    15 km southwest of Collingwood.

    Facilities: Picnic, swimming.

    Permit map »

  • Aorere River - area B
    Aorere River - area B

    30 km southwest of Collingwood.

    Facilities: Picnic, swimming.

    Permit map »

  • Lyell Creek
    Lyell Creek

    35 km west of Murchison.

    Facilities: Picnic, camping.

    Permit map »

  • New Creek
    New Creek

    5 km northwest of Rotoroa.

    Permit map »

  • Louis Creek
    Louis Creek

    4 km west of Howard.

    Facilities: Interpretation panel.

    Permit map »

  • Moonlight Creek
    Moonlight Creek

    27 km north-northeast of Greymouth.

    Facilities: Camping.

    Permit map »

  • Nelson Creek
    Nelson Creek

    26 km east-northeast of Greymouth.

    Facilities: Picnic, camping.

    Permit map »

  • Jones Creek
    Jones Creek

    0.5 km southwest of Ross.

    Facilities: Picnic, camping, walkway, visitor centre.

    Permit map »

  • Waiho River
    Waiho River

    Franz Josef National Park.

    Permit map »

  • Shamrock Creek
    Shamrock Creek

    14 km northeast of Hokitika.

    Facilities: Picnic, camping, shelter, fireplaces.

    Permit map »

  • Slab Hut Creek
    Slab Hut Creek

    7 km southwest of Reefton.

    Facilities: Picnic, camping, fireplaces, walking tracks.

    Permit map »

  • Stony and Britannia Streams
    Stony and Britannia Streams

    17 km northeast of Westport.

    Facilities: Picnic, camping.

    Permit map »

Central Otago

  • Twelve Mile Creek
    Twelve Mile Creek

    10 km west of Queenstown.

    Facilities: Picnic, historic gold workings, camping.

    Permit map »

  • Five Mile Creek
    Five Mile Creek

    5 km west of Queenstown.

    Facilities: Swimming, walking.

    Permit map »

  • Arrow River
    Arrow River


    Permit map »

  • Shotover River
    Shotover River

    2.5 km from Frankton.

    Facilities: Wildlife reserve.

    Permit map »

South Otago