The Quest for Gold – A Unique Hands-On Experience in Roxburgh

Discover the methods of panning for fine gold flakes as used by gold seekers from the gold rush era of the 1860s.

The last independently owned gold claim in Central Otago

Unique family oriented experience

Preserving and showcasing historic gold panning techniques

When Stu Edgecombe arrived in Roxburgh in 1984 as Postmaster for the Teviot district, he could not have imagined that 20 years later he would be mining a gold claim on the banks of the Clutha River. The quest for gold is contagious, and once it is in your blood, it remains. Now in it’s 12th year of operation, Roxburgh Gold Panning continues to inform, educate, and relive the traditions of hands-on gold panning for the many visitors that ‘rush’ to Stu’s gold claim at 21 Ladysmith Road, Roxburgh East.

From years of experience working his claim, Stu knows the signs, where to look, where to dig, the geological formations that indicate where there might be gold. This wealth of knowledge goes to ensure that any visitor to the Roxburgh Gold Panning claim will leave with a small sample of gold that they have mined and panned with their own hands. Stu says he will never grow tired of seeing the joy on people’s faces when they find gold that they have mined themselves, “Everyone strikes gold!”

What should I bring when I visit Roxburgh Gold Panning?

All visitors to Roxburgh Gold Panning will have an opportunity to dig and pan for their own gold. The terrain is rocky, and, in some places uneven. There are several steps that lead down to the gold mining area. Visitors should have a reasonable level of fitness.

Be sure to bring:

      • Sturdy footwear
      • A hat
      • Water bottle
      • Camera

When was gold first found in the Roxburgh area?

Gold was first discovered in the Roxburgh area in 1862. The discovery was made by James Woodhouse and Andrew Young, gold miners who were passing through heading towards the new Dunstan fields around Clyde from Gabriell’s Gully near Lawrence. While resting at the junction point of the Teviot and Clutha rivers, a gold panning session yielded a good strike by the pair. This heralded the beginning of gold fever in Roxburgh. Thousands rushed to the Roxburgh area to stake their claim.

The Ladysmith Gold Dredging Company

In the 1870’s, traditional panning methods were replaced by gold mining companies deploying large steam powered dredges. One such company, the Ladysmith Gold Dredging Company, using the gold dredge Jubilee, worked the river bed and river banks of the Clutha to good effect earning excellent results for the company’s shareholders. The Ladysmith Gold Dredging company ceased operation in 1919.

Stu Edgecombe’s Roxburgh Gold Panning operation is situated along Ladysmith Road, at the very edge of the original Ladysmith Gold Dredging Company claim.

How much does it cost to visit Roxburgh Gold Panning?

The standard price for the Roxburgh Gold Panning experience is:

      • Adults $25.00
      • Children under 16 $15.00

Groups can be accommodated, rates can be discussed when phoning to book.

How long does the Roxburgh Gold Panning visit take?

Time can vary. Stu likes to ensure that each visitor has ample time to gain as much knowledge about gold panning as they can, not to mention, a decent opportunity to discover their own gold.

Allow 1.5 to 2 hours


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Contact info

21 Ladysmith Road, Roxburgh East 9571, New Zealand

Closed now
Monday 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Local time 7:35am


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