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Xmas Break Detecting Adventure

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Over Christmas/New Year I took off with my wife and daughter in my Caravan which I got imported from the UK for an adventure and to pick up the Caravan from Christchurch where the ships come in... for me it was a good chance to use my metal detectors.

I took along the Equinox 800, Gold Bug Pro, T2 on the first trip to Christchurch, a 7 hour drive from home.


My caravan, home away from home for my metal detecting adventures from now on

I've already done a post on a big part of the trip in this thread here as I bought the Ultimate coil for my GBP for beach detecting to take on this trip.

These were the coins found on that first part of the trip, nothing too special, mostly on the beaches around Christchurch


Then I went to KiwiJW's area around Queenstown for the New Years period, they have a great fireworks show there and I was keen to detect the beach afterwards as it gets thousands of people on it for the show.  I went at 4am the next morning to detect the beach but in my haste to leave the Caravan while half asleep I picked up my Gold Monster and threw it in the car somehow thinking it was my Equinox 800.  When I arrived at the beach I realized I had the wrong detector with me. 

Fortunately I had my T2 buried under some blankets in the car as I brought it along for my wife to use if she did any detecting, there was no way I was going to go back to the Caravan and get the Nox as I had a small window of opportunity before people started arriving and sitting all over the beach to watch the sunrise, it seems to be on a bucket list of a lot of tourists.  My wife has decided the T2 isn't for her anymore and wants to only ever use the Gold Bug Pro with the Ultimate coil due to it's insanely accurate Target ID's, it's a great combination.  I had to dumb down to the T2 to about 50% gain on the beach area as there is a lot of EMI around there but I did pretty well with it, finding coins that I had missed on various occasions using my Nox.  I am certain I'd been over these places with the Nox, the beach isn't exactly big, it's long but only about 10 to 20 meters wide.


I was very pleased with the performance of the T2 with Mars Tiger coil, it found coins the Nox missed, maybe they were too scratchy/random of a signal to dig on the Nox, maybe I mistook them for junk with it's smaller VDI range, or maybe the T2 just saw them better on the day, who knows... the crowds of people arrived about 5.30am as expected to watch the sunrise from the lakefront.... I was hoping they wouldn't being New Years day, sleeping off the booze but they were appeared on mass.

While in the area I also threw in my sluice in my favorite creek with my Dad, we went halves in the gold as we ran it for two days, we got about half a gram each.  I've tried my Dad on metal detecting, he just doesn't have the knack for it, and he broke his leg badly a couple of years ago so his leg is full of metal right down near his ankle, not ideal for detecting as it sets off the detector all the time.  He seems to enjoy sluicing though, if I ever ask he always wants to come along and it's fun doing it with him.  He's almost died twice now in the past few years, once from a big heart attack and then once from an infection which took over his body from the leg breaks surgery so it's nice to spend time with him doing something we both like doing. 


Once I got home again after that trip I had to drive back up to Christchurch for a warranty repair on my Caravan as it had a window leak which they fixed up for me.


This trip we had more time so I did a lot more detecting, I also took along my GPX 4500 as on the first trip I was at a beach where my VLF's just couldn't work, too much black sand.


The GPX worked a treat here in the black sand where the VLF's struggled badly, I did find a few coins on this beach with it but nothing exceptional.  I quickly got sick of digging beer bottle tops as the GPX had poor discrimination using my 11" DD coil compared to using my VLF's... I got tired of digging junk all the time so I gave up.  I was pleased however that I was at least able to use the GPX here and it worked well, just a shame about the bottle tops.

We left Christchurch after two days there and getting the Caravan repair done to go to Dunedin, another large city in South Island terms for the remainder of the trip, I wanted to give the beaches there a go as well.  I also detected some parks in Dunedin and did better at them than the beaches.  The beaches were nice but very desolate of people... even on hot days nobody was around to drop their stuff for me to find ?


The footprints on this beach are mine from walking back and forward with my Gold Bug Pro, they're the only footprints on the beach and this is the main *popular* beach in the city.  Only a few minutes drive from the city center.  I found a few coins here, nothing exceptional as just so few people use the beach I guess nothing much gets lost.  Puzzled why it was empty all the time.  Nice weather, the water was warm enough for a swim, crystal clear water, nice sand... amazed it was always empty.

I had better luck in the parks at Dunedin with some quite good coin finds.  I also found a religious thing which is strange as it's very similar to one I found on another trip in Queenstown.



These two photos are the more odd finds I had over the entire XMAS period, two American coins, a Canadian coin, a Fiji coin and the usual NZ old coins and an Aussie coin.  The religious things are down the bottom, the one with NEW is the one I found this trip.  I didn't clean off the old penny coins as I'm not sure the best way to go about it with them being so old.  The other coins cleaned up pretty good.  I cleaned up the 1876 penny as it has had someone attempt to put a hole in it to make a neck pendant by the looks of it so I assumed it's value if any was already gone so I went and cleaned it up, it came up nice for such an old coin.  The second oldest coin was a 1936 US one cent.  The other coin a lot of you will recognize is a 1966 US 1/4 dollar, looks in good condition although there is a lot of wear on it.  It's not unusual to find foreign coins in NZ, we get almost the entire countries population in tourists each year.

When I dug the Canadian dollar I was a bit confused as it's Target ID on the GBP was all over the place yet without looking too hard I just put this dirty looking NZ $2 coin into my pocket, I didn't know at the time it was a Canadian dollar. I just assumed it was something else in the hole causing the Target ID to go wild.

I also found a lot of the more common NZ and Aussie coins, this is a photo of some of them, my wife put the lot of them in my metal detecting coin collection before I got a photo of them so I've only got a few of them that I got a photo of that weren't mixed in with the others.


Turned out a pretty fun break and a good learning experience.  I enjoy using my GBP with Ultimate coil as it's so light and has really good Target ID's, the Nox serves me well also but I was pleased the T2 came through with the goods on New Years day finding coins I've missed with the Nox.  The GPX ran perfectly in the black sand proving to me how well it really cancels out bad ground.  I don't really have a favorite detector anymore, I like them all, they're a nice little family ?




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