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  1. Tomorrow night the family and I will be going on a camper van trip to New Zealand. It's not a gold trip but I have accepted an invitation to hunt a couple of days in the Queenstown area. That will be in the second half of the trip. I'll be with Simon and JW for a few hours to experience some of the mild soils I've been hearing about for years. There is so much to do in New Zealand before I get to Queenstown and on the ferry return. Seventeen days don't seem like enough now. I was not aware that it is about a thousand miles from Auckland. When you add in a ferry, some hot springs, a worm cave here and there, the Hobbit village and a train ride it eats up all your time. Maybe I'll have to go back but for now my kids have a chance to miss a bit of school here so I'm going. If any of you have some 'don't miss spots' please let me know and we might be able to stop.
  2. Yesterday, JW and I went for a bit of a hike to a remote spot in the mountains, I hadn't been here at all since my GPX 4500 a few years ago, and JW had been a small few times since trying out his GPX 6000 and found a few bits. The hike in is what puts it on the backburner all the time 🙂 It's a close drive from JW's house, but a big steep uphill hike, and from my house it's about an hour's drive so by the time I get home I'm stuck to the car seat, man it's hard to stand up after a massive hike and an hour's drive home after a day's detecting with the hike back to the car, at least the hike back is downhill all the way. I ran the car's seat heater the whole drive home to help the muscles recover! JW has a few years of age over me, but he is certainly fitter. It's a really cool place to go though, with great views of the surrounding mountains, unfortunately I can't put up scenery photos for fear of revealing the location to prying eyes, as you can work out the basic location by using the bigger mountains to get an idea of where I was. There has been a bit of mining in the area, and reworked in the depression years, but the earlier mining was done with a lot of work and water monitors (canons) blasting water at the hillsides to recover the gold. The Chinese hit it pretty hard too, staying longer than the other miners going over it again. It's interesting how they get somewhere, then just stop. The soils an interesting colour, almost white. Quite the drop off here down to the ground below, but oddly at least I think you'd be crazy not not to detect these high areas, as gold often pops up in the most unusual of places. My first bit of gold for the day was a bit of a surprise to me, it was a fairly faint signal, yet it was very shallow, I thought it is more likely a pellet although this area barely has any pellets at all, in fact it barely has any targets, if you get a target the chances are high its gold, aside from the occasional old bit of miner's junk like cans and a few nails most targets are gold so it's certainly a dig it all location. I took a little video of the target, so weak of a signal for the size of the gold I thought, although I'm more used to using the 10x5" Coiltek which is more sensitive but still, I was pretty disappointed. This is the little scrape of a hole it came from. The piece of gold. And its weight, quite a reasonable size piece for me, anything over .1 is pretty decent size for me 😛 I was so taken back by how weak the signal on it was I tested it this morning with the Algoforce to see how well it would do, even though it has the larger 10" round coil on it, I thought the Algoforce gave a better signal response on this particular piece. It's a bit of rough looking piece. The other interesting thing is it was right next to someone's previous dig hole, probably JW or I, we were likely using older technology at the time, as I'd only been here with my 4500 which no doubt would miss this piece of gold. It's very unlikely this person didn't go over the nugget and they missed it. The joys of newer technology. Next piece was in the path you walk on to hike to this area, there are tracks all over the place, mostly from old miners I guess however now they're hiking trails and go all through the area, you can even walk from one of my favourite ski fields to this area on tracks. This is it's dig hole, another very shallow target, an OK signal. This is the little guy Smaller than the last bit, but a much better signal. Just ignore the shaft twist in this photo, it's a feature of the 6000 🙂 After that I was walking along detecting the path, but no other gold to be found in that particular area, I did find old boot tacks though which is pretty cool, one spot had a bunch of them in one hole so I gave up recovering them, that miners boots must have fallen apart at that spot 🙂 The gold spot is the dig hole just above the pick in this photo. Here is a little video of it, I haven't watched the videos back yet but it likely shows this one had a better target signal than the previous bigger bit I found. It was pretty easy to film gold finds here as there is so little junk about, so filming bits of digs is worthwhile knowing they're likely gold. Next piece was on top of a little ridge It was my biggest bit of the day, had trouble carrying it for the hike back to the car. Deepest of the holes too. A smooth bit. This is its spot. And a little video of it, the second target next to it was one of 2 pellets I found all day. That was my last bit for the day, the day felt like it went really quick though, we finished up detecting about 7pm, but both of us didn't realize the time and thought it was about 5pm I guess. A benefit or a negative depending on how you look at it coming from the GPZ and GPX 5000 is the 6000 can have the pick so close to the coil it's not funny, it always surprises me how close the pick can go, even when you lay it down recovering targets so while using it I have a belt attached pick holder and in this location I am glad I did, as sometimes its half an hour between targets so nice to holster your pick. The super strong magnet I've got in my pick handle makes life easy too, if I'm using it more regularly, I can just attach it to my pick holder using the magnet to save the effort. It stays there when walking around as long as the pick doesn't bottom out on the ground. So other notable things from the day, this piece of quartz was so weird, it doesn't show up as well in the photo but its flat smoothed off and much like a tile or bench top, and really glossy, so weird. You can see the shine on that one side, but the entire flat surface of it is like that, and its smooth and flat although the photo doesn't show that well. It's like someone's cut it smooth and painted it with polyurethane. And my junk for the day, there was also a nail which I left behind and you can see why I say it's a dig it all location. I'm used to digging hundreds of pellets on the farm land locations, this spot, 2 🙂 Both big pellets too. And last but not least, some old miners' tins I found, I left them where they were, a bit of history. I think this tin can was never opened. This one looked like a giant sardine tin. I think I'll get a bit fitter so the hike and day of swinging a detector around going up and over hills and mounds of soils doesn't wear me down so much and go back to this spot more often, I do really like going there, it just takes it out of me. It's very difficult to E-Bike there too as much of the path is on a cliff side with a big drop and very skinny path no more than 40cm wide in many spots, I've done it before but ended up walking the bike much of the way as I wasn't crazy enough to ride it through the steep drop off areas. Today I'm completely jelly legs and walking is a challenge 🙂 JW doubled my gold count, he came away with 6 pieces, pretty small ones too, he was using the GPX 6000 and 10x5" Coiltek coil, a better choice of coil for the day, I think. I only had the NF coil on as it was left on there from a previous time. It was good to take the 6000 out though, leave it much longer and the old motor may seize from lack of use.
  3. I haven’t had much luck on the gold so far this year, a few days of nothing but junk, so today I gave up exploring and went back to my best patch find for another try. I was there a few days ago with the 6000 and 10x5 and spent the day to find nothing and wanted to move away from the patch into the deeper ground but all the 10x5 will do there is find me pellets so today I tried the 12x7. The detector ran perfectly, such a contrast to prior to the EMI fix. I had spent half a day or so in this deeper ground area a year or two ago with my GPZ and 15” CC and found a few bits, one very deep one too so I had hope there was more if I spent some time there and after plenty of pellets my first 2024 gold, only shallow and small but a notch on the belt. In the hole with it a tiny pellet, not sure if I first found the pellet or the gold 😁 What I like about the 7000 and DOD coils I really miss on the 6000, the double blip it does on close to the coil pellets, saves so much time. With the 6000 I have to scrape the ground clear of grass then check it, faint target ok then scrape more soil away in this rock hard ground even though only less than an inch the faint target is now loud, and of course being so shallow a pellet, all of that avoided with the GPZ double blip. It’s truly odd how faint targets improve so much on the 6000 with so little soil removed. I gave up on the deep ground as I was only finding pellets and even larger bits of metal were quite shallow yet started off rather faint and brighten up quickly with some soil removed. I was in normal max manual sensitivity and well ground balanced. I decided to go back over my patch that I tried the 10x5 on the other day with no success, hoping the 12x7 may find something but an entire afternoon of nothing, I guess the 15cc and 8” got it all that I can find, you may remember the videos of the patch with those coils a year or so ago, ended up about 16 grams over 40 or so nuggets I think it was. I think I’m done with the 6000, I’ve given it a good chance but just prefer the 7000 especially with the 8” and 15” concentric coil so next time that’s what I’m using, hopefully my luck returns for a good 2024 on the gold.
  4. I've been a bit slack with doing adventure posts for a while now, no real reason for it, just lazy I guess! 🙂 Today was a beautiful day, perfectly still and not too hot, not too cold, the ideal day to head up one of the mountains and fire up the Manticore. I quite like the Manticore, while I don't find it's target ID's as good as the Nox in a way its helping my detecting, I focus a lot on target ID's coin hunting cherry picking coins so I dig as little as possible so I don't cause damage to the fields, but when at the ski fields they're wild rocky soil places so digging a hole isn't as damaging and easy to fill it back in like it was never dug so using the Manticore with it's less accurate ID's doesn't overly matter as I tend to dig any non-ferrous. The ski fields aren't overly loaded with junk, for the most part the junk is accidental rather than people throwing rubbish down, for example I found no pull tabs at all even though people often drink out of cans while skiing/snowboarding. The drive up the mountain takes about half an hour once you get to the bottom of it, it's quite a steep drive and many cars overheat trying, it's said to be one of the most dangerous roads in the country, I think it's fine in summer, but winter lots of cars go off the edge from slipping in the ice and snow or crash in some way or another, especially tourists. They should all take the shuttle busses and it'd save a lot of grief. Made it up to the base of the ski area, I wanted to detect where I've never been before, so I went up to the top of a beginner/intermediate lift which took me over an hour to walk up there, but figured the most likely people to fall are beginners going up lifts for the first time so it had the most chance of decent finds. The base magic carpet areas where beginners not capable of using lifts go are always a little over-detected being the easy area to get to right at the base and an obvious place people are constantly falling over. They must still have juice running to the snow guns, these pole sort tended to cause much worse EMI than the other larger guns, not sure why but the Manticore really didn't like working near these ones. The ground is mostly rough broken up schist. this hole to the right of my control pod was a bit of a weird find, a golden knife. Not sure if it's gold, it's not magnetic, quite heavy and comes up as a solid 10 ID on the Manticore. I found this silver ring shortly after the knife. It was in this hole to the right of the control box. It's marked silver, the knife has no markings. This is the area I was mostly detecting, in the distance they set up snow jumps along the trail where the snow guns are for beginners to practice jumping, another good place they constantly fall over. The foreground here was most of my finds for the day. No sign of any surface stuff, far too late in the autumn (fall) for that, if I wanted surface finds I'd have to go just after spring while the snows still melting away, by now people have been wandering around all summer exploring so all of my finds were digs. Go earlier and some quite good stuff can be found without a metal detector, mostly phones and wallets. The ground here is quite variable around the mountain and required reasonably frequent ground balancing when I moved from one spot to the next, there were of course hot rocks too. I thought I'd head back down, my wife and daughter came along and they went to the lake, yep, lake, there is quite a big lake up here. it's straight ahead in this photo in the top right corner. This is it, nice clear water, perfect for a drink refill. I think the lakes around 2000 meters above sea level, something like 6500 feet. It's the first time I've seen it not frozen solid, I mostly am up the mountain in winter and spring when it's frozen. And my total finds Mostly bits off clothing and branding stuff off skis, snowboards and boots. See how none of the junk I found looks like something someone would throw down? I'm quite happy people treat the place with respect and don't throw rubbish around. I have no idea what this thing is, I'm not sure if the 1923 is the age of it or a model number, I couldn't find it on a quick Google search. $10 in current currency NZ spendies on the right, the gold $1 and $2 coins, and the left is oddly all old 20c coins, with one 5c and one 10cent. All pre-1980s coins. The goldies were mostly all from the 1990's except the shiny one which was a more recent 2020 coin. 5 cent don't exist anymore, 10 cents are now different and junk cupro coins and the 20 cent coins now are small rubbish cupro things too, the cupros are made in Canada, these older ones give a nice solid signal. The $1 and $2 are about the easiest coin to find, nice solid signal, never corrode, they just get a bit dull with age but clean up pretty good. The more unusual stuff, looks like an Aussie was littering the coin, a 2002 year of the Outback special edition coin. The left one is some Chinese 100 coin and the right one I'm not sure, some UK 50 pence coin that I've never found before, unusual shape. The Aussie looks like it's been run over by the snow groomers a few times over the years 🙂 So, a fun day out, probably my last detect at the ski areas, it was only 2 weeks ago the area was covered in snow, but the snow was too soon and melted already, the next lot probably won't melt. Happy enough with the Manticore, in fact it's excellent other than it's target ID's, when it comes to Cherry picking coins in the fields I'll stick to using the Nox and especially the CTX, I need the more stable reliable ID's so I dig as few holes as possible.
  5. It happened last year with Craig Douglas (NuggetHunterNZ on DP Forum) finding a 177 Gram gold nugget and now it's happened again, these guys have now found a 121 gram nugget in a creek similar to how Craig found his this time using a GPX 4500 or 5000, not sure which one. And the video of it, these guys make a heap of good videos usually of them dredging but this time it was detecting when they found it. The video has a fair few gold finds on it, Perhaps I need to start looking in creeks more often 🙂
  6. Hey folks, I met up with a few friends on boxing day and headed into the wilderness to try and find some gold. After a hike into the location and setting up camp I headed off with my sniping gear to find my fortune, about 10.30am. By 1pm I had about a gram and a half in small pieces from a range of crevices. At this point I had a short break and considered my options. I chose a good looking crevice which cut across the river and had a good bedrock / current arrangement. After removing a little of the gravel which covered most of the crevice I spotted a couple of of slightly chunkier bits than what I’d got earlier. Well, shortly after this the crevice really pu on a show and in the following 1.5hours I found some fantastic gold. I ended up with 29.6g for the 4.5hrs I’d spent in the creek. This is pretty up there in terms of total gold Iver personally found in a day.
  7. This is a bit of a big deal, maybe not for the rest of the World but it is for NZ customers. The Axiom is now priced at a much more reasonable price, now it's priced just under a GPX 6000. A dealer I didn't even know existed now carries it for 8,599.00 NZD for the wireless package and have it in stock. So if any NZ'ers are out there looking for an Axiom it's worth contacting Detectors Downunder, I've honestly never heard of them which is odd, they're a 100% NZ owned business and sell the full Garrett range. The GPX 6000 is currently $8,898.99. They're called Detectors Downunder and they service both Australia and New Zealand. https://detectorsdownunder.co.nz/products/axiom-wireless-package Also, they take care of the warranty should it be required, it's just sent back to them so that's great as that was always a concern with Garrett in NZ and even Aussies shared similar concern, what to do for warranty, so this seems resolved. It's now making the other Garrett dealer in NZ look very bad as they're still trying to sell it for $10,770.81, more than a GPZ 7000. In Australia they also have the Axiom on their Aussie site for $7385 AUD for the wireless package and have it in stock too. https://www.detectorsdownunder.com/garrett-axiom-wireless-package 🙂
  8. Finally a meteorite has been confirmed to land in NZ, it seems a very rare event. It landed somewhere near where I look for gold, so you never know If I'm extraordinary lucky I may strumble across something one day. 🙂 Hunt for rare meteorite begins after spectacular fireball over Otago The fireball was detected on a camera at Dunstan High School, Alexandra. Photo / Fireballs Aotearoa Scientists are searching for a meteorite that fell to the ground after a spectacular fireball lit up the sky over Otago on Sunday night. The meteorite dropped somewhere southeast of Middlemarch and west of Outram near Dunedin, Fireballs Aotearoa scientists said. The fireball was captured over central and east Otago at 10.50pm by five night-sky cameras deployed as part of Fireballs Aotearoa's mission to track down New Zealand meteorites. Associate Professor James Scott from the University of Otago's Department of Geology recently deployed three of the five cameras with students and colleague. The meteorite fell somewhere in the area southeast of Middlemarch and west of Outram. Image / Fireballs Aotearoa. "It's stunning. The fireball was seen from Oamaru to Invercargill, and from Queenstown to Dunedin, and we are confident that it dropped between 1kg and 10kg of material southeast of Middlemarch - right in the middle of our network." The other two fireball cameras that detected the meteor were based in Southland and operated by Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society of NZ, Bob Evans. Calculations by Dr Denis Vida from the Global Meteor Network showed the meteor sped in steeply from the west at about 15km/s and lasted over six seconds. It decelerated to about 3km/s, at which point the bright flight stopped. "This is a good sign because it means that meteorites survived until the end," Dr Vida said. "A loud sonic boom followed the fireball, indicating a large size of the initial meteoroid entering the atmosphere." Just nine confirmed meteorites have fallen in New Zealand over the past 150 years, with only two having been seen to "fall". The last confirmed meteorite came through a roof in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie in 2004 and originated from an asteroid, an area of rubble left over from early solar system. The calculated trajectory of Sunday's meteoroid suggests the last one also came from the asteroid belt. Astronomer Jeremy Taylor of Fireballs Aotearoa asked people not to trespass while looking for any meteorites. "If you live in this area, please look out for dark shiny rocks in places they shouldn't be," Mr Taylor said. "If you find a piece on your land or on a road, please let us know. Don't take any risks searching for it and don't go where you shouldn't." Dr Michele Bannister from the School of Earth and Environmental Science at Canterbury University explained what people should look out for when hunting the meteorite. "It'll have a distinct black surface from melting during its passage through the atmosphere," Dr Bannister said. "Please photograph it in place: Note the location using your phone GPS and avoid touching it with your bare hands, the less contamination the better. "Pick it up in fresh aluminium foil if possible, or otherwise a new clean plastic bag." If you do find something out-of-place, then please send a photo and the coordinates to Prof. James Scott (james.scott@otago.ac.nz), who is co-ordinating the search for this rock, or via the contact page at www.fireballs.nz. Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/hunt-for-rare-meteorite-begins-after-spectacular-fireball-over-otago/6D3UZANOWAS6BINOEHLOHI2AAA/
  9. Yesterday I was meant to be cleaning up my garage, I'd made a mess of it and the boss told me it must be returned to normal but fortunately for me JW contacted me first thing in the morning asking if I wanted to go for a detect. This was enough for the "boss" to tell me I can do the garage today instead... yet here I am 🙂 We took the coils to a spot we've both detected a lot, a huge amount really but it was a good testing ground for the Coiltek's due to the high EMI envrionment, powerlines, buildings, airport, it's got them all 🙂 I knew from my initial testing at home the Coilteks were working A LOT better for me than my 11" coil, and I now suspect I've had a faulty 11" coil since I got my detector and it explains why I didn't like the 6000. I went over ground I'd done with the 11" coil as a bit of a test for the 10x5" Coiltek, I'd done this ground to the best of my ability and JW has been hammering it too, he's got quite a bit out of this area too. I didn't take many photos as I think most people are more interested in how the coils behave more so than photos of them. We arrived at about 10am, mostly the ground wasn't frozen except in shady spots which was handy as it's been frozen a lot lately. JW put on my Coiltek 14x9" and I used the Coiltek 10x5". It wasn't even 10 minutes and JW comes walking up as he'd found his first bit of gold with the 14x9", right near where we put our bags down, off to an incredible start, I'm guessing it's about .2 to .3 of a gram. Down in the bedrock too. Off to a good start for an area we've done so much. My first target I was sure was going to be gold ended up being a shot pellet, I really have no idea how pellets get into places like this, but they do. I had to move giant rocks by levering them with my pick and dropping them off the cliff, it took a lot of effort and I'm amazed how strong the Davsgold picks are, the jobs I do with them moving and lifting rocks is pretty incredible that they don't break. JW had lost his pick on a previous visit to this area, left it behind somewhere when he left, we were hoping we'd find it but as someone else had been detecting there too ( we could tell by dig holes ) there was a likelihood it was gone. I thought I'd upload this video as it shows the pains of detecting 🙂 The next target shortly after was only a few steps away from this one and it turned out to be a nugget. I'd missed this one in the past as it was well hidden, I had to smash out some of a bush to get the coil under there to even detect the ground, I'd not done that before but when you're in an area you've flogged to death you need to do these things in the hope of finding something. Here is a bit of a video of the find, as with most of my videos just raw footage, I don't like editing as to me raw footage is more informative than a chopped up and edited video. I was happy with the performance of the 10x5", a real game changer for me as I'm confident my 11" is faulty, it's away at the moment at the service agent to be checked, they can't look at it until next week so I'm eagerly awaiting their results, if it's not faulty its a piece of junk and will become a sacrificial lamb to get the one part of it I find valuable, it's chip, if its faulty then maybe I'll be happier with the replacement, soon find out. I switched the detector on and even though in a very high EMI environment and with JW detecting close by with his 6000 I had no significant EMI issues, I didn't even need to noise cancel although I did do one, I didn't need to regularly noise cancel and factory reset often like I did with the stock coil either, in fact unless right near the power lines a noise cancel was never required. Not once during the entire day did my detector go nutty, no police sirens or UFO sounds, nothing! Such a contrast to my stock coil that literally drove me mad, I was so frustrated with the detector I wanted to smash it. I was able to tilt the coil and go up and detect cliffs and nothing, no problems, if anything slightly higher EMI when off the ground due to the interference in this high EMI area from the power lines mostly. Nothing that I'd consider an issue that's for sure. This is the first day prospecting with the 6000 I actually found it enjoyable and started to like the detector. Here is a video showing my experience around and under the power lines with the Coilteks, this is a very high EMI area with houses nearby, power lines obviously, an International airport very close by, I mostly dedicated this to the 14x9" as we all know the bigger the coil the worse the EMI and I think it handled the situation very well, not quite GPZ with small X-coil or Concentric capability as I can run that maxed out under the same lines and keep it stable but for a GPX it did remarkably well I think. These Coiltek's for me are soooooo much better than my possibly faulty 11". My second nugget of the day was one I was more impressed with, it was in a little bedrock area JW and I have both hammered with our 6000's, in the video I said I did this spot with my 8" X-coil on the GPZ but I was in fact wrong, It was my GPX and 11" I did it with, and found a bit of gold within about 15 inches of this nugget using the 11" so we both missed this bit for some reason, The piece of gold I found the last time I used my 6000 was so close to where this one was, in the same line of bedrock only and only about 15 inches away, JW jogged my memory by reminding me the bit I found next to this one in this video was the bit where he came over with his GPX 6000 and 17x13" and even as we dug it out further the 17x13" was completely blind to it until it was near touching the coil. So, after a day of using between the 10x5" and 14x9" I am much happier with my GPX 6000, the majority of problems I had with it are resolved by changing to these coils, if it was that I had a faulty 11" coil then that's great news but if not and these are just that much better than the 11" coil then that's fine by me. The major complaint I had from the day was the shaft twist, especially with the 14x9" coil, not the coils fault by any means but something to be aware of. JW ended up with 2 nuggets also, very similar sizes to mine, one smaller and one bigger one. Getting any in this particular area is very much a challenge these days but a good testing ground. My 6000 went flat so it was game over for me but I went over to JW who had a signal in some bedrock he was trying to smash out, quite close to the power lines and his 11" was working to an acceptable level there I thought but he said some days his is better than others, my 11" would have been doing police sirens and all sorts of strange noises in that same spot. It was a very faint signal and he couldn't smash it out with his pick, the rock was too hard so he's going to have to go back with some heavy equipment, I had the 14x9" on at the time and turned on my detector and it lasted long enough after a rest turned off to go over that target and it got no signal, but that's not a surprise I already figured out the 11" was slightly more sensitive to tiny gold than the 14x9", we are confident it was a tiny bit of gold, so he'll go back and get it. I'm more confident the 10x5" would have had a signal on that target than the 14x9", it's significantly more sensitive to smaller targets. So yes, I now like my 6000 except a few things about it like the wobby shaft and questionable reliability, but it's not going to replace my GPZ, not even close, I still much prefer the GPZ but I'm lucky in that I have a great range of coils for it. And JW ended up finding his lost pick! So a good day for all.
  10. Looks like Parker from Gold Rush is really chasing the crumbs now. I can't remember who it was but someone told me they bumped into Parker here not too long ago. I love how they say NZ is the land of Big Gold 🙂 Obviously his biggest mistake was not asking me for advice. All-New Season Of GOLD RUSH PARKER’S TRAIL Premieres June 17 On Discovery And Discovery+ May 27, 2022 by Thomas Miller On an adventure of a lifetime, 27-year-old Parker Schnabel is traveling further than ever before in search of gold. Parker and his friends head to New Zealand – land of sharks, hobbits, big gold and revolutionary mining gear. To gain an edge back home, the crew head deep into the wilderness to explore all that this unique land has to offer and take Parker’s mining to the next level. An all-new season of GOLD RUSH: PARKER’S TRAIL premieres Friday, June 17 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery and streams on discovery+. In addition to watching GOLD RUSH: PARKER’S TRAIL on Discovery and discovery+, viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #GOLDRUSH and following Gold Rush on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. After closing out an epic $15 million Yukon season, Parker has rolled the dice yet again, putting down nearly $200,000 of his own gold on a Fairbanks property in his home state of Alaska. There’s a huge profit to be made on the ground, but he’ll need to find specialty equipment to process the clay-rich ground before he can obtain any of it. It’s a state-of-the-art wash plant that he’s in need of… and he’s going to travel around the globe to find it. Parker believes New Zealand is the only other place in the world with the engineering prowess to give him any real chance of a massive Alaskan payday. Home to some of the most forward-thinking miners, Parker and his crew quickly learn this remote island is chalk full of high-risks, tough environments, and secretive Kiwi mining communities who aren’t so quick to lend a helping hand to a fellow competitor. A journey that’s as epic as it is high-risk, Parker and his crew find adventure at every turn as they explore all that this land has to offer. Whether scaling the Franz Josef Glacier to find the source of New Zealand’s famous West Coast Gold or undertaking a hair-raising jet boat trip down the Kokatahi River, Parker’s biggest test of all will be facing his fears with a gold prospecting dive through shark infested waters. GOLD RUSH: PARKER’S TRAIL is produced for Discovery by Raw Television, where Sam Maynard, Craig Blackhurst and Peter Campion are Executive Producers, Adam Hayes is Head of Production, and Sophie Hales is Series Producer. For Discovery, Carter Figueroa is Executive Producer and Jessica Mollo is Coordinating Producer. Medium/close up of Parker laughing. Silhouette of Parker Schnabel at the beach. Wide shot of Devil’s Gate. Medium shot of Jeffrey Turnell driving and Parker Schnabel as passenger. Wide shot of Jeff and Matt Dove using little red. Parker using the excavator.
  11. Yesterday JW suggested we take our GPX 6000's out and compare them to ensure mine is now working properly as I've had no confidence in it after my woes. Unfortunately we were unable to compare our 11" coils like for like as his coil is still away for warranty replacement, it must be 3 weeks now and no sign of a replacement, they just have no stock to swap it for which is pretty poor, but with the number of faulty ones I've seen on Facebook I'm not at all surprised they have no stock as it's not a coil they'd make a lot of as extras seeing everyone gets one with the detector. JW suggested we go to an area he's used his 6000 a lot with the 11" before it died so he would know how mine should behave to see if anything is out of the ordinary. I just wanted to use his detector for a bit to see if EMI was as troubling with it as it was with mine, so I took it for a spin with the Minelab 17" coil on it, I found it was no different with it's EMI behaviour to mine, in fact I thought it was worse but I guess that's to be expected, a bigger coil. We were quite close to a standard normal power line, not the high voltage transmission ones like at the other area that I wanted to wrap the GPX around a tree and say goodbye to it for good. JW had a fair while on mine checking it out and doing factory resets and just experimenting with it, he thought it ran similar to his with it's EMI behaviour so I guess it is how it is, he had my threshold running reasonable, much better than it was at the other location that's for sure. The other spot with the transmission lines is my favourite area but it just suits the GPZ better as it doesn't care at all about the transmission lines, even right near them its as if they barely exist and you can run it with the normal coil you'd use and your normal settings. The GPX requires the DD and adjusted settings so it makes no sense to use the GPX there, the same reason I didn't like using my 4500 there. Once JW had approved my GPX I felt a little more confident in it, knowing that more ratty threshold is normal, I'm just not good on ratty detectors and feel I'll always miss the faint targets with them by comparison to more stable detectors where as JW doesn't mind a more ratty detector, experience level differences I would guess. I had another confidence booster, the Avantree Torus speakers, I've never been much of a headphone person and the ML-100's that come with the GPX have a high pitched hiss all the time once connected to the 6000 which would give me a headache listening to that all day but the Torus speakers are perfect sound, no hiss and very clear audio and easy to hear even in a noisy environment, where we were has a rushing river nearby with quite noisy water sound in the background but the Torus was fine, perfect in fact. Quick and easy to pair with good sound quality and volume level, I was able to turn the GPX volume right down to minimum to stabilize the machine even more and run the Torus on the volume level that suited me. One thing I will point out is with the Torus on you'll like finding 22 shells, sure the noise is booming but the Torus gives you a shoulder massage every time you sweep over one so you'll find yourself swinging over them multiple times enjoying the vibrating massage 🙂 I like the Torus so much I'm going to use my Bluetooth transmitter on the GPZ and use them on it too, so I can finally retire my harness that was only there as a way to hold my SP01 and speakers. The neck gap on them is huge, designed for someone with a neck like Shrek I think and my Pelican neck is a bit skinny for them but they held on perfectly fine and I had no concerns of them coming off. I'd highly recommend anyone considering these things to give them a try, I doubt you'll be disappointed. They even talk to you 🙂 It started to rain a bit while using them and they're not water resistant but I just put my jumper over top of them and the sound came through it perfectly fine (not sure what Americans call it) and Kiwi's never even know what I mean when I say jumper as it's a Queensland/Australia term as far as I can tell. Once we'd done tinkering comparing detectors we started detecting, I wandered off 20 or so meters away from JW so I didn't interfere with his detector and started detecting some bedrock. I was running my GPX in Auto as if I tried manual 10 or Auto+ it became a bit too unstable for my liking I guess due to the nearby power lines. It wasn't long and I had a good target noise, super faint but very repeatable and after scraping away all the soil off the bedrock I was pretty sure it wasn't a pellet, I started breaking away the schist to try get down to it, I was attacking for for about 20 minutes and I guess JW noticed as he came over, I told him what's going on and showed him my target response at that time, it had improved to a point it was very obvious after smashing some bedrock away. He said lets check my 17" coil over it and see how it responds, so he waived the coil over it, nothing at all, he pushed the edges right into the cracks in the bedrock and nothing, he spent a bit of time trying to get a response from the target and he couldn't get one. We fired up my GPX again and waived it over it and straight away a reasonably good response. After seeing that I'm glad I didn't buy the 17" coil seeing we mostly hunt smaller gold it's not near got the sensitivity of the 11" on this stuff. to be completely blind to this piece when the 11" was getting it pretty easily. JW had also lost a couple of targets he was recovering with the 17" coil so we went over to them with the 11" and tried to find them, the 11" found one of the two lost targets straight away. JW then hung around to help recover the target, he's a lot better at getting gold out of bedrock than I am, I'm not aggressive and hack away at it slowly as I'm so scared I'll lose the nugget, it's happened before 🙂 He just smashes the hell out of it and gets it out quickly. It didn't take him too long and he had it out, as per usual with the GPX once the target is near the coil it ROARS on it, a few inches away and it's a quiet response so once out we had it in no time. The dug out bit of bedrock is below the coil in the photo above. The nugget circled. That's where it was, I was so surprised the 17" coil had no response on this nugget when in there, it was probably on its side in a layer of the schist but still, the 11" performed so much better. This is the nugget. I'm confident the GPZ with my favourite little 8" would have hit this far easier than the GPX did, it wasn't what I'd call deep but it was faint on the GPX and missed entirely by the 17" even with some of the bedrock broken away. Next up I kept detecting around this same bedrock and it falls off a bit of a cliff down to the river below, it's pretty wild on the way down but I went off the edge a bit as I could see an area I could start to get down and detected one of the many ledges on the way down, I found a few pellets down there but also a nugget. It was very shallow and a louder signal than a pellet. It was really only a couple of pick scrapes to remove the grass and I had it, it's lucky I wasn't being lazy ignoring the first pick scrapes assuming they're pellets. The reason I didn't ignore it and I ignore many pellets is the pellets the GPX finds harder to detect, sure it booms on them when you first go over them as they're close to the coil, you do a couple of pick scrapes and move the pellet into a pile of soil and the target signal drops off dramatically to a point they can entirely disappear or be very hard to locate compared to the screaming signal when they're near the coil so you find yourself flattening out the pile. It's a bit of a giveaway with lead pellets I think as gold tends to remain a decent signal as it's not as difficult of a target as a small sphere like a lead pellet. Here is a video of the spot the nugget was, not usual for me to go off edges like this I usually leave the mountain goat stuff for JW 🙂 My threshold was pretty savage in this video, I did a factory reset not long after this as it was starting to go wild. Good ol' Geosense. It's amazing doing a factory reset fixes it up when no amount of noise cancels will. I hope its a bug they can fix and a firmware update comes out some day. I decided I'd go back up to where I found the first one and give it another go, a couple of meters along the same run of bedrock I found another faint target signal that lived beyond clearing the dirt off the schist bedrock. Because I'd just only done the same thing I knew this was going to be gold so I did some filming. I didn't film the entire process as I'm very slow getting gold out of bedrock 🙂 This is the better video of the two to watch as it gives a better idea of the recovery I switch to manual 10 in the video from Auto and you'll see the target response improve, I just preferred hunting in Auto while I'm still getting used to the more ratty threshold of the GPX over the GPZ even though I know I'm taking a performance hit doing so. And the happy snaps. This one was a bit deeper than the last one, took me a long time to smash it out. A bit more of a ball nugget, again the GPZ would have hit it easily. It was now starting to rain a little bit and likely snowing on the mountains above us so our day we nearing the end, we only started around Lunch time so I was pretty happy with my results. JW at this stage had given up on the 17", I guess seeing it entirely miss the first target I got wasn't really encouraging. He'd put on the 14" DD now, I'm sure he wished his 11" wasn't away on warranty at this stage as he'd not found anything yet. I went back towards where we stored our bags and started detecting around there and found my last nugget of the day, another very simple target, it was in someone elses dig hole spoils, they'd dug up the nugget and rejected it, I guess they thought because it was in soil and not on or in the bedrock it wasn't gold, so I recovered it and it was my biggest of the day 🙂 It was right near where the cliff drops off to the river below. I checked with JW, it wasn't his dig hole so someone else had been there, he did point out when we arrived it looked like someone else had been there recently as there was dig holes that were not his so someone donated me a nugget. So overall my GPX was working much better at this spot, it still had its Geosense quirks and is nowhere near as stable as the GPZ, and the GPZ I know is just as sensitive if not more so than the GPX when its using small coils on the GPZ, it'll be interesting to see the improvements with the smaller coils on the GPX. Where the GPX appears to be more sensitive is small pellets near the coil with the way it really roars on them, but any depth on those little pellets and reality sets in, it's just hyper sensitive to targets close to the coil, it'd be good for bedrock hunting with that behaviour. My total for the afternoon. We bailed out because it started raining and only started at lunch time so a good result for me. JW found one little guy at .19 of a gram and that was once he changed over to the 14" DD, he was certainly digging away all day though, I could hear a lot of smashing on the bedrock! Damn pellets! My junk level was really low, I was rejecting known pellets by the strong pellet signal dropping off to next to nothing in the dig out pile quirk the GPX has. Those 22 shells give a nice massage with the Torus 🙂
  12. While not quite as exciting as Reg and James and their colours I did manage to pop a few up myself yesterday. JW and I went back to the same place I found my KFC nuggets the other day, I once again stayed right at the entrance due to my broken foot, I really can't walk very far before the pain is too much and I need to save some life in my foot for the days hunting, If I walked too far I'd have nothing left in me for swinging the detector. JW fortunately has healed up quickly from his leg muscle injury and was able to walk off into the distance, he ended up going a fair way away to an area I've not been to since I was using my GPX 4500. He did well too, ended up with 8 nuggets. Seeing I was going over ground we mostly went over the previous days I didn't have much hope for myself, but I wasn't going to let that get in my way. I was more determined than ever to at least find one nugget we missed. It's a very small area where I was hanging around, I first found gold in this exact spot with my GPX 4500 a few years ago, I found a 1.2 gram nugget down by the creek, and a couple of little ones near it, I then asked JW to go over it with his GPZ and stock coil and clean up anything my 4500 missed and I vaguely remember him finding another 6 or so tiny little nuggets I'd missed. It really is a small area, there is a dirt road and about 10 to 15 meters (30 to 50 feet) wide on one side of the road is where the gold has been found, it goes for a stretch of about 50 meters I would guess (165 feet) along the side of a bit of a drop off into a creek. It's on a downward slope and drops into a little gully and down the bottom of this is where I previously found the 1.2 gram nugget. This is the area I confined myself to that we both confined ourselves to a couple of days ago. Over the other side of the road is another area with quite long grass and deeper ground. I had an explore over there on the road side for a few hours and found nothing but junk. The other day I stayed up near the top of this area where I found 6 nuggets including my KFC pieces 🙂 This time my focus was more down towards the bottom, JW had a bit of a shot down there the other day but I didn't make it down there as we keep our distance apart to stop the detectors messing with each other, both the GPZ 7000 and GPX 6000 JW is using work remarkably well next to each other though. He was going to use his GPZ this time as it's just better for in the long grass, the shaft on the 6000 twists, the coil ears don't appear strong enough for pushing the detector through long grass so he's a bit worried about breaking them doing what we do with the GPZ. We use our detectors as a way to push down and flatten the grass, and with the GPX this isn't really possible so you have to do it by foot stomping and then detect over it which takes more time. His little flap cover on the back of the detector is always hanging open too, that thing just never holds shut, might have to tape it down or something. The GPZ is much more robust and you just bulldoze the grass down. Anyway, he just ended up using the GPX again as it was ready when I arrived at his house, it was a bit of a last minute idea to go on our gold hunt yesterday. This is the long grass I'm talking about, the 8" is a breeze in this stuff, it just squishes it down and the nice tough GPZ shaft has no problems doing it, being dry the grass is quite firm too, not nice soft green grass. JW doesn't have this little 8" coil though so he'd be using a 15" Concentric coil which wouldn't be quite as good in the long grass although he'd still be able to bulldoze it over with the stronger shaft, I've used the 12" Concentric fine doing that, but still not as easy as the 8". The little dig hole to the bottom left was just a pellet in this photo. My first nugget of the day was right down the bottom where the road drops down into the gully, right near where I found the 1.2 gram piece a few years ago with the 4500 and where JW had checked with his GPZ and stock coil at the time cleaning up the bits I'd missed. Down by the water in the shade of the willows the grass stays green, unusual for in this area as its so arid and brown. Sorry about the spit on the scoop, I had to clean the gold to see it was even gold 🙂 It was quite deep down, its hard to tell in the photos but you can sort of see the soil pile in this one above. The 8" is like a laser, you can dig pick width holes to get your target out as it's so small and accurate. And the nugget, I thought it was going to be heavier than it was, it was my biggest of the day. I was happy now, I thought at that point it was extremely unlikely I'd find another one, we'd just done this ground too much for there to be any more nuggets we'd missed. JW rang me from his location way out of my walking range to check up how I was doing, at this point he'd found 3 nuggets and I'd just found this one, I guess he was about a kilometer away along the dirt road at the time. A little further along down the bottom I had another target, weird, perhaps a pellet that was rejected or something so I dug it up. A little ball 🙂 Although a lot smaller it weighs more than the bigger flat one. And it wasn't 10 minutes and I'd found a 3rd, all in a similar area down near the bottom of this little dip in the road. This one was probably hidden due to the long grass, because I was able to squish the grass down so easily I was able to get close to the ground. In fact it's probably similar for all of them, with the clumps of grass the GPZ just has more push strength to crush it down to get closer to the soil. A little KFC mini drumstick 🙂 There isn't much meat on the KFC mini drum. I gave up in this area now, I've absolutely slammed it and so has JW, I was honestly surprised to get anything. I went over the other side of the road in the small area between the road and the fence, it was just full of trash, although I did find a silver ear ring, probably from a hiker. The really bad bit about detecting along this road was hikers, they kept walking past me, I felt like a monkey at a zoo with them all stopping to watch me and talking to me with the same standard lines, "have you found anything" or "are you looking for gold". This place is normally pretty empty, you're lucky to see one other person in a day, this day I am sure there was 20 or 30 hikers go past! so weird! JW encountered them way further along where he was too. He probably wasn't right at the road though so wouldn't have had it as bad as I did. The ear ring I found, I also found a wedding ring from a mouse. Poor little guy probably got a big lecture from Mrs Mouse for losing his wedding ring. and my junk, I zoomed in so you can get a real good look at it! I was rejecting surface pellets, if it moves on the first scrape or two it stays there, these are the ones I had to dig, using the same dig and recovery process of a nugget, very time consuming. I don't understand how the pellets get down deep into the ground, maybe they've been there a long time, some get down in cracks in the bedrock and everything and really get you excited. A majority of this junk came from the opposite side of the road to the gold along where the fence is. JW has found gold on that side in the past, I wasn't able to find any there this time. I had a fun day, even though I confined myself to such a small area I was happy to get some gold. I'll post a photo of JW's nuggets weight when he sends one though to me. And for those wondering, yes we got KFC on the way home 🙂
  13. JW and I went on another prospecting adventure yesterday, JW was taking the day off work as the night after our first hunt he woke up in the middle of the night with a cramp, and his leg is now very sore, although that didn't stop him wanting to go look for gold, he is dedicated so he contacted me asking if I wanted to go, of course that is a hell yes. I still have my broken foot so we were both hobbling along. We planned to go to the same area where I found my KFC Chicken drum stick nugget On the way to the area we stopped at another spot, I'd only been here once for an hour or two, that time I tried to use my Gold Monster but had no success, this area is very salty and just drove the GM nuts, I couldn't use it but in his car I had the GPX 4500 with Nugget Finder EVO coil so I got that out and used it, it found me a piece of gold, I don't remember what settings I ended up using it was a couple of years ago but I know I had to adjust my settings from their usual settings for the salt. This time I had the GPZ and Equinox with me, I was going to try the Equinox but never got around to it, I just used the GPZ and 8" X-coil, I wasn't too confident it would work well with the salty soil and was going to change to the Concentric coil but JW encouraged me to give it a shot, there is a lot of thyme bushes in this area so the smaller coil would be very helpful to get between the bushes that the 12" coil would struggle with. JW was right, the 8" worked fine and within about 5 minutes of putting my coil to the soil I had my first bit of gold. I'm not that organised but I think it's this nugget It wasn't all that deep but it was a very booming signal. You'll notice from this shot how different the soil looks compared to the other area we were heading to. About 10 minutes after I found my piece JW found one with his GPX 6000, we spent another hour or so looking around and found nothing more so we moved on, so we had one each from this area. The next place we went we decided to just stay right at the start seeing he's got a bung leg and I have a bad foot we didn't want to have to walk far, especially on hillsides, and by that I mean right at the entrance, we didn't even leave the dirt road area going in, we'd done this area before a couple of years ago at the time I would have been using my GPX 4500 and GM1000 and JW was using his GPZ 7000 with standard coil, it has been a while since we've done it, he'd previously done it with older GP detectors too and VLF's. I stayed in High Yield, Normal 20 all day and JW had his GPX maxed out too. It wasn't long after arriving and I had my first nugget. It looks like one of the fries to go with my KFC chicken drum stick from the other day 🙂 A decent weight too for the area. It sounded pretty funky being a long thin bit but was a simple target. The next ones were all quite small but I just kept finding more and more, it was fun. This spot had three next to each other, you'll see where my coil is, just down below that is two big rocks, each of those rocks was a dig hole for nuggets. Another one 🙂 A bit of a ball. This one was tiny, a 0.043 of a gram nugget, simple target though as you'll see if you watch the video of it. And another one I even lost count of how many I found, usual for me 🙂 Here is a video of my second smallest one, a 0.065 of a gram We often compared the nuggets we found on each others detectors and both the 6000 and 7000 were equally doing well on all the nuggets, there was no obvious winner that's for sure, very close and I'd say I'd prefer to use the 7000 as the smaller coil was beneficial for poking around especially when the thyme bushes are involved, but soon the 6000 will have small coils anyway from various brands. So here are my weights And my total Jw was hunting within 10 to 20 meters of me all day (30 to 60 feet) and the detectors behaved very well, he had to get very close to me for the 6000 to cause a problem with the 7000, and the same the other way around, it was pretty good being able to hunt near each other like that without any problems. Here is Jw's total for the day with his GPX 6000, 1 at the salty spot and another three at this KFC drum stick spot.
  14. Simon, Get your dredge ready. I'll be right there! https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/128327995/the-new-central-otago-gold-rush-is-just-a-trickle-for-most
  15. Here's a video a local guy has made about NZ's largest ever gold nugget find at 99.63 ounces, thought some may find it interesting..... I can only dream but it least it shows they have been out there, it's not all fly poo. My biggest to date is 4.2 grams, a long way off this lump. Something I learnt from the video is NZ has rather pure natural gold. Purity of West Coast Gold and its Formation Westland’s gold is one of the purest in the world being 94% – 98% pure (95.9% = 23kt) in its natural form. This purity gives the gold its rich natural yellow colour. Ancient glaciers and tectonic movements have shaped the gold. Tectonic forces have crushed and split open the original host quartz veins releasing the trapped gold within. Glacial paths and natural water ways have helped disperse the raw gold. The resultant effects are that West Coast gold is mostly alluvial gold of the flatter smooth variety, and surprisingly hard in its raw form.
  16. I've had an interest in the Tarsacci for a while now, not enough of an interest to want one but more so an interest in what it's capable of. We have some of the worst or best depending on how you look at it black sand beaches in the World in New Zealand. I stumbled across a video of a person using their Tarsacci on a black sand beach near New Plymouth on the North Island. New Plymouth is right under Mount Taranaki which is an active volcano and is a source of the black sand on New Zealand's North Island's west coast beaches. Some information on the beaches from a government website Scientists like Dr Hume can trace the origins of sand from the different proportions of minerals it contains. The snowy white sands of Parengarenga in Northland, for instance, are formed from quartz; while the golden sands of Golden Bay get their colour from the weathered iron (iron oxide) in granite. The black sand found on the west coast of the North Island, is made of titanomagnetite – a mixture of titanium and iron. This soft material comes from Mount Taranaki and is swept up the coast as far as North Cape – a distance of about 400 km – ground into rounder and finer grains as it goes. “This is the biggest journey of sand anywhere in New Zealand, probably taking hundreds or thousands of years” says Dr Hume. “The sand is moved along this coastal highway by the prevailing waves that drive north from the southern ocean, stopped by headlands – ‘temporary carparks’ – along the way. The big sandpit at the end is Pandora Banks, a series of shoals off North Cape.” Waves do most of the work moving sand; tidal currents do very little. Wherever there’s white water, sand is being bounced along the seabed. As any surfer will know, the wave energy on the west coast is very high, so it winnows out the less dense (and lighter-coloured) quartz and feldspar sands, leaving the denser black ironsand behind. Sand can travel thousands of kilometres over time. But how long does it take to make sand from rock or shell? This depends on the type and hardness of rock (or shell), and how fast it’s broken down by weathering in the soil and during its transport by rivers to the sea. “Hard minerals like feldspar and quartz – the source of creamy coloured sand on many beaches north of Auckland and in the Bay of Plenty – take thousands of years to get ground down to sand. Shells are much softer and may only take tens or hundreds of years,” says Dr Hume. “On some beaches, shell is the primary source of sand,” says Dr Hume. “Overharvesting of pipis and cockles in harbours and estuaries can mean sand is in short supply.” On the other hand, the invasion of the hard-shelled Pacific oyster in the Manukau Harbour has converted some sandy beaches to shelly beaches, because Pacific oyster shells take longer to wear down than the shells of native shellfish. You can see there are many types of sand that give beaches around the country their characteristic appearances and feel. So next time you are on the beach, take a closer look at the sand and ponder its origins. Here is her video. The interesting thing about this detector is they claim they've made an 11x9 inch "NZ Coil", a coil specifically made for detecting on NZ's black sand beaches, this is it for sale at our local Tarsacci dealer. https://www.dredgenz.co.nz/product/11x9-inch-tarsacci-nz-coil/ While this New Plymouth beach she's at is a black sand beach, it's not one of the really black beaches like these in the photos below, both are further up the North Island from where she's detecting. I wonder how it goes on them. I'm yet to find a video of it being used on a really heavy black sand beach.
  17. I haven't done a story on a gold find for a while, partly because once you find a patch with a bunch of nuggets everything else seems pretty insignificant, a couple of months ago I did just that, it's only my second patch but had quite a number of nuggets, I'd guess at least 40 (Correction: at least 80 nuggets) and over 30 grams in total. I lost count of both the nuggets and the grams we got out of it in the end. I did take a couple of videos on the first and second day of it, after that I stopped filming and just worried about detecting as filming videos is very time consuming and wastes valuable detecting time 🙂 That patch has been the highlight of my detecting time and hopefully I can find another in the future, I'll put links to the videos for anyone that wants to watch them and hasn't seen them already. https://youtu.be/qs-e8HO7xdU https://youtu.be/tppU5XZe77o Now to the more recent adventure, one of the most common gold spots I've been to is being developed, very soon it will no longer exist, already a large area of it has disappeared over the past few months with more to go yet, seeing it's probably the closest gold spot to home and one I've found a reasonable amount of gold before so it will be missed greatly. It's obviously getting extremely hard to find gold there as it's not a huge area really and it's been done a lot over the years by a number of people being an obvious spot to look. My focus on this day was to take advantage of how well the GPZ and Concentric coil handles EMI to hunt almost exclusive in and around the power lines where people including myself with previous setups were unable to really detect very well, especially with my GPX 4500, it was terrible near the power lines, and what inspired me to try out a QED which ended up working quite well under the power lines but just didn't have the power of the GPZ. I didn't take all that many photos as my aim was to get some video, I always struggle to get gold finds on video as I just use my phone to film and I have to put it down to do the recovery 🙂 I have a GoPro but just haven't bothered to use it yet. I went to some bedrock and worked my way up digging every signal and recording and deleting all the recordings as they were turning out to be shotgun pellets, this is entirely normal in this area as it has a big rabbit plague and shooters love spreading their pellets around all over the place for me to dig back up again. Here is a video of the first gold find, a .109 of a gram nugget, I was pretty happy with that to start the day as often at this location I go home empty handed. I didn't get the entire thing on video and I had my detector in difficult from when I was messing around the other day doing some testing and didn't check my settings, I'd never normally use difficult in my soil as Normal works just fine. Fortunately it didn't prevent me finding the gold, or the numerous pellets before it Once I'd finished that bedrock area I walked up under the power lines to detect hoping I'd find something others couldn't get, I took a little video there of how the detector was working under the lines, I really love how well the GPZ handles power lines seeing they're in many of my gold areas. You'll also notice at the end of the video the millions of bits of rabbit poo on the ground, this is the reason for the shotgun pellets everywhere. You'll notice in the video I discover I'm in difficult and seem a bit surprised, this is when I worked out I may have wasted the past hour detecting in difficult and it went through my head now I'll have to go check that bedrock again 😛 I was quite happy at that point I took the video or I may not have noticed for the rest of the day. I started detecting along under the power lines and ended up in a little area I don't think I've been into before, I'm terrible with directions and locations so it's quite possible I have been there before and don't remember it but it didn't look familiar, I was still recording every target dig to try get a gold find on video and managed to do it, I think this might be my first time ever getting one from start to finish on video, quite happy with that. And a couple of photos of it. And my lucky last nugget of the day if you could call it that was a 0.038 of a gram nugget, very shallow on some bedrock, it took me about 20 minutes to recover this one, but I only got a portion of it on video, I kept moving it around but couldn't pick it up, I had no idea where it was in the cleared area, I was wishing I had a VLF with me with tiny coil to narrow it down. I'd imagine there are quite a lot of these little guys around it's just the amount of pellets you'd have to dig to find them would be crazy. I do it more for the challenge but the novelty wears off after digging a massive amount of pellets and not finding any nuggets and if you ignore the pellets you'll miss these little bits of gold. So here are the 3 little bits for the day and the weights All a bit of good fun, I really enjoy chasing these little bits especially after the first one pops up to get you into gear looking for more. I can't compete with the photos lately out of Alaska for gold though, I'm just glad I can do the hobby near home and find a few bits to keep me happy. Here is a little tour video of where I was detecting. Keep in mind to run these coils you need to have an adapter and that involves cutting the end off your existing GPZ coil and making an adapter out of it, it should only ever be taken on by someone very skilled at electronics or really the best thing to do is get a professional to make the adapter for you to avoid any problems.
  18. I don't see many of them but here is an article about detecting in New Zealand. https://thespinoff.co.nz/money/10-09-2020/theres-still-gold-in-them-hills/
  19. So took the gpz out for couple days were I hunt managed to find out that my extra waterproofing didn't work after 20 mins of first day with xcoil so was back to std 14 on day to all and all we had good trip pulled 5 grams for 2 days and 3 nice bits including this one It was all creek hunting and was defanitly impressed the the zeds depth Just hoping with few days sun in a bag rice the xcoil will work normaly again.. Guess I will have to wait for nf coils to be realesed for water ones as the std 14 took on water to even tho they ment to be submersible to 1 mtr
  20. So I managed to squeeze in another half day outing to my spot up in the mountains. More digging and moving boulders uncovered another 3 pieces of gold for 1.5g. The larger piece is 1g and is quite coarse / rough for this area. The black material is slowly being dissolved by hydrochloric acid. The first photo shows the creek. A little bit of water with a lot of boulders. Historically this creek has produced nuggets up to 12oz, I'm sure under one of the boulders there will be one for me. Will probably be a month before I get time for another look. I'm trying to finish building my house extension in my spare time and my two young daughters keep my busy....
  21. Had this article forwarded to me. Funny how the guy wanted to brag up how much his detector cost. I know there is an exchange rate and all but still..... https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/118580213/matt-hastings--a-treasure-hunter-at-whangamat-beach
  22. Had an outing with a good friend to a Local creek yesterday. We dug a huge hole and moved some big boulders and found the 1.3g right at the start of the process. Diligent detecting elsewhere in the creek produced the other two. The 1.7g was right at the start of a crevice that seems to run under a virgin bank... Might dig that out some time but there are some fridge size boulders in the way. Cheers for the fun day out buddy.
  23. With yesterday being fathers day I went down to my claim with my dad. Targeted the same spot as last time where I got 3.2g in an hour. This time we spent almost 4hrs and did a huge amount of digging but only managed to find 1.2g. Including a little specimen, which is a bit more rare for that area.Such is life, golden day out with dad though.
  24. Hi guys and girls, My wife is due to give birth to our second child next weekend so I thought I'd squeeze in a quick trip up to the local gold field to find some gold. We'd had a fresh dusting of snow on the higher hills the day before and so my very pregnant wife, daughter and mother in law decided to tag along to try and find some snow. We drove up to the same spot I last went to on our claim with my 2yo daughter. I was dropped off at the creek and the ladies continued on up the hill for a snow/picnic adventure. We arranged to meet back at the road in 1.5hrs time. The spot I chose has a 1.5m high gravel/clay Bank resting on bedrock. Flooding has exposed the bedrock at the base and on our last trip we were successful in finding gold by removing the remaining material off the bedrock and detecting the nooks and crannies. This time I applied the same method and soon found my first piece of perhaps 0.3g. There were some very large worms in some of the gravely clay which were very impressive! Some almost half a meter long! So I managed to get 6 pieces for one hours digging and detecting. The largest was 1.6g and the total weight was 3.2g. A perfect quick mission before baby arrives. Alas the ladies didn't find any snow. Cheers
  25. So my new Whites 24k arrived this morning finally after some issues with New Zealand post "before I begin I must give a big shout out to the guys at sneedens who are brokers for customs etc they made everything very simple for me... Right back to the detecter.. I wasn't sure what to expect as there is very little information out there bar the odd person and dealers pushing it. As I've owned many detectors over the years minelab grew on me as my favorite mainly because they were simply superior to the rest. Anyway I wiped up a unboxing video I then moved on to do some playing just with air tests and tho they are just that air tests I was pretty dam gobsmacked to say the least as it was pouring down out side icouldn't venture out to do some ground tests but from the air tests it's got the monster for depth The rain finally gave up this arvo so I grabed some gold ranging from non registering to 1.68 gm and in between. And set out for a spot close to me that was one of the big gold rush areas , now I'd taken the gm1000 here before and it was quite chatty in the upper sensitivity regions as the gm1000 is generally. Now once there I had a play with the 24k just with settings etc and to my surprise the ground there registered 90 on the ground balance to hot as hell was no wonder the gm1000 struggeled here but I was running the 24k max sens 10 vsat lowest it goes and the threshold was rock stable I was using locked ground balance and I do have to say that both the ground grab and xgb was incredibly quick to balance. No the ground is full of black sand so it did kill the depth on targets but not as much as I thought and I could still get the 0.00 non registering bit even with a layer ground on top . But I have already found a quirk with this machine that's a positive if you put it in xgb but run it with a negative ground balance of about - 2 for 30 seconds or so then lock it change it to positive 2 and then manual ground grab the machine goes as quiet as a church mouse with just the threshold hum no hot rock or ground feed back only targets make any noise.. But it hit every target clean and at good depth that 6 inch round is impressive but I can't wait for the 4x6 early next month... Now I also found the threshold as almost to stable for the sensitivity as I said I started on max and was stable as with bit of ground noise that I was able to get rid of as mentioned above. Now when I turned the sensitivity down to 7 I gained depth.. Lol yes gained I think on 10 it was geting over loaded by the black sand abit even tho my threshold was rock solid I gave up playing with my gold targets and went for we hunt knowing people use it for sighting in rifles there and I managed to pick out lead fragment one after the other as I went along.. Also worth noting there is Zero and I mean zero coil noise you can bash it scrape it knock it on things and not a peep... its going to be a learning curve to learn its qurkes but so far I have to say it beats the monster in just about every aspect apart from the monster being able to be custom made on broom stick or bush branch lol..
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