Off the beaten track to...
Once you’ve reached Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island, you can follow in the footsteps of nineteenth-century fortune seekers, fossicking for gold, by following State Highway 7 north. After 25 kilometres you arrive at Nghaere where you take a right turn to the Nelson Creek Settlement.
Nelson Creek has had a varied goldmining history from its beginnings in 1865. At the height of the rush, over 1,200 miners were scattered throughout the aptly-named Try Again Terrace (downstream from Nelson Creek). The Nelson Creek area is formed by sandstone layers overlaid by glacial gravels with the gold concentrated in hollows on the sandstone’s surface. Ground sluicing was used to wash the gravels out of the working gold face.
There is a recreational gold fossicking area at Nelson Creek and visitors are invited to bring a gold pan and have a go at fossicking for themselves. However, respect for the environment is paramount so follow the sign-posted guidelines and fossick with care, using hand tools only.
This area is rich in history (if not in gold) and you will also see the Nelson Creek suspension bridge originally built in 1872. There are also plenty of short walks including the Colls Dam Walk which is suitable for wheelchair access.
We say stay a couple of nights and can confirm a Nelson Creek experience will be included in our Coasters Pass promotion in the coming weeks.