field. The two adventurers found gold readily in most of the gullies and places that they tested, and some three or four ounces were brought back to Nelson. The discovery having been made known, a considerable number of persons flocked to the place, and a systematic search took place, which was attended with considerable success. The population rapidly increased, and within three or four months of the discovery, about 1000 persons were working on the spot. A township sprung up, and in an incredibly short space of time, shops, stores, and hotels were erected, and a Custom House established. But during the summer months no provision had been made for the ensuing winter. There were no roads, and the communication with Nelson was unfrequent and tedious. When Winter arrived, it found the miners utterly unprovided against its severities, and great distress ensued. Numbers left, and a temporary falling off in the yield of gold caused a par-, tial rush from the place, and although fair average returns contined to be made, the population never again reached its former number. Some estimate may be formed of the extent and value of these diggings from the fact that up to the 1st October, 1858, sixteen thousand four hundred and seventy-three ounces of gold, the produce of this gold-field, passed through the Custom House.

The richest diggings on the Aorere gold-field were on the Slate River, a stream which takes its rise in the Aatoki range, and afterwards falls into the Aorere. On each side of the river are high precipitous banks, composed of slate, quartz, and granite rocks, 400 or 500 feet high, and mostly clothed with dense forest to the water's edge. The river bed was filled with huge boulders, lying on the top of ridges of slate, which run across the river, and it was in these ridges or crevices, in yellow gravel, that the heaviest gold was found. The cases of individual success were numerous and brilliant, some lucky miners getting as much as a pound weight per day. The gold was traced up into the Anatoki or Snowy range, and heavy nuggets found.

In the latter part of 1857 the Provincial Government of Otago, influenced by the rumour of the existence of gold, offered a reward of £500 for the discovery of a payable gold-field. It is curious to note what the idea of a “payable" gold-field was. The conditions of the reward were to the following effect :-One moiety of the reward to be paid when a quantity of gold exceeding 100 oz. should have been brought to Dunedin or exported from the Province within any one year, and the balance of the reward to be paid when 500 oz. should have been exported. Singularly enough, this reward had hardly been announced when Mr. R. Gillies, Sub-Assistant Surveyor, wrote stating that he and party had found gold in a creek running between the Waikioi and Makerewa bush, and emptying itself into the Makerewa. Their attention was drawn by the very large amount of mica mixed with the quartz gravel, iron-sand, and blue clay forining the bed of the creek. Mr. Assistant Surveyor Garvie also confirmed about this time the existence of gold in Otago. During a reconnaissance survey of the south-eastern district of the province he found traces of gold in the gravel and sand of several streams and rivers. One of the survey party happened to have previously worked on the Australian gold-fields, and his experience was of considerable value in the searches that were made. The gold found was small and scaly, and the opinion was expressed that it existed in several localities in payable quantity. It was ascertained that a man named Peters had for some time been engaged in obtaining small quantities of gold from the sands of the Tokomairiro River, now known as the Wool


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shed diggings, and from which large quantities of gold have been taken.

In March 1858, Mr. Garvie brought down to Dunedin some specimens of gold which he had obtained in the neighbourhood of the Dunstan ranges. The gold was mixed with iron-sand and oxide of tin, and found in every dishful of earth they washed. And yet this district was the site of Hartley and Reilly's great discovery four years afterwards. On the 23rd of the same month, Mr. Garvie wrote as follows to the Chief Surveyor of Otago :-“I have the honor to inform you that while engaged in the survey of the Tuapeka country one of the men belonging to my party discovered gold to be pretty freely distributed even among the surface gravel near the mouth of that stream. Still no public interest appeared to be felt in the discovery. Well might the local newspaper comment on the strange apathy 'of the people. During this year (1858) gold was also found in the Lindis River, in the north-eastern part of Otago.

The Nelson gold-fields were tolerably prosperous during the year, but a prevalence of very heavy floods, which swept away the tools and appliances of the miners, interfered considerably with mining operations, and the yield of gold fell off. Still fresh discoveries continued to be made, and great confidence was expressed in the permanency of the diggings. In the early part of 1859 several large nuggets were found in the Rocky River, weighing from two to nine ounces. In March gold was found on the Waikaro, for a distance of nearly twenty miles along the bed of the river. During 1860 the population on the Aorere gold-fields suffered considerable diminution, and although the yield of gold bore a very satisfactory proportion to those engaged in the pursuit, there was no excitement, and but little attention was paid to the diggings out of the Nelson Province.

In March 1861, gold was found in sufficient quantity to create excitement, by a number of road makers, in the River Lindis, a tributary of the Molyneux River, in the Otago Province. The gold found consisted of large, water-worn nuggets, about the size of a bean. Immediately on the discovery being made public a considerable number of persons abandoned their ordinary employments for the more tempting and exciting pursuit of gold seeking. Some three or four hundred people proceeded to the scene of the new discovery, but only a small proportion obtained any gold worth the labour and expense of procuring, and in a short time the diggings were deserted by all but a few experienced hands, who managed to earn good wages. Just about this time gold was discovered on the Kakanui, and also near Moeraki. The credit of discovering gold in the Lindis was claimed by a man named McIntyre, who was induced to search for it in consequence of the resemblance the district bore to the gold-bearing regions of California, where he had previously worked. He found gold in small quantities from the Lindis River to the Hamea Lake. In the early part of this year (1861) the Nelson gold-fields again attracted the notice of the colonists. The older diggings were yielding satisfactorily, and several important new discoveries were made. The Rangapeka River was found to be gold-bearing, and the reports spread concerning its auriferous character caused great excitement throughout the colony. The season was, however, unfavourable for mining operations, and the real value of the discovery was not ascertained for some time afterwards. News was also received of the discovery of gold on the west coast, some Maoris having brought to Nelson 27 ounces of gold procured in the most primitive manner. These Natives had picked up a light knowledge of gold mining on the Aorere gold-field, and on returning

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to visit their settlement on the west coast they had fossicked about the banks of the River Buller, and found gold without much difficulty. The gold was found about 25 miles from the mouth of the river. This statement produced great excitement amongst the Nelson people, and despite the very difficult nature of the country between Nelson and the Buller, and the approach of winter, a number of adventurous miners set out for the scene of the new discovery.

In the month of June, 1861, a discovery was made in the Province of Otago which was destined to exercise an enormous influence on the future, not only of that Province, but of the whole Colony of New Zealand. Mr. Gabriel Read had been led by curiosity to attempt to verify the reported presence of gold, and in the course of his prospecting expedition had examined the ravines and tributaries of the Waitahuna and Tuapeka rivers. His only tools were a tin dish and butcher's knife, but in one place he succeeded in collecting 7 ounces of gold for ten hours' work, and obtained gold in payable quantities in various creeks and gullies. At first Mr. Read's statements were received with a good deal of incredulity, but further investigation proved their correctness. The most promising indications were found in the valley of the Tuapeka River, as much as seven pounds weight being procured by one party in a few days with the most simple appliances. The existence of a rich gold-field on this spot was so conclusively established that the Provincial Government felt justified in giving official publicity to the fact, and immediate measures were taken for developing the district and for the preservation of order. Of the results of this publicity much need not be said, as all who then lived in New Zealand will remember the excitement created, and the commotion into which the colony was thrown. The purpose of this article is more particularly to trace the more important discoveries of gold which have from time to time been made in various parts of New Zealand. Following rapidly on the discoveries of Gabriel Read came several others of minor note, and in the early part of 1862 discoveries of gold were made on the Waipori River and its tributaries, and those of Mount Highlay and Shag River. But in August of that year a discovery was made public surpassing in importance even that by Gabriel Read. Two men, named James Hartley and David Reilly, both of whom had worked for gold in California, and one of whom, Hartley, was a most intelligent American and of great experience in gold mining, set out in the month of February on a prospecting tour up the Molyneux River. It appears that they were led to this expedition by the striking resemblance the country of the Upper Clutha (or Molyneux) bore to the gold-bearing districts of California and British Columbia. Their expedition was a hazardous one. The country was difficult to traverse, desolate, and inhabited only by a few shepherds, living miles apart from each other. The prospectors had to use the double precaution of providing a sufficient stock of supplies for the expedition and of not taking with them such a quantity as would rouse the suspicions of men who like themselves were on the look out for fresh diggings. However, they started, and amidst hardships and difficulties of no common kind they penetrated the country of the Upper Molyneux. And richly were they rewarded. They found gold literally paving the bed of the river, and without trouble and with the simplest apparatus they obtained a golden harvest. “We had nothing to do,” said Hartley, “but to set the cradle at the edge of the river and keep it going from morning to night, as one could get dirt to feed the cradle as fast as the other could wash it." Several times did their provisions run out, and


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they had to resort to many ingenious shifts to conceal their rendezvous and occupation. One of the party would set off perhaps to a distance of fifty, sixty, or one hundred miles for provisions, leaving his partner to go on collecting the precious wash-dirt. These men paid several visits to Dunedin and other places in order to sell gold and purchase horses and provisions, but at last various signs of their being “watched” induced them to return to Dunedin and endeavour to sell their secret to the Government. In the early part of August these men deposited in the Treasury at Dunedin a bag of gold containing 87 pounds weight of gold. They declined to inform the Gold Receiver whence such a splendid haul had been obtained, and led him to imagine it came from quite a different locality to its true origin. Of course the Gold Receiver mentioned the matter to some one else, and some one else to the newspapers, and the public of Dunedin were on the following morning startled from their propriety by the announcement in the largest type that 87 pounds weight of gold had been brought in from somewhere near Waikouaiti. The Government obtained the necessary information from the lucky discoverers on certain conditions of reward. As soon as the locality of the discovery was made public a tremendous “rush” took place thither, and in a few weeks the banks of the Molyneux were lined for miles on either side with thousands of busy miners. The gold-field was named the Dunstan, by which it is still known. Soon afterwards gold was found on the Nokomai River, and in numerous streams and gullies branching from the Molyneux.

In the early part of 1862, the Coromandel diggings again attracted attention. Some fresh discoveries were made, which established the auriferous character of the district, and considerable excitement in Auckland was the result. As soon as publicity was given to the new discovery, a number of miners at once flocked to the spot. Bnt the Natives, with whom at this time the relations of the Government were not of the most satisfactory kind, warned the prospectors off the land, and refused to allow gold-digging to be carried on in their territory. Public meetings were held at Auckland, and the Government was urged to make arrangements with the Native owners for the working of the ground. An attempt was made by one of the then ministry to come to terms with the Maoris, but they demanded so exorbitant a sum for the privilege of working on the ground, that it was feared the negociations would have fallen through. His Excellency Sir George Grey, however, was more successful, and for an equitable consideration the Natives consented to allow the miners to work. A large number of persons soon assembled at Coromandel, and numerous shafts were sunk into the quartz reefs with which the district abounds. The peculiar nature of the deposit of gold, however, interposed great difficulties in the way of individual effort, and it was necessary to the proper development of the undoubted auriferous resources of the district that the work should be done by means of co-operation. Several companies were formed, and the results of their exertions, if not positively remunerative, were satisfactory, in so far as proving the existence of deposits of gold in sufficient quantity to pay, if worked economically and on intelligent systems. It is a fact, however, that the machinery brought to bear was of a coarse and imperfect character, and the various companies were not strong enough, nor had the shareholders that firm conviction in the auriferous wealth of the district, to ensure success, he disturbed state of the country, and the counter attractions of the luvial diggings of Otago, caused most of the miners to leave Coromandel. iere can, however, be no doubt that the whole of the Coroman


del district, and other localities in the Auckland Province, are richly auriferous. No opportunity has yet been afforded of testing the alluvial plains of the Thames and Waikato rivers ; but there is every reason to hope that they will yet form the sites of valuable gold-fields.

The Nelson diggings also shared the attention of gold-seekers in 1862. The discoveries of gold reported by the Maoris at the Buller and Wanganui Rivers, drew a considerable number of miners to those places, and the West Coast diggings eclipsed in attraction those of Aorere and Wangapeka. Individual success of a very brilliant nature was common; but the great difficulties and danger of the country, and the unaccountable apathy of the local Government, have, up to the present time, hindered the development of auriferous resources, which there is a fair reason to believe are equal to anything that has yet been discovered in New Zealand. What an impetus might have been given to the progress of the Nelson Province may be fairly imagined by the extraordinary advancement of Otago. Had the Nelson Government used even ordinary exertion to develope the golden resources of the Province, it might by this time have enjoyed a revenue second only to that of Otago.

In the latter part of 1862 and beginning of 1863, large additions were made to the gold-fields of the Colony. In the early part of the year, the rich discoveries on the Wakatipu Lake and its tributaries were revealed. Some of these discoveries were made in the most accidental manner. For instance, a party of miners found gold near the Cadrona in the following manner, as related by one of the party, a man named Grogan :

“On the 9th November, whilst a crowd of diggers were camped on the banks of the Cadrona, Mullins and myself took a walk to see how that part of the country looked, and in walking along the river, where what I call a slide had occurred, there had been a track formed by the cattle. I being a little further up the creek, sat down until he came up, and he immediately told me that some person must have lost some gold, and produced about four pennyweights that he got on the cattle track. We still continued up the creek, until we thought it time to return to our camping ground ; and on our way back he showed me the place, and on searching for more we could get more ; and from the appearance of the black soil, we certainly thought it must have been lost by Fox, or some person. On Tuesday, the 11th, after receiving some information as to whereabouts Fox was working, myself and mates were ahead of others; and on coming to this place, I took my 'swag' and laid it on the bank. There,' said I, ' is where the gold was got. Then I walked to the spot, and on breaking up the surface, the first thing that I discovered was a bit of about 3 dwts. ; and that afterwards we nuggeted out 9 oz. 6 dwts. 12 gr., which all hands that were there could see."

Probably the richest gold-bearing stream in the colony is the Shotover River, which takes its rise in the lofty and almost inaccessible range of mountains which extend to the North of the Wakatipu Lake. Some of the earlier workers on this and adjacent streams obtained gold literally by the hundredweight, and many of the more fortunate claimholders realised large fortunes. The great drawbacks of this region are the sudden and frequent floods, which almost without warning come rushing down and sweep away the dams, sluices, and other mining contrivances. In winter the greater part of the country, from the Wakatipu Lake right across to the Molyneux, is closed to mining operations, except in the most sheltered spots. The heavy rains and sudden alternations of temperature, cause


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