Digging stuff out of the ground has been a thing that I have been doing with some friends for a while now. I've never caught the gold bug, but have always been interested in giving it a try for real (not with a guide).
West Coast Tasmania has a rich mining history, and Corinna is a well known area for gold, so we figured that would be a good starting point for a recce.
We came from Hobart, getting to Corinna from that side means you need to either go around the north west, or get the ferry over the river. We went with the ferry, but be aware of the operating hours (if you are getting there too late in the day).
Where to Stay
The first thing that needs figuring out where to stay, there are basically two options, stay at the Hotel at Corinna, or camp. If you stay at the hotel then you can use their camp ground or (I think) they have cabin you can book.
We decided to tent it somewhere in the bush, there are a few options for camping, but you need to be aware of the time of year, as it is rain forest country and is quite damp, even in summer.
We managed t0 find a sheltered little camp site (listed in wiki camps and other resources) that was suitable for two tents. There were a few other sites that were very boggy and wet, so much so that we couldn't get into them.
Finding yellow stuff
We got some good tips from a nice guy in Zeehan that we tried out, and it seems he knows what he is talking about! His tip was basically that all the rivers/creeks in the Corinna area have gold in them, its just a matter of having a poke around. It only takes a few minutes on the internet to find the MRT lists of known gold finds and the history of nuggets found in the are to get the names of a few creeks to try. We were also given a few names of creeks that have been well picked over to try. We camped right next to one of them and walked 500m upstream and began digging.
We didn't find anything big on our trip, but we did find gold! This was more of a scouting trip anyway, so we went around a few creeks and tried them out, but only really had any success in our first creek.
The main thing to know is that the area is wet!
- If you are camping, consider taking fire wood with you, we managed to get our fire going, but it started pretty slowly due to how wet everything is. We went in summer after there hadn't been much rain, but it is still very damp after the sun sets.
- There are some sites that you won't get into without a 4WD, and even then you may not want to due to the risk of getting stuck in there ... there were some DEEP bogs into some of the camping areas
- The hotel has showers, toilets, beer ... all the neccesities, and you can stay there. There are tours of the river, and kayaks that can be hired if taking the family.