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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)

The Treasure-Getters

The Treasure-Getters.

“I'm off to that golden location,
The Wakamarina for me.”

That was the chorus of an old-time diggers' song, when hundreds of gold-fossickers crossed Cook Strait and went tramping up through the bush to the rich alluvial field, and hundreds more came from the West Coast diggings when the first hectic years of big yields had passed. Seventy years ago the Wakamarina drew many of the down-on-their-luck citizens of Wellington. A few of those “golden locations” would solve our unemployed problems.

Still, though the wonderful days of tons of gold have passed, the Wakamarina (Wakamarino) is not by any means played out yet; and in many auriferous areas in the south the periodical clean-up yields a tidy parcel of gold. Okarito, where the big dredge is combing the heavy beach sand, far down the West Coast, heads them all. The exact whence of that coast sand deposit has not yet been fixed by our mining geologists. Old diggers say that after a strong westerly gale when the sand is piled up afresh on the long beaches, the gold is washed up, and the largest returns were then obtained. But the original source of the gold is believed to be high up inland, at the sources of the short, swift rivers, and there always was a firm faith in the digging fraternity that the greatest finds of all would be made some day right up in the Southern Alps.