Gold panning titles with a Chinese flavour

A few specks of gold taken out of the creek being counted by the judges during the well attended titles.
A few specks of gold taken out of the creek being counted by the judges during the well attended titles.

THE Northern Territory’s gold panning championships were held at Pine Creek today, location of one of the richest gold deposits in the world.

The nuggets were a bit more difficult to wash out of the creek today, most of the local gold is not locked in reefs, but fortunately the “gold rush” organisers salted the creek with a few small nuggets to keep the crowd interested.

There was a real Chinese flavour to the championships which were held in bright sunshine and attracted many caravanning visitors.

Pine Creek stumbled into existence when the teams building the Overland Telegraph Line in 1870 dug up some gold while digging holes for posts.

Since 1870 it has had a variety of gold rushes with, at one time, more than 5000 Chinese miners working in the area and over 15 mines all being dug in the hope of finding gold.

Pine Creek was named in 1870 by the teams constructing the Overland Telegraph Line.

One worker, Sydney Herbert, observed "This creek was by no means large, but was remarkable for the pines growing there".