So, now you know how to pan, what you need to know next is where to do it.
In New Zealand there are plenty of sites in both the north and south islands that offer fertile ground for the recreational gold prospector. The west coast of the South Island, though, provides the most consistent rewards. Historically, the area between Queenstown and Dunedin has seen the richest strikes - the Shotover River was once called “the richest river in the world”.
Wherever you choose to pan, look for features that might indicate gold-bearing material. Gravel banks on the inside bend of a river or on the downstream side of a bluff or rock outcrop are prime targets as they tend to trap gold dust as it is transported by the river.