Finding gold can be like looking for a needle in a haystack and countries where amateur gold prospecting is becoming popular can be very large—take the USA, Canada or Australia as examples. It really helps if you know the best sites to look for gold. We have picked out five of the best for each of four countries; USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and given a brief description of each.

Top 5 gold sites in the USA
California and Alaska are two obvious locations but the State of Georgia also has some very good deposits. Remember to check out the regulations governing each area before you go.
California
Auburn State Recreation Area
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=502
Auburn covers some 40 miles of the America River and is a great area for gold panning. It offers a really high chance of finding some worthwhile gold and there are lots of other activities for the family to enjoy as well.
Tahoe National Forest
http://www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe
With more than 850,000 acres of stunning mountain scenery, Tahoe is not only a spectacular place to have a holiday it is also very rewarding in terms of gold yields.
Georgia
Chattahoochee River
http://www.nps.gov/chat/index.htm
With 430 miles of river flowing through a number of forest parks where prospecting (but not dredging) is permitted, the Chattahoochee River has the reputation of being a rich source of gold.
Etowah River
http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/1636-etowah-river-campground
Situated in the north of Georgia you will find excellent gold deposits here but you do need to do your homework and ensure you have permission.
Alaska
Caribou Creek Recreational Mining area
http://www.detectorprospector.com/gold-prospecting-public-sites/sites/alaska-caribou-creek-recreational-gold-mining-area.htm
This area was created by the Alaska State Legislature to allow the public to experience prospecting free of charge.

Top 5 gold sites in Canada
Yukon
The Yukon has become infamous in gold rush history. There are still vast areas to explore and prospect here. See this government site for all the information you need: http://www.emr.gov.yk.ca/mining/placermining.html
Dawson City: www.goldbottom.com
This commercial operation offers gold mining tours and the opportunity to try your own hand at prospecting.
British Colombia
Fraser River
The Fraser is classic gold prospecting country with vast, rich deposits waiting for you. This website is a great source of more information:
http://www.greywolfhighbankers.com/RecreationalPanningRulesRegsGuidelinesforBritishColumbia.htm
Quebec
Gilbert River
This was the scene of the first Canadian gold rush in the 1840’s. It is situated in the Beauce region.
Des Plante River
This is another source of very rich gold deposits in the Beauce region. This government website has all the information you need: http://www.mern.gouv.qc.ca/english/mines/geology/index.jsp

Top 5 gold sites in Australia
Queensland
This government site: http://www.qld.gov.au/recreation/activities/fossicking/ has all the information you need about prospecting in the rich Queensland territory.
Clermont
Permits are required for prospecting and dry washing equipment is allowed. No overnight camping is permitted.
Deep Creek
This is a rich area in South Queensland but you will need a permit and you are not allowed to camp.
Victoria
The government has provided all the information you need about prospecting in Victoria here: http://www.energyandresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/recreational-prospecting-and-fossicking A ten-year Miner’s Right will cost you around $18.00 AUD.
Fine deposits still exist in;
Ballarat
Bendigo
Both Ballarat and Bendigo are part of the so-called, ‘Golden Triangle’. The third part of the triangle is Wedderburn. These areas are considered to have some of the richest deposits of alluvial gold in the world.
Western Australia
The government site: http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/ will tell you all you need to know about the rich sources of gold in WA.
Kanowna
This area, Northeast of Kalgoorlie is very promising.

Top 5 gold sites in New Zealand
The government has set aside 17 areas for the public to prospect for gold. No permit is required for these public areas but you may only use handheld tools and non-motorized equipment. These areas are in the South Island and not only have a rich history of gold prospecting but are set amidst beautiful scenery. Here are five great places to try your hand:

Aorere River
Situated in the aptly named, ‘Golden Bay’.
Glenhope Scenic reserve
Moonlight Creek
Gabriel’s Gully
Shotover River
Here is a very informative website: http://findgoldnz.com/fossick.html
The government also provides a lot of information here: http://www.nzpam.govt.nz/cms/iwi-communities/finding-petroleum-minerals/gold-fossicking
These four countries have a fascinating history of gold mining and offer some marvelous areas to learn the great art of gold prospecting. Go out there and have some fun.