Your free what's on guide to the top end

Pine Creek Gold Rush Festival

The thirst for gold in the tiny Top End town of Pine Creek hasn’t been quenched. In fact, it’s celebrated every year with the spirited olde time Gold Rush Festival.

This year’s festival kicks off on a Friday evening with an art exhibition of works entered by NT residents, with drinks, nibbles and prize-giving.

The next morning, kids and grownups can have a crack at panning for gold at a $2 practice panning session – that could be a very lucrative return – before the NT Gold Panning Championship heats begin.

“From each heat, the winner will go into the Grand Championship. The prize is $500,” the festival’s Jocelyn Moir explains.

For a real taste of settler life, the ‘stake your claim’ game is a festival favourite, says Moir.

Participants buy a wooden stake and strike it into a designated area mapped with pre-determined co-ordinates. The prize? A real gold nugget.

Another gold nugget is up for grabs in a competition – to be in the running be sure to fill out a form on the day.

Damper making, vintage cars and Adelaide River market stalls will also take place on the family friendly day.

When you’ve given up on finding a nugget, head to the Lazy Lizard Tavern on Saturday night for a free concert and a glass of liquid gold.

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