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Pine Creek Gold Rush Festival

The little town of Pine Creek swells in numbers every year with punters testing their skills panning for gold. 

More than 1000 people are expected to venture up and down the Stuart Highway for the annual Pine Creek Gold Rush Festival. 

Organiser Gaye Lawrence has been involved since the early days of the festival more than 20 years ago.

“Pine Creek is historically a gold mining town and this is a way to acknowledge and celebrate our heritage,” she says.

The festival kicks off on Friday night with an art and photography exhibition at the Station Master’s House, followed by music from Joy Greer at the Railway Resort.

The full day festivities begin on Saturday and include the NT Gold Panning Championships for beginners to experts.

“The festival and the gold panning event is really good for families,” Lawrence says.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re five years old or 50, you can get gold out of a bucket of sand,” she says.

Saturday night and Sunday are full of music at the Lazy Lizard Tavern to wind down the weekend.

Lawrence says the festival is a great excuse to explore the region and learn more about the history of the Top End.

When gold was discovered during the 1870s construction of the  Overland Telegraph the town grew to more than 3000 people in the 1890s, with more than 15 mines operating in the area.

These days a humble 350 locals call the town home and love the chance to show it off at the festival each year.

“The town is beautiful and we still retain a lot of our heritage buildings from the gold rush days,” Lawrence says.

“People are always pleasantly surprised when they come here.” 

Fri 1 – Sun 3 Jun | Pine Creek | See the event listing

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