Gold is the colour of Blackwood prize

17/02/2017. Melton/Moorabool Star Weekly. Gold. Issue Date 21/02. Blacwood will host the Australian Gold Panning Championships on February 24. Pictured is President of the Victorian Goldpanning Association Marcus Binks. Picture Shawn Smits.

Founded in 1855 during the gold rush, Blackwood is steeped in the history of one of the largest voluntary migrations of people worldwide ever recorded.

So what better place to host the Australian Goldpanning Championships than this tiny town, which was known as Mt Blackwood until 1921?

Hundreds of people are expected to flock to Blackwood this weekend to try their hand at gold panning as part of the annual competition.

Victorian Gold Panning Association’s Marcus Binks said people of any age and ability could give it a go.

“There are a lot of traditions associated with gold panning,” Mr Binks said.

“Blackwood was built on gold – so we’re just trying to keep that history, maintain that history and provide an avenue for young ones to learn gold panning.”

The 15 competitors in each heat are required to pan all the gold from their buckets.

They’re judged on their ability to get all the gold in the pan, and for each nugget missed, a three-minute penalty is added to their time.

Mr Binks said while competitors aren’t allowed to keep the gold they ‘find’, each person does receive a gold token.

The championships start at 10am on Saturday, February 25, at the Blackwood Cricket Ground, Recreation Reserve Road.

Entry is $5 for children under 12 and $10 for adults.

Details: 9598 9859 or search Victorian Goldpanning Association on Facebook.