The Golden Gateway Festival Gold Dig site

Murray Woods and Charlie Powell inspect some of the holes dug by thieves intent on looting the Gold Dig site.

Murray Woods and Charlie Powell inspect some of the holes dug by thieves intent on looting the Gold Dig site.

The Golden Gateway Festival Gold Dig site has been destroyed by unknown gold detectors, who have stolen hundreds of dollars of gold coins and gold pieces.

Organiser of the Gold Dig, Murray Woods, is angry and disappointed, and said that the actions of the gold detector will disappoint many children who take part in the event each October.

Each year gold coins and gold pieces are 'planted' to enable participants in the Gold Dig to fossick using metal detectors, with the event, now in its 11th year, attracting dozens each year.

"We never worry about leaving the coins there from the year before, because it means that if we are flat out at the time of the Festival there will still be plenty of coins there for the kids," Mr Woods said.

Mr Woods believes the theft occurred around three to four weeks ago with the offenders leaving the site decimated with holes.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw it, I don't mind if they pinch a few chairs or a table, but when it comes to things for the kids..." he said.

"The holes haven't even been covered up, but if they'd levelled it out we wouldn't have had a clue.

"It's disheartening to think that these people have taken the fun out of it for the kids.

"It's got to be someone in the know - no-one else would know where to find it.

"Now we've got to go and replant all the coins again."

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