PHOTO: Gold Rush

The West Coast of the South Island is dealing with a different type of fever: Gold fever is spreading as the price of the precious metal increases and an Aussie TV show ramps up interest.

There wouldn’t be many 15-year-olds who can pull a pot of gold out of their pocket and say they found it themselves, but Dillon Thom is one of them.

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“Our best trip so far I think was 8.6 grams, which is currently worth around $600 or $700,” he told Newshub.

“Gold mining’s great. It’s addictive – nothing else really compares once you start, there’s no going back. It’s a great thing to get into, but I will warn you once you start: It’s hard to stop.”

Thom is one of many who caught the bug after watching Aussie Gold Hunters. Now popular spots on the West Coast are becoming swamped by people searching for the precious metal.