They've struck gold near Cromwell again - in the middle of the 150-year celebrations of its initial discovery.

Yesterday, an excited tourist and his family left the Goldfields Mining Centre, 10km upstream from the claim of miners Hartley and Reilly, with a 4.5g gold nugget worth about $500.

Goldfields guide Brian Henderson said the man, his wife and two children were thought to be from Christchurch.

"It's funny... his grandfather worked the [gold] dredges here at the turn of the century."


Mr Henderson, who's worked at the centre for 15 years, said staff had seen the odd nugget turn up but the finds were usually just gold flakes.

A guide had once found a couple of small nuggets when demonstrating how to pan, he said.