New Zealand, 1860. Thirteen year old Scott Hunter becomes anxious about his father, a gold prospector, when his personal belongings return home without him. Scott goes off to Tuckers Gully in search and en route has various adventures, not least when he hitches a ride with a travelling showman, Marvello The Magician. On arriving at Tuckers Gully Scott finds that his father's colleague has been found murdered. Scott's father, whom no one has seen for some weeks, is the prime suspect and there is a price on his head. Scott finds that his father struck gold and is being held prisoner by the real murderers, Ryan and Dodd, and manages to convince the folk of Tuckers Gully the truth.