Noble metals supported on zirconium dioxide are well known catalysts of CO oxidation and 1,3-butadiene hydrogenation. High catalytic activity is reached, when gold particles are small enough to interact with oxide support. Effect is also stronger, when size of support nanoparticles matches with size of gold nanoparticles. Activity of Au/ZrO2 catalysts is related to existence of both metallic and cationic gold. In present work comparison of different synthesis routes of zirconia-gold materials is presented. Samples were synthesized by impregnation of fine zirconia nanoparticles and microwave driven hydrothermal synthesis starting from zirconia hydrogel precipitate or zirconium hydroxide. The source of gold was HAuCl4 compound. Au/ZrO2 materials were prepared with different concentrations of gold: from 0,01%wt. to 5%wt. Obtained powders were characterized by SEM, TEM, XRD, XPS, BET, ICP-AES and helium pycnometry.