Guided historic walking tours

Barbara Kerr
03 485 9989 or 021 0293 5464

Facebook: keroe-heritage-tours

Historic Walking Tours
Take an historic guided walk back through time of the Lawrence town centre, with facts provided by our host to inspire your imagination and minds-eye to see what Victorian style Lawrence was like during the gold rush and the decades after. Feel the sense of nostalgia for those bygone days. Learn how Lawrence was the centre of the Tuapeka gold rush, and how the vast quantity of gold mined in this district was the well-spring of Dunedin. Learn about the colourful characters and Patriarchs that built the town and whose families gave the spirit of ingenuity and Victorian inventiveness to its growth. Where new buildings now stand, or empty plots of land stand idle, use your imagination to see what the guide explains was there in those decades from 1860-1900. This easy walk takes approximately 2 hrs (have comfy walking shoes) and is offered in the afternoons only throughout April to October. In summer (November to March) an early evening walk can be arranged by appointment. The walk normally starts at the Bellview Wetlands Reserve gate to set the ambiance, and concludes at the Coach & Horses Inn, where you can reminisce on the day's walk and discuss the benefits we have all acquired from the hard work and foresight of our forefathers. 

Dedicated Tour Guide for coaches
We offer visiting coach tours an opportunity to enjoy the sites of Lawrence with a dedicated tour guide, who will meet your coach by arrangement. Sit in the comfort of your coach while the guide directs you around historic places of Lawrence, providing detail to inspire your imagination. What was it like back in the Victorian era in this old gold rush town? Some bus tours could take in places within Lawrence township, while others could be bespoke, to include locations such as the Bellview Wetlands Reserve, the Chinese Camp, Weatherstons Daffodils and Brewery ruins (during the daffodil season Sept/Oct), Lawrence Cemetery, or a trip to, and around Gabriel’s Gully Historic Reserve. All coach tours are offered by appointment only, year-round, to fit in with the requirements and itinerary of the bus tour manager.  On-coach guided tours will only be available during Level 1 Covid-19 restrictions.

Additional tours
During the Weatherstons Daffodil season, the on-coach guided tours could also include a visit to the Weatherston’s Daffodil site (where entry fees apply) and/or a visit to the Bellview Wetlands Reserve, where a small donation will be required per person. This donation will be handed to the Tuapeka Vintage Club on your behalf, as requested by the Wetlands owner.

During the daffodil season, a free historic talk of the Weatherston’s Brewery ruins and daffodils will be given at 2pm each Saturday afternoon (weather permitting).

Rates
Coach guiding charges - $60 per hour to suit your timetable by arrangement with Barbara.
All Walking tours are $20 p.p. - for approximately 2 hours, as follows: All walks begin at Bellview Wetlands Reserve gate, with a short history of the discovery of gold, followed by a tour of the town.

Bookings directly with guide are essential; Phone Barbara on 02102935464 or email barbaraevakerr@hotmail.co.uk.Walking tours require at least a full 24 hrs prior notice (booking)

Meeting points
The walking tour of Lawrence township commences from Bellview Wetlands Reserve.
The cemetery tour commences from the main cemetery gate.
The Weatherston Brewery/daffodils tour commences from the brewery car park (Coaches only).
The Chinese Camp tour commences from the camp car park (on SH8) (Coaches only).
Health & Safety Hazards exist at all sites visited and all visitors enter at their own risk, as the tour guides and site managers accept no responsibility for injury or loss.  

‘Tuapeka- A Walk Through Time’
These walks and tours have been based on material derived from the book, Tuapeka- A Walk Through Time. This book was written by Dr Stephen Roe, together with the tour guide and partner, Ms Barbara Kerr. We became inspired to help promote the charming town we live in, after seeing an article on ‘Lawrence must tell its story’ by Mary Jo Tohill, in the Southland Times newspaper back in 2017. The book evolved from the research that was undertaken to create these guided tours. The final document talks about the development of Lawrence and, its patriarchs and population who had a significant influence in building the town. Barbara offers a comprehensive town walk or bus tour based on the information compiled in this book, and additional research notes for various sites. The book however is currently sold out and out-of-print, but, a second, enlarged and improved edition is soon to be published as a follow-up book. This time the history of the entire Tuapeka and Tokomairirio districts are covered.