Guided historic walking tours

Barbara Kerr
03 485 9989 or 021 0293 5464

Facebook: keroeheritagetours

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 years after. Feel the sense of nostalgia reminding one of 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 1.5 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 Gardens to set the ambiance, and concludes at the Coach & Horses pub, 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 designed to include locations such as the Bellview Wetlands Reserve, the Chinese Camp, Weatherstons Daffodils and Brewery, Lawrence Cemetery or a trip to, and around Gabriel’s Gully Historic Reserve. All 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. 

Coach guiding charges - $60 per hour -can be adjusted to suit timeframes. ‘On coach’ guiding may include a trip to Gabriel’s Gully,  where  gold was first discovered;  Weatherston’s Brewery Site (during the daffodil season); Lawrence Cemetery; Lawrence Chinese Camp and/or Bellview Gardens,  by arrangement with Barbara.

All Walking tours $20 p.p. - 1.5 hours, as follows: All tours begin at Bellview gardens, with a short history of the discovery of gold, followed by a tour of the town.

During the Weatherstons Daffodil season (Sep/Oct) we will present a free historic talk at 2pm every Saturday, weather permitting. Additional tours of Bellview Gardens are available.  by appointment only, directly to Barbara on 02102935464. A generous donation will be made to the Vintage club from your fees paid.

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

​Bookings directly with guide are essential.

‘Tuapeka- A Walk Through Time’
This book has been written by the author, 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, especially after seeing the article on ‘Lawrence must tell its story’ in the Clutha Leader back in 2017. The book evolved from the research that was undertaken to create these guided tours. After months of ploughing through old records the final document talks about the development of Lawrence and its patriarchs, those people, and their families, who had a significant influence in building the town, ending with a chapter called ‘Heritage Precinct Walk’, to update the history of the buildings within the main CBD. Over the years, many local people from several generations have written the history of the Lawrence CBD, the first was in 1977. A rare book that most people refer to is that written by W.R. Mayhew, called ‘Tuapeka-The Land and its People’, while the Tuapeka Lawrence Community Centre (TLCC) has also published many informative works on Lawrence and the Heritage Trail. Another key source was the Masters Thesis by Margaret Jennings (1921) entitled ‘The history of Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand’, which echoed the spirit and charm of the people at the time. The overall objective of the book evolved into explaining how Lawrence was once the ‘well-spring’ of Dunedin, with all its gold, and is now the ‘Gateway to Central Otago’. Dunedin’s development rode on the back of the gold revenue out of the Tuapeka and that Dunedin and Lawrence have a shared history. In addition, the contribution from the Chinese community is also summarised and told plainly. The book starts with the story of Tahu Potiki of the Ngai Tahu and ends with the Patriarchs of Lawrence and the Heritage Precinct, in order to tell the story of Lawrence. Barbara Kerr offers a comprehensive town walk or bus tour based on the information compiled in this book. This book includes information on the Chinese Camp, Weatherstons, Gabriel’s Gully and the small hamlets outside of Lawrence.

The book sells for a modest price of $40 and can be ordered directly through the following connections:
Email:       Home: 03- 4859 989     Mobile: 0212037298 LinkedIn:  at to Dr Stephen Roe
The book is also available through selected book stores and the Lawrence Information Centre.

Lawrence Information Centre

17 Ross Place, Lawrence 9532

New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 485 9222

© Tuapeka Lawrence Community Company

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