Our history

Old stamping battery, Gabriel's Gully entrance

(c) Graham Wallace

Lawrence c1880
Lawrence c1870
Lawrence c1910
School pupils
Hoar frost in Whitehaven St,1960s
Colonsay Street, 1960s
Centennial Celebrations, 1961
Centennial Celebrations, 1961
Centennial Celebrations, 1961
Original Coach & Horses, Colonsay St
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Lawrence town


Nestled in the rolling green hills of the Tuapeka countryside, Lawrence has a long history of welcoming people, beginning in 1861 when the gleam of gold in nearby Gabriel's Gully rapidly swelled the population to over 11,000.

The discovery of the colony's first payable gold by Tasmanian Gabriel Read, Indian Edward Peters and Scottish shepherd's wife Helen Munro, bankrolled the development of modern New Zealand. For a brief moment in history the population of Lawrence far exceeded that of Dunedin, as gold seekers rushed to the area from around the world.

1,000,000 ounces of the precious metal were transported by wagon and horse-drawn coach eventually making Dunedin New Zealand's preeminent colonial city. Eventually eclipsed by Auckland, the city's splendid heritage of Victorian and Edwardian buildings bears testament to this golden era.

Lawrence Information Centre

17 Ross Place, Lawrence 9532

New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 485 9222

© Tuapeka Lawrence Community Company

Website developed by Zen Solutions Ltd 2021

Colonsay Street, 1960s