The Lawrence-Tuapeka community is gearing up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of perhaps the most significant discovery in New Zealand’s history – gold.
Gold, in the payable form, was first struck by Gabriel Read near Lawrence on 25th May 1861. Read, an Australian-born prospector was initially told he was on a ‘wild goose chase’ but his discovery, in the gully that now bears his name, changed the course of history and laid a foundation for both Otago and New Zealand. By July 1861, the Tuapeka area was very much immersed in the gold rush, with the district’s population swelling to over 11,000 compared to the less than 6,000 in Dunedin at the time.
In 2011, attention will again turn to Lawrence as it celebrates 150 years since what was essentially the birth of our nation. Realising the significance of such an occasion, the Lawrence Community will be hosting a four day celebration, Gabriel’s Gully Goldrush 150th from Friday 18th to Monday 21st March 2011.
The four day celebration will feature a drama which re-enacts the Goldrush with treks and walks to take us back in time to the 1860’s. With music, historical tours and displays, visual art, drama and family games and fun, there’s something for everyone, young or old.