Lawrence was the first gold rush town in Otago, it was once at the centre of one of the largest gold rushes in The World.
The history of Otago's gold rush is still evident in Lawrence. The historic Chinese Gold Camp is one of the most important sites of its kind in New Zealand, with remnants of the camp still seen from the highway. Gabriel’s Gully is another historical gold mining spot. It was named after the first man to discover gold in the Otago region in 1861. Take a walk through the gully along the interpretive route with information panels along the walk.
The Clutha Gold Cycle and Walking Trail currently runs between Lawrence and Lake Roxburgh, following the mighty Clutha River. Covering 73 kilometres, it is one of The Great Rides of New Zealand. Open year-round, it is considered an easy grade trail taking 2-4 days to complete.
If you are after a slower pace of activity, the town of Lawrence and nearby Waitahuna both have 9-hole golf courses.
Lawrence's main street is full of delicious cafes, a number of gift and antique shops. Be sure to visit the Tuapeka Goldfields Museum, which is a part of the information centre provides a wonderful history of the Otago town of Lawrence.
Come spring, there is a delightful display of daffodils which spans 25 acres at Weatherstons. While the remnants of the Weatherstons Brewery are still present today, credit to the local community who opens the area up for a spring spectacular.
In 1876, New Zealand’s national anthem music was composed here in Lawrence by a local school teacher. The composer was buried in Lawrence’s cemetery on the hill, Victorian ironwork, Celtic crosses and Chinese section are all present at his grave.