Soak up the district’s heritage in idyllic Lawrence.

Stroll the streets and transport yourself back to the gold rush era. Boutique shops, quirky cafes, Victorian and Edwardian buildings, and an iconic museum line the town’s main street. Once home to one of the world’s largest gold rushes, Lawrence also boasted one of New Zealand’s largest communities with a population double the size of Dunedin. Lawrence and the wider Tuapeka area in its height in July 1862 was 11,472, Dunedin was 5,850.

Learn the story of the first person to discover gold in 1861 at Gabriel’s Gully, or visit the Chinese Gold Camp.

The beautiful Bellview Wetlands Reserve, open on weekends, is a two-minute walk from the main street and offers scenic walking tracks surrounded by native bush and birdlife. Wander along the river's edge and ponder your next destination in Clutha. For the more active relaxers, Lawrence and Waitahuna both have 9-hole golf courses only a short drive from town.

Every year, Lawrence welcomes visitors to enjoy the delightful daffodil display. Thanks to the hard work of the local community, the Weatherston’s Brewery site comes alive (quite literally!) every spring with a delightful floral display set across its 25 acres. 

Every town is not without its famous residents and Lawrence is no different. A local schoolteacher in 1876 became the composer of the music for our country’s national anthem. He is buried in the town’s hilltop cemetery, which has become notable for its varied gravesites showcasing the town's diverse residents including elaborate Victorian ironwork, Celtic crosses, and a section for its former Chinese gold mining residents. 

Book a stay in Lawrence once you’ve finished the Clutha Gold Cycle and Walking Trail. Embracing Otago’s rich heritage and stunning scenery, the easy grade trail covers 73-kilometres and takes two to four days to complete. From late 2023, a new trail extension will be opened allowing an additional 136-kilometre ride to Lake Waihola.

For more information on what’s on in Lawrence, Otago, visit or the Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand Facebook Page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best time of year to visit Lawrence, Otago? The best time to visit Lawrence, Otago is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and dry and many outdoor activities are available.

What is the closest city to Lawrence, Otago? The closest city to Lawrence is Dunedin. Lawrence is situated approximately 90 kilometres south-west of Dunedin.

Where is Lawrence located in New Zealand? Lawrence is a small town located in the Clutha District of the Otago Region, in the southern part of New Zealand's South Island.  It is located on State Highway 8, the main route between Dunedin and Queenstown.
What is the history of Lawrence, Otago? Lawrence was founded during the Otago gold rush in the 1860s and was one of the major gold mining towns in the region. 

What is the weather like in Lawrence, Otago? Lawrence has a temperate climate with warm summers and cool winters, with an average temperature range of 10-22°C in the summer and 1-11°C in the winter.

How can I get to Lawrence, Otago? The nearest airports to Lawrence are located in Dunedin (90 kilometres) and Queenstown (110 kilometres), and there are also regular bus services to Lawrence from both cities.

What kind of accommodation is available in Lawrence, Otago? Lawrence offers a range of accommodation options, including a motel, bed and breakfasts, holiday homes, and a camping ground.

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