LAWRENCE: GATEWAY to the GOLDFIELDS
Lawrence was Otago's first gold-rush town, in the Tuapeka District, it was originally named The Junction, and then later renamed after the British war hero who defended Lucknow during the 1857 Indian Mutiny.At the height of the gold fever, it's population was 11,500; double that of Dunedin, making it one of the largest communities in the country. It is hard to believe that now with a current population of only 417
Where are we?
Situated 92km south-west of Dunedin on State Highway 8, nestled in the rolling hills of Clutha Country, Lawrence is an ideal place to stop for coffee, lunch and to stretch your legs, or use the free internet access and free international phone service at the Information Centre; explore and stay at a number of quality and historical accommodation facilities ranging from motels to bed and breakfast and camping grounds.
Clutha Gold Cycling and Walking Trail.
The Clutha Gold Trail starts from the historic township of Lawrence and stretches 73 km to Lake Roxburgh. The first 5 km follows the now disused railway line through farmlands and on through the old Big Hill rail tunnel (440m) to Beaumont. From here it proceeds along the mighty Clutha Mata-au river passing through many points of interest and historic sites. Experience diverse landscapes, distinct seasons, contrasting colours and genuinely friendly communities.
A trail link can be made at Lake Roxburgh. Go across the hydro dam to the Roxburgh Gorge trail. This trail of 34 km includes a section in the middle of about 14 km that is not passable and has to be travelled by boat which needs to be booked at any I-site in Central Otago. The boat service is between Shingle Creek jetty and Doctors Point jetty and the boat drivers give an insight on the history of the area.
The Prime Minister John Key opened the joint trails at a ceremony on 24 October 2013. Later that day the Deputy Prime Minister Bill English attended a celebration at Lawrence where appreciation plaques were presented to landowners, who have provided access for the trail to pass through their properties.
Photos of the Clutha Gold Trail were kindly supplied by Jonathan Kennett - Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails.