Lawrence - Gold Town

From Route One at Clarksville (32kms south of Dunedin) turn left on Route 8. The route is the major road from Dunedin to Queenstown. Going through Lawrence a very up and coming small town with a golden history.The town has over 50 buildings that the Historic Places Trust have designated of "historic significance". They are now an integral compliment to a pleasant stopping place of cafes, restaurants and galleries. Over seeing the community is the old St Patrick's Church opened in 1892 for the many Irish miners who migrated to the gold fields and were Catholic.

In the centre of town is the Information Centre combined with the Goldfields Museum where you can discover the many walks and other interests around the region such as the old cemetery dating from the 1860's. Be sure to travel to Gabriel's Gully where gold was discovered in 1861 and where you can pan where they claim gold is still to be found. Stop and visit the studios of working craftspeople such as Blue's Woodturning Gallery and grab some of the Wild Country Soaps. Several gardens worth visiting, plenty of accommodations such as Oban House, Marama Lodge, Gold Park Motor Camp and many others. You are spoiled for choice when it comes to meals and drink with over eight cafes and restaurants to choose from. Recommended -  the Wild Walnut Cafe and Jafa's Wine Bar and Cafe.

If you are real lucky you may be there mid-January when the Lawrence Art Society have their annual exhibition at the Lawrence Summer Arts Festival. The venue is at the beautiful Marama Lodge. So even though you may be going south on Route One take the very short time it takes to veer off on route 8 to Lawrence. If you plan to return to Route One go on through Lawrence after the visit and return on the Tuapeka West Road. Stop at the Tuapeka Mouth to have a look at the Clutha River ferry. Perhaps you might even want to cross the river. The ferry opened in 1896 and has been operational ever since. (Take side road to the right in Tuapeka South and then a left to the ferry). You might even want to stop and try for a trout. From there it is less than 30kms to Balclutha. From there it is on to Invercargill. Two routes one direct via Route One or the southern route via the Catlins.