Lawrence, New Zealand
Ross Place (State Highway 89), the main street of Lawrence
|Territorial authority||Clutha District|
|Time zone||New Zealand Standard Time (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||New Zealand Daylight Time (UTC+13)|
Lawrence is a small town of 474 inhabitants (as per the 2001 census) in Otago, in New Zealand's South Island. It is located on State Highway 8, the main route from Dunedin to the inland towns of Queenstown and Alexandra. It lies 35 kilometres to the northwest of Milton, 11 kilometres northwest of Waitahuna, and close to the Tuapeka River, a tributary of the Clutha.
Lawrence's main claim to fame is of being the focal point for Otago's 1860s gold rush, after the discovery of the metal at nearby Gabriel's Gully by Gabriel Read. In mid-1862, it is estimated that twice as many people lived around the banks of the Tuapeka River as did in Dunedin itself. Additionally, the tune to New Zealand's national anthem was composed in Lawrence by John J. Woods, a Lawrence school teacher.
In 1877, a branch line railway was built from the Main South Line to Lawrence, and the town remained the terminus of the line until an extension was built in 1910. Although originally known as the Lawrence Branch, this line ultimately became known as the Roxburgh Branch. The railway closed in 1968 and the town's station has subsequently been demolished, but some relics still remain, including the goods shed.
In 1978, two lions named Sultan and Sonia escaped from a circus in Lawrence. They were eventually shot by police but not before one of them had mauled a small boy on the face. The lions were stuffed and are now on display at Otago Museum.
Lawrence's sister city is Jacksonville, Oregon.
The Lawrence Rugby Football Club is a big part of the town.
Lawrence is the first town in New Zealand to offer town-wide free WiFi internet.
Lawrence Area School is a state composite (Year 1–13) school serving the town, with a roll of 140 students as of November 2013.
- Wise's New Zealand guide: A gazeteer of New Zealand (4th ed.) (1969) Dunedin: H. Wise & Co. (N.Z.) Ltd.
- "QuickStats About Lawrence". 2006 Census. Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- New Zealand's National Anthem's history - Ministry for Culture and Heritage
- "A Night to Remember in 1978 by Des Dougherty". Retrieved 2 Feb 2013.
- "Small town maintains pioneering streak". One News. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Directory of Schools - as at 4 December 2013". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
Media related to Lawrence, New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons