Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Central Otago goldrush
Gabriel Read, an Australian prospector who had hunted gold in both California and Victoria, Australia, discovered gold in a creek bed at Gabriel's Gully, close to the banks of the Tuapeka River near Lawrence on May 20 1861. Within a year, the region's population swelled greatly, with prospectors swarming from the dwindling Australian goldfields. A second major discovery, close to the modern town of Cromwell in 1862 did nothing to dissuade new hopefuls, and prospectors and miners staked claims from the Shotover River in the west through to Naseby in the north.
The city of Dunedin reaped many of the benefits, briefly becoming New Zealand's largest town, and many of that city's more stately buildings date from this period. The rapid decline in gold production from the mid 1860s led to a sharp drop in the province's population.
Oliver, W.H. (ed.) (1981). The Oxford history of New Zealand. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-558063-X
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