Gabriel's Gully

Gabriel's Gully is a locality in Otago, New Zealand, three kilometres from Lawrence township and close to the Tuapeka River. It was the site of New Zealand's first major gold rush.

Gabriel's Gully
Gabriel's Gully
Gabriel's Gully during the height of the gold rush in 1862.
Hernert Deveril's gold rush era image of Gabriel's Gully in Otago, circa 1875

The discovery of gold at Gabriel's Gully by Gabriel Read on 25 May 1861[1][2] led to the Central Otago goldrush.[2] While gold had been found in Otago before, this rush was beyond expectation, with the population of the gold field rising from almost nothing to around 11,500 within a year, twice that of Dunedin at the time.[3][4][5] It also stimulated overseas interest in the new colony.

In May 1911, the jubilee of the discovery of gold in Gabriel's Gully was held in Lawrence, with around 2,000 people attending, including surviving miners.[6]

Gabriel's Gully today is now part of the Gabriels Gully Historic Reserve, and is managed by the Department of Conservation. It has a Heritage New Zealand Category 1 designation.[7][8]


  1. "Turning up treasures for biography". Otago Daily Times Online News. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  2. "Striking gold in Gabriels Gully". Department of Conservation - Blog. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  3. "Gabriel's Gully | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  4. "Gabriel's Gully". Lawrence. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  5. Whykickamoocow - curious New Zealand place names - McCloy, Nicola, Random House New Zealand, 2006
  6. "Gabriel's Gully gold discovery celebrations begin". Otago Daily Times Online News. 23 May 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  7. "Gabriel's Gully | Heritage New Zealand". Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  8. Conway, Glenn (28 February 2009). "Category 1 status for Gabriels Gully". Otago Daily Times Online News. Retrieved 19 August 2019.

Further reading

  • Eldred-Grigg, Stevan (2008). Diggers, Hatters & Whores - The Story of the New Zealand Gold Rushes. Auckland: Random House. pp. 543 pages. ISBN 978-1-86941-925-7.
  • McCraw, Ernie (2011). Gabriel Read of Gabriel's Gully. Tuapeka Goldfields Museum Society. viii, 152 p. ISBN 978-0-47318-513-8 A comprehensive history of Gabriel's Gully and Gabriel Read