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What I love most about Lawrence is that it’s compact and picturesque, but isn’t just a tourist place; it’s a ‘‘real’’ town, a proper rural service centre.
What most people don’t know about Lawrence...
That two lions escaped from a circus visiting town in 1978. They can be viewed today at the Otago Museum.
The town itself: Lawrence is perfect for exploring the wider area as the town has everything you need and there are all types of places to stay, including self-contained vans at Gabriel’s Gully, boutique bed and breakfasts, the motor camp and motels.
The best way to start the day...
A walk around the Gabriel’s Gully interpretive track, preferably with two dogs, followed by making an espresso at home using Bean Jazzed coffee beans (from Lawrence, of course).
For a great night out...
Come along to the Scottish Country Dance group - per head of population we have more people dancing in Lawrence than in Edinburgh.
Choose any of the three cafes in town to enjoy a breakfast out (I’m a morning person). You won’t be disappointed.
Top experience not to be missed...
The Weatherstons daffodils in spring: hundreds of thousands of daffodils at the site of an old brewery.
Top place to walk is...
The Town Domain - the wooded hillside overlooking the main street. The initial trees were planted on Arbor Day in 1892; it is a wonderful piece of mixed woodland.
Every time of year has its special attractions - in autumn there are long drifts of different coloured leaves on the paths so you can tell when you are moving from areas of birch to beech to oak to chestnut to ash.
The cool shade in summer is very relaxing after a hot day; the varied greens bursting out in spring lift the spirits and, in winter, I love the patterns of the bare branches and the clear views through the trees.
Experience you’ve always wanted to give a go but never got round to...
I’ve often thought about entering my unmodified 24-year-old Toyota Hilux (407,000km) in the Lawrence Quarter-Mile Sprint. I’d probably be finished by tea-time.
Best kept secret...
You’ll just have to come to Lawrence and find out for yourself.
- Category: Heritage gem
- Drive times: Dunedin, 68min; Balclutha, 41min; Queenstown, 2hr 23min; Oamaru, 2hr 36min; Invercargill, 1hr 52min
- Population: 435 (2006)
- Average temp (summer/winter): 20degC/11degC