19 Mar 2011

150 years since NZ's first major gold rush

7:13 am on 19 March 2011

Otago marks 150 years this weekend since the discovery of gold by Gabriel Read.

The discovery attracted some 20,000 prospectors to the region from around the world, to take part in the country's first major gold rush.

John Stenhouse from the University of Otago says the gold rush injected about £20 million into the provincial economy and signalled an economic and building boom for Dunedin.

A makeshift camp of miners' tents will be set up in the Octagon on Saturday to replicate what Dunedin and the gold fields would have looked like at the time.

Otago Anniversary weekend celebrations will take place in and around Dunedin and Lawrence until Monday afternoon.