Otago celebrates 150 years since Gabriel Read discovered the first payable gold which resulted in the great New Zealand gold rush. In 1861 Gabriel Read came from Tasmania spurred by vague rumours of small quantities of gold to be found in Otago.
Armed with a butchers knife, spade and gold pan, he went up behind Evans Flat, over a spur into a back valley and followed a creek downstream. Stopping at a place where a bar cut into the stream, he dug a hole. There he later penned 'the gold was shining like the stars in Orion on a dark and frosty night.'
Within months Gabriel's Gully, as it is still called today, became a thriving canvas shantytown. 13 butchers, 7 bakers and 44 storekeepers had set up to supply the thousands of diggers working the fields. The Tuapeka Goldfields expanded to include Gabriels Gully, Blue Spur Wetherstons, Munro Gully and Waitahuna.
Spectrum joins descendants of the miners and enthusiasts from far and wide as they descend on Gabriel's Gully and Wetherstons, both within easy reach of the Central Otago township of Lawrence.