Welcome to the historic

Lawrence Chinese Camp

The Lawrence Chinese Camp, known in its heyday as "Canton" or "Hong Kong", is situated just outside the picturesque township of Lawrence in the Otago region of New Zealand.


​The camp was established during the Otago goldrush in the 1860’s, with an influx of Chinese miners and traders hoping to find prosperity. At its peak in the late 1880’s the camp was home to 120 residents including 30-40 families, mostly of mixed marriages between Chinese men and European women. When the gold ran out in the early 1900’s, many families left the camp in search of employment.  By 1949 the camp was empty. 


Today, the restoration of the camp has begun in earnest.  The Joss House has been returned to its original site from elsewhere in Lawrence and restored. Other significant projects are underway such as the restoration of the Empire Hotel, the stables and the construction of a visitor centre and carpark.

The Lawrence Chinese Camp is ideally located along Highway 8 and is on the Clutha Gold Trail, with the last stretch of the cycle trail running alongside the camp. The camp is a ‘must see’ destination for anyone heading to Otago to experience the history and the beauty of the region.

​We welcome you all.