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Established in 1867, the Lawrence Chinese Camp is the earliest and largest Chinese gold mining settlement in the region of Otago in New Zealand.  


At its peak, in the late 1880’s, the Camp was a thriving trading hub catering to Chinese miners in the Tuapeka District of Otago and to those travelling through, and was home to over 120 residents. 


The Camp is a category 1 New Zealand Heritage historic place with three original buildings remaining: the Empire Hotel, the stables and the Poon Fah Joss House.


Preservation and restoration of the heritage buildings is underway. There are plans to create museum spaces showcasing the history of Otago's Chinese goldminers and visitors will soon experience the Camp of old through a virtual reality recreation of the archeological site.




Situated just 1.2km out outside the picturesque township of Lawrence, the camp is located along State Highway 8 and the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail.

Prominent historian and medical practitioner Dr James Ng, recognising the importance of the Lawrence Chinese Camp in the history of New Zealand, purchased the land that was the site of the Camp, in 2004Jim founded the Lawrence Chinese Camp Charitable Trust and chaired the Trust with his vision to promote cultural identity and preserve the site's historical footprint.  

Dr Ng passed away peacefully on 5 March 2024.  As requested by Jim's family - to continue his lifetime work in New Zealand Chinese history and heritage, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory to be used for the restoration and development of the Lawerence Chinese Camp.

How to Donate

Internet banking (preferred method as no fees incurred)  

Account: 06-0919-0178269-00

Account Name: Lawrence Chinese Camp Charitable Trust


Alternatively, credit card payments can be made below.

James Ng
1936 - 2024
Chinese Camp 1890's copy.jpeg
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