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 in 1866 during the Otago goldrush when there was an influx of Chinese miners following an invitation from the Otago Regional Council to come to Otago to rework the goldfields. At its peak in the late 1880’s the camp was a thriving trading hub. It was home to over 120 residents, including some families; mostly of mixed marriages between Chinese men and European women. When the gold ran out in the early 1900’s, many residents 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.