There’s still gold in our gully

Community Board Notes


One of our district’s biggest tourism assets is Gabriel’s Gully and it’s exciting to see progress on new projects that help us maximise the potential of our town’s unique heritage.

The Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board and some very keen members of the community have been following up on some of the ideas that were initially identified at the public meeting that took place as part of the “Our Place Community Plan” development.

Developing Gabriel’s Gully, and particularly enhancing the entrance to the gully, was right up there on the list, and we’ve since been working with Clutha Development on how best to make this into a high-quality visitor experience that links in with the council’s vision for tourism throughout the Clutha district.

Clutha Development engaged a company called Locales, which has vast experience in helping communities tell their stories, and some of you met Chris Hay when he visited a while back. Since then, a project plan with four phases has been developed to help us progress the project and achieve the best outcome.

The first phase of the project is to create a ‘‘StoryMap’’ of the Gully, Lawrence, Blue Spur, Lawrence Cemetery, and the Chinese Camp. The StoryMap will consist of a 360-degree interactive at each stop, with virtual illustrated pictures of what each site looked like from the past with an audio overview.

Maps will also have QR codes and be available at the museum information centre.

We are tremendously excited to start this initiative, and we are also extremely grateful to Clutha Development, which has agreed to fund the majority of this first stage.

Another exciting initiative being planned for locals and visitors are mountain bike tracks in the Gabriel’s Gully Reserve (domain), being led by an enthusiastic group which is literally off and racing with this project. The group contacted City Forests, which leases the block, and got its full support to form the trails through the forest. Work is progressing well and tracks are already being formed. Congratulations to all involved who are well on the way to achieving their goal of top-class trails for recreational mountain biking.

Congratulations also to the enthusiastic group leading the upgrade of the Lawrence playground, which is enjoyed by locals and visitors every day.

If travelling through Lawrence, you will have noticed the very smart new fence around the perimeter and, as funds allow, new equipment is being ordered, which will be an ongoing process.

When complete it will be yet another great asset for our community, and greatly enjoyed by all those young, and young-at-heart!

Keep the great ideas coming. Come and talk to us at the community board any time — your ideas are pure gold.

• Lawrence-Tuapeka community board chairman Geoff Davidson