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On a late autumn evening in 1861, a lone Australian prospector by the name of Gabriel Read dug a hole in the gravel banks of the Tuapeka River and found "gold shining like the stars of Orion on a dark, frosty night".
Dunedin, as port of entry, saw its population double to 5,850 in six months, then treble again within three years. By 1870, it was unchallenged as New Zealand's largest and richest city. Today it retains much of its gold-built historic charm, and is believed to have one of the best collections of Edwardian and Victorian architecture in the southern hemisphere. more
The naturally spherical boulders at Moeraki are 60 million years old. They have formed around a central core of lime crystals, which attracted and consolidated ingredients from the sea floor. more