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As part of the Otago 150’th Anniversary weekend the creative people at the Otago Museum set up a ‘Gold Fever Treasure Hunt’. Eager prospectors explored the galleries searching for golden clues. As usual, I found my inner child and had a go.

Each ‘prospector ‘wrote down the answer to the clues and counted up the number of a’s and u’s in the words written down (Au is the symbol of gold, of course!). At the end of the hunt, the number of a’s and u’s gave you a grid reference on a treasure map. I got it right (in the end) and was rewarded with a gold nugget - hokey pokey covered in chocolate.


It was impressive to see the number of families who were on the hunt, and yes the adults seemed to have as much fun as the kids. Once again, how lucky are Dunedinites to have such an amazing museum which offers interactive activities for free!

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SV Dunedin, the first ship to take frozen meat to England in 1882.
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The night sky as it was when Maui first arived.
 
 
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While I was on my way to the Dunedin Central Library to do some research on Saturday morning I stumbled across a Shanty Town in the Octagon. Everyone was dressed in costume and indulging in some pretty convincing method acting. I met a snake oil salesman, bereaved widow whose husband died “On the ship”, a minor heading to Gabrielle’s Gulley and lots of other critters and characters.

The ‘Town Crier’ with the aid of some modern technology announced the acts and entertainment which included an Old Timers Band, Gypsy street performers and some seriously talented Irish dancers. People were even taking Clydesdale pulled wagon rides for free.

The event, called 'Layers of Gold' was celebrating Gabriel Read and his golden discovery 150 years ago. This was the start of a gold rush which saw would be miners in search of riches swarming to Dunedin from all over the globe. Port Chalmers and Dunedin City became the gateway to the goldfields and the riches acquired from the diggings paid for the development of the city.

Dunedin became the site of New Zealand’s first University, and some of the Southern Hemispheres grandest buildings designed with Victorian and Edwardian architectural flair. This year the BNZ, Greggs, Allied Press and the Dunedin Fire Brigade have also celebrated their 150th anniversaries. The ‘Layers of Gold Festival’ was the key celebration for 2011, thanks to the hours of work put in by members of the Dunedin City Council, Southern Heritage Trust, Otago Community Trust, BNZ, Port Otago, Oceania Gold Macraes, Media Works and the Otago Daily Times.

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