In the 1860s the South Island gold rush brought large numbers of immigrants to mining regions. They needed somewhere to stay, and often somewhere to drink. Hotel numbers rose quickly. This map shows the burgeoning number of hotels in central Dunedin between 1861 and 1865.
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Source: R. P. Hargreaves, Barmaids, billiards, nobblers and rat-pits: pub life in goldrush Dunedin, 1861–65. Dunedin: Otago Heritage Books, 1992, inside back cover.