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Following the discovery of gold on the banks of the Shotover River in November 1862, the town of Queenstown appeared almost overnight and the first issue of the Lake Wakatip Mail followed soon after on 2 May 1863. The Otago Daily Times of 18 May 1863 commented about the Mail that ‘it seems difficult to realise ... that such a paper should be published in Queenstown, a place which six months ago was the head station of a runholder, and nothing more’.

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