Visit Gore, Southland, NZ

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  • Gore is the centre of a farming district between the Blue Mountains to the east and Hokonui Hills to the west. The town, founded by Scottish settlers in 1853, is divided by the Mataura River, famous for its trout fishing.

    The local climate and soil are excellent for flower growing, especially roses and rhododendrons, which can be viewed at public parks and gardens. An open-air pioneer museum with displays of early farm machinery provides an enjoyable day out. There is also an aviation heritage museum that features vintage De Havilland aircraft.

    Some of Gore’s early buildings are notable, including the Fleming rolled oats factory and a Presbyterian church, both built in 1881. More history is on show at the Gore Historical Museum and Hokonui Moonshine Museum, which focuses on the local illicit distilling industry that thrived during Prohibition years of the early twentieth century.

    Accommodation in Gore (NZ)

    There is a wide range of accommodation available in Gore and nearby towns, which includes hotels, motels, luxury lodges, and many bed & breakfast establishments. Self-contained villas and holiday homes are available to rent.

    Backpacking and motor camping are available near the town, as well as farm stay lodges.

    Transport around Gore

    Gore was once an in important railway junction at the intersection of the main trunk and lines east and west.

    The cities of Dunedin and Invercargill are two hours’ drive north and one hour south of Gore. The large town of Balclutha is one hours to the north. Regional and Inter-city bus services are available along these routes.

    Tour operators may provide transport, or rental vehicles and shuttle services.

    Gore has a busy aerodrome, using mainly by crop-dressing aircraft.

    Tourist Activities around Gore

    Many outdoor and sporting pursuits are possible in and around Gore, including parks, walking tracks and mountain bike trails. A multi-sports centre has an aquatic activities and ice skating. The unique landscape of the Hokonui Hills is popular for tramping and photography.

    Fly-fishing for brown trout is renowned, with the Mataura River having the highest catch rate of New Zealand’s rivers, and a giant trout sculpture stands in the centre of the town. River fishing charters are provided by a number of local operators.

    Heritage enthusiasts have a lot to see in Gore, from impressive colonial era buildings to heritage museums revealing local history, including The Gore Historical Museum and The Hokonui Moonshine Museum. An open-air “pioneer park” museum recreates scenes from earlier centuries, with working displays of farm equipment. An aircraft heritage museum at Old Mandeville airfield has vintage aircraft displays.

    The Eastern Southland Art Gallery is a recent addition to the town. It has an important collection of modern visual art, and some ethnic art collections including African and Native Australian work.

    Gore’s parks and gardens are enjoyed for their well-established roses and rhododendron, which are celebrated during a festival in late October. There are many golf course in the region.

    The New Zealand Country Music Awards are held in June, a national institution that supports a strong local music tradition. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars with friendly hospitality.

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