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Gore is a town in the Southland of New Zealand on the State Highway 1 about an hour's drive from Invercargill.


Gore is a small rural town. With a population of roughly 12,000 people, it is driven by a agricultural-led economy. Gore is renowned for its "rural city living" due to it's world class events and facilities.

A hub for arts and culture, Gore is home to the Eastern Southland Art Gallery, the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the Gore Historical Museum. Gore is home to Creamoata and Sgt Dan, and this iconic figure still looks over the town's Main Street today.

The world class fishing on the Mataura River and its tributaries has earned the District the title of World Capital of Brown Trout Fishing. Gore's large brown trout statue is a national icon and photographed by thousands of tourists each year.

Gore is also the New Zealand Capital of Country Music, hosting the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards, the New Zealand Country Music Awards, and the MLT Songwriting Awards during a week-long festival around Queens Birthday Weekend (first weekend in June). The Hands of Fame statue, featuring the hand prints of many famous country music singers and songwriters, is another tourist attraction.

Gore is the self-proclaimed event capital of Southland. Gore is host to a high-number of events across a wide variety of categories. Notable events include the Mandeville Fly In, The Hokonui Moonshiners Festival and the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards.

Name Gore was named after New Zealand Governor Thomas Gore-Browne and the settlement was initially established around a ford on the Mataura River. The District is known to southern Maori as Maruawai - Valley of Water. Many business and organisations in the district also incorporate Hokonui in their name with the Hokonui Hills an important feature of our landscape.

Past The last intertribal Maori conflict, the discovery of gold and the Hokonui moonshine illicit whisky industry are just some of the attributes that have contributed to the District's colourful heritage.

The first Scottish settlers arrived here in 1855 and since then the landscape has progressively developed from tussock, bush and native wetlands to lush farmland. The Romney sheep was the backbone of the rural economy for many years and there is a statue to the breed in Gore's Main Street.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

There are several bus services to and from Gore. Popular connections include those from Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown and Te Anau.

By car[edit]

Gore is about 2.5 hours by road south from Dunedin, along State Highway 1. The last 40km of your drive will be along the Presidential Highway, named for the fact you'll be driving from Clinton to Gore.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Gold Guitar Awards
  • Trout Fishing
  • Country Music Capital of NZ. Beside the big trout, has a bunch of country music hand prints including Kenny Rogers.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Hokonui Heritage Centre includes the Gore Historical Museum and the Hokonui Moonshine Museum.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • The Old Post Cafe, 103 Main St. Breakfast and lunch restaurant. This is a surprisingly cosy cafe with a truly great banana and raspberry muffin. It's homemade - try it if it is on the counter upon your visit! $7.50-19.50.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Get out[edit]

Queenstown is a 2h drive.

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