This Heritage Trail is designed for visitors wishing to undertake a walking tour of historic sites within the town of Gore. Established as a rural service community, Gore’s urban landscape reflects the changing fortunes common to many small New Zealand centres and also the unique social dynamics and aspirations specific to this particular place. It is important to realise that the very geography of the Mataura Valley where Gore is sited has dictated the nature of the town’s infrastructure development, and aspects of this will become apparent as the trail progresses. Known to southern Maori as Maruawai (Valley of Water), this area’s pre-European landscape featured primarily tussock and swamp and hosted only seasonal mana whenua encampments at the confluence of the Mataura River and Waikaka Stream. Earliest European settlement stemmed from the convenience afforded by an easy river crossing that assisted travel between the Otago and Southland regions. The ‘Long Ford’ as it became known, hosted first an accommodation house in 1862 followed by a bridge and railway. This paved the way for the subsequent habitation of the area and construction of two initial settlements – Gordon on the east of the river, Longford on the west – merging as Gore Borough in 1885. To fully appreciate all 18 trail sites be sure to allow yourself at least 3 hours. For a full description of the points of interest, including map and site information, pick up the Gore Heritage Trail brochure from the Invercargill i-SITE.