Historically famed for its rural living, Gore in more recent years is in the midst of an arts, heritage & music revival heading up a bit of a cultural renaissance. Those that make the point of venturing the 60 km from Invercargill out to Gore can easily lose track of time absorbing in the beautiful artworks of Ralph Hotere, admiring the vintage aircraft at Mandeville’s Croydon Aviation Museum or listening to the sweet tunes of country music heard along the streets. With time up your sleeve, stick Gore on to your agenda with the help of our itinerary.
1 or 2 Days
94km (one way)
Summer / Autumn
Invercargill to Mataura Museum - 52 km / 40minutes
Departing east on State Highway 1 often spotting a milk tanker on the way there are some good fact finders on the way to Gore. Edendale is the home of the world’s largest raw milk processing plant – you can’t miss it as you drive through. Near Matuara is the breeding home of the horse Cardigan Bay who was the first standardbred to win $1million in America during the 60’s. Eastern Southland has a very rich connection to horse racing and breeding, a hallmark of the agri centric region.
Stop for a jaunt at Mataura Museum (Maa-toe-raa) which runs out of an 1880’s restored cottage known as Clematis Cottage. Showcasing the story of the Mataura Paper Mill and Freezing Works bringing the rich social and industrial heritage stories to life.
Mataura Museum to Gore - 13 km / 11 minutes
Not far down the road is Gore and your first stop must be for coffee from the The Stable Kitchen before heading to some of the regions most finest boutique stores along Main Street or making your way to the Eastern Southland Art Gallery (commonly nicknamed the Goreggenheim). This gallery is world renowned and is home to a collection of `Dr John Money and Ralph Hotere – for art enthusiasts its unmissable, and for others is quite astonishing how formidable this collection is. When you have finished perusing the gallery, walk to the next block to get up close to one of New Zealand’s most famous statues – the brown trout.
Gore to Mandeville - 17 km / 13 minutes
Back in the car, head further up the road to Mandeville home of the Croydon Aviation Museum which contains the largest collection of De Havilland aircraft in the world. It started as a passion project for the family based at Mandeville and grew itself in to a heritage center and mecca for flying aficionado’s. With most of the aircraft still functional the centre even does fly in days where enthusiasts descend to share in the magic of flying – book yourself on a guided tour or plane ride.
If you are feeling peckish then next door is a fabulous cafe paired with a gift store – peruse around and treat yourself to some home style baking at Miss Cocoa’s.
Mandeville to Dolamore Park - 11 km / 11 minutes
Round out the drive by stopping at Dolamore Park which has a number of short walks through native forest. The park is full of native podocarp forest, large lawn areas and a range of exotic plantings. In Spring more than 500 blooming Rhododendrons make for a beautiful sight.