To the north, Gore is a district eager to overturn its small-town reputation. This is most visible in the Arts and Heritage Precinct, which includes the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and the
Eastern Southland Gallery (goredc.govt.nz). The latter is affectionately named the ‘Goreggenheim’, since a high-profile visitor remarked on its similarities with the famed Guggenheim art museum in New York.
The Hokonui Fashion Design Awards, which will celebrate its
30th anniversary next year, attracts fashion students from all over the country. Run by a loyal local community, it also shows how Southland’s creative spirit continues to impress (hokonuifashion.co.nz).
Stay in a room overlooking the Hokonui Pioneer Park at the Heartland Hotel Croydon (scenichotelgroup.co.nz) before heading 15km northwest to Mandeville, home to another cultural quarter of sorts. Enjoy a meal at Miss Cocoa Coffee and shop the beautiful homewares at the café and neighbouring store Money for Wine (misscocoa.co.nz, facebook.com/moneyforwine).
If you need a bigger boost than a coffee, a ride in the restored Tiger Moth plane at the Croydon Aviation Heritage museum next door will fuel you with adrenaline. With the workshop restoring aircrafts for international clients, you’re in safe hands as you fly over the majestic Hokonui Hills (experiencemandeville.com).
bottom left: The restaurant and a newly renovated room at the Heartland Hotel Croydon; Miss Cocoa Coffee’s cafe in Croydon.
Left: A giant statue celebrates Gore’s status as the brown trout capital of the world. Above:
A Tiger Moth plane on the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre’s airfield.
Clockwise from right: Ruth Bucknell’s winning design at the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards 2017; a Nicola Jackson exhibition at the Eastern Southland Gallery; and Gore District Council’s Young Designer winner Abbey McMaster (right).