Note: The Museum is currently closed for renovations and is expected to reopen in 2023.
Throughout the last century, the illegal whisky production in Southland’s Hokonui Hills was a subject for town gossip, police investigations and subsequent prosecutions.
Heralded as a way for many people to make a living throughout tough times, the history of the bootlegged liquor is so fascinating and intricate, with many great stories to be told, that it built the foundations for its very own commemorative space.
From one of its more interesting and quirky parts of the history of the Gore District comes the creation of the Hokonui Moonshine Museum, marking the significant history of those who produced illicit spirit in the District from the late 1800s.
Located in the Gore Heritage Precinct, this museum is one of the most unusual and unique you will find!
The illicit spirit is part of Gore’s story, says local historian and museum curator Jim Geddes. The history is all encompassing into what the Gore District has grown into today.
Southland’s most prolific whisky producers have now emerged as folk heroes – with each of their stories told within the walls of the museum. Walk back in time with static displays, audio, visuals and artefacts, bringing to life the characters and key events of the prohibition era that spawned the moonshine industry.
Find out how adventurous many local moonshiners became in the face of police opposition, and how Kiwi ingenuity often foiled investigators hunting for proof of the trade.
The moonshine museum holds its own off licence, and in an unusual twist, visitors to the museum can purchase bottles of Hokonui moonshine made to the original recipe. The moonshine is distilled onsite in a uniquely crafted still that combines artistic flare with functionality reminiscent of those used back in the day.
For more information get in touch with our friendly visitor centre staff.
Phone: 03 203 9288
Email: [email protected]
Location: 16 Hokonui Drive (Gore Visitor Centre entrance).