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This Is Us

The Sky Is Unfenced

Down in the city they say the sky is held at arms length

by the sharp lines of tall buildings and roofs,

and from the alleyways and cramped basements

where shadows fall grey and long on the places we walk

and meet and labour and live, it is blurred.

But here the sky is unfenced and it spreads forever

and you can almost touch it; the sun swings from its canopy

in a wide, eternal arc and from its high roof hangs

unnumbered stars whose light pierces the way;

here, without shadow, we walk and meet and labour and live, endlessly!

Mark Raffills, 5 February 2014


Māruawai – Valley of Water – was the name bestowed upon our land by Māori. It remains a vital thread in the fabric of our community today.

The Gore District covers 1,251km² and has a population of 12,400. It is the hub of Southland’s agricultural economy and a perfect base for exploring the deep south.

We welcome visitors from around New Zealand and the world to experience all that is good about southern hospitality and that special something locals call Rural City Living.

Whether it’s a world-renowned art gallery you want to visit or the isolated waters of the Mataura River in search of the elusive brown trout, you will find it here.

Country music lovers rejoice as we are New Zealand’s country music capital and home to Tussock Country, NZ’s biggest festival of its type. In fact, we are Southland’s event capital – nowhere else will you find such an array of outstanding events.

Learn our history and see how it has shaped our future. Along with our strong sense of community, you will find a rural landscape of sheer beauty and even world-renowned moonshine to tickle your taste buds.

If you are visiting the south or looking to relocate, Gore is so close to all southern well know tourist destinations it’s almost in the same postcode.

We are under two hours to two international airports - Dunedin and Queenstown - and closer by road to Milford Sound than the latter.

Welcome to the Gore District, you won’t be disappointed.

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