8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com
8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day

9 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day ☂️ [2024]

© NZPocketGuide.com

All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Gore – Perfect for a Rainy Day!

You can’t really plan a bad time to visit Gore in terms of the weather; about half of the main attractions are indoors! Plus, as the self-proclaimed “Brown Trout Fishing Capital of the World” (they have a giant trout sculpture to prove it) fishing is always a good go-to when the rain starts to pour. So be the boss of the rainy day in Gore with this list of the best things to do in Gore on a rainy day!

For more trip-planning advice, check out The Complete Guide to Gore and get more activity inspiration from the 9 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day.

1. Visit the Hokonui Moonshine Museum and Gore Historical Museum

Like any New Zealand town, you can rely on the local museum to save you from rainy-day boredom. Gore takes it a step further, however, with two museums-in-one at their visitor information centre! The quirkiest of the collection is the Hokonui Moonshine Museum, which conveys the story of Gore’s illicit whisky-distilling history through an array of static displays, audio recordings and more. For a small fee, you’ll get to navigate through the interactive museum and conclude with a taste of the good stuff at the end. Also in the information centre, the Gore Historical Museum displays artefacts from Maori and pioneering history, including fishing equipment dating back to the 1870s because, ya know, it’s the Brown Trout Fishing Capital!

Location: 16 Hokonui Drive, Gore town centre.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

2. Get Inspired at the Eastern Southland Art Gallery

When it’s not a museum you can rely on for a rainy day activity, it’s an art gallery! Yes, Gore has one of those too, which is not only an indoor attraction but one of the premium art galleries in the Southland region, if not the South Island. The Eastern Southland Art Gallery welcomes visitors into its grand historic library building with the sight of Medusa on the ceiling. Then, there are numerous rooms and art spaces to engage with captivating art. Aside from showcasing works from major New Zealand contemporary artists and the renowned John Money Collection, the art gallery has an intriguing collection of Dogon and Baga carvings from West Africa, as well as carvings from Elco Island in Australia. See more activities like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gore.

Location: 14 Hokonui Drive, Gore town centre.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

3. Fish for Brown Trout

Of course, we couldn’t get too far down the list without mentioning the brown trout fishing! Some fly fishermen argue that rain provides better fishing conditions, so while the appearance of the usually gin-clear Mataura River might not be as dreamy in the rain, at least you have a better chance at ripping out trout! Go fishing in the river that has the highest brown trout population and catch rates in New Zealand, either by hiring some gear and a fishing licence from the local sports shops or by joining one of the local fishing guides. Some of the local guides include Fishing Guide Bryan Burgess, Fly Fish Mataura, Lloyd Smith Fly Fishing, Brendan Shields Fly Fishing and Mataura Vallery Trout Safaris.

Location: Mataura River or organise a meeting point with fishing guides.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Check Out the Vintage Aircraft of the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre

Another worthwhile museum in the area is the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre in Mandeville. Set in a large hanger, the indoor attraction showcases beautifully restored and preserved 1920/30s aircraft, most of which can actually fly (and do for charter flights when the weather is suitable)! The colourful Tiger Moth and Fox Moth bi-planes, a Bantam and even a cool Aermacchi fighter jet are on display at this attraction that’s full of surprises. Also in the centre is a small art gallery with ever-changing exhibitions.

Location: 1558 Waimea Highway, Mandeville, approximately 17km (11 miles) from Gore town centre.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

5. Try Out Ice Skating at the Gore Multisports Complex…

For a bit of indoor recreation, check out the Gore Multisports Complex! There, you’ll find the Ice Sports Southland Ice Rink, one of the very few ice rinks in New Zealand. You’ll hardly care what the weather is doing as you elegantly glide across the rink’s smooth icy surface – or at least, that’s the idea. The ice rink offers weekend public sessions, weeknight children’s sessions and Monday night adult sessions.

Location: Robertson Street, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Gore town centre.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© Pixabay

6. … Then Relax in the Hydrotherapy Pools of the Gore Aquatic Centre

Alternatively (or additionally) at the Gore Aquatic Centre, check out the Gore Aquatic Centre! More than just a 25m (80ft) swimming pool, the aquatic centre is a place to unwind in the hydrotherapy pools at a soothing temperature of 39ºC (102ºF). There’s also a kids’ water play area should you need to entertain little ones. See more activities like these in the 7 Things to Do in Gore with Kids.

Location: Robertson Street, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Gore town centre.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Watch a Movie or a Show at the SBS St James Theatre

Going to the cinema might seem like an uninspired suggestion, but the SBS St James Theatre offers a charming movie and theatre experience that’s somewhere between the boutique and the mainstream. At the heart of Gore’s arts and entertainment scene, SBS St James Theatre has a 450-seat theatre for live shows and movie screenings, as well as a 100-seat cinema. Watch the latest blockbusters and arthouse releases, theatre productions and events like the NZ Country Music Awards in May. It’s also one of the more affordable cinemas in New Zealand, especially on “Cheap Tuesday”.

Location: 61 Irk Street, Gore town centre.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Grab a Bite to Eat at Gore’s Restaurants

If all else fails, you can always grab a bite to eat at Gore’s array of pubs, restaurants and cafes. One of the most striking eateries in Gore, Rustic Cafe & Restaurant wows with its “rustic” interiors of exposed brick and timber walls encompassing cosy booths or tables with ornate chairs. They’re open all day, particularly good for their juice bar for breakfast and lunch and local lamb shank for dinner. For brunch, lunch or even a quick coffee, we recommend the stylish cafe of Miss Cocoa located beside the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre in Mandeville. Finally, The Thomas Green not only offers a touch of history in the Thomas Green Public House but has some creative dishes and desserts like inject-your-own-filling doughnuts. Check out more restaurant recommendations across our travel guides: The Honeymoon Guide to Gore, The Guide to Gore for Families and The Guide to Gore on a Budget.

Location: Rustic Cafe & Restaurant – 38 Irk Street. Miss Cocoa – 1558 Waimea Highway, Mandeville. The Thomas Gree – 30 Medway Street.

8 Things to Do in Gore on a Rainy Day© Pixabay

9. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand

Get some inspiration for your next epic New Zealand activity by watching New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year on YouTube! Watch as the team behind NZ Pocket Guide take on 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand! Make sure to subscribe.

More Things to Do in Gore

That’s it for the things to do in Gore. For more experiences to try, check out the following guides:


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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