The Guide to Gore on a Budget©
The Guide to Gore on a Budget

The Travel Guide to Gore on a Budget


How to Visit Gore on a Budget

Unless you join one of the passionate local fishermen for a safari in the “Brown Trout Capital of New Zealand”, there’s no other way to experience Gore than on the cheap! This small Southland town is extremely budget traveller-friendly, not only offering excellent and cheap facilities for campervan/motorhome road-trippers but also an array of free and cheap attractions. Learn about the area’s pioneering history to the more humorous history of illicit whisky-making at the town’s quirky museums, while the town’s parks and native bush trails in the Hokonui Hills make for some excellent ways to experience the outdoors.

Plan your cheap trip to Gore with this complete travel guide to Gore on a budget.

Budget Tips for Gore

  • Budget accommodation is very limited in Gore, so book early especially in the summer season to avoid disappointment
  • Stay in self-catering accommodation to save money on food. There are New World and Countdown supermarkets in town
  • Gore is a motorhome and campervan-friendly town with cheap powered sites in Dolarmore Park, Gore A&P Showgrounds and Gore Town & Country Club
  • Most of the activities in Gore are free or cheap, so fill up your itinerary with these!

For more general budget tips, check out the 11 Ways to Save Money When Backpacking in New Zealand.

The Guide to Gore on a Budget©

Free Activities in Gore

From creative urban spaces to natural wilderness, Gore offers an array of landscapes to explore for free. One of the must-dos is Dolamore Park, a park, arboretum, campground and playground on the edge of the 95ha (235-acre) podocarp forest with a myriad of walking and biking trails to explore. Walks range from 10 minutes to four hours in the lush native forest with interpretation panels to learn more about its intricate ecosystem. Find out more about the walks here in the 6 Best Walks in Gore.

For some of the town’s beauty, check out either Gore Public Gardens or Bannerman Park – or both! Gore Public Gardens has something to see whatever the season, whether it’s the spring bulbs accompanied by camellias and magnolias or the summer roses. Bannerman Park has an array of interesting flower gardens too, as well as exotic tree plantings along with a chance to see deer in the paddocks. Both of the parks are found in the town centre.

And for an artistic touch to your visit to Gore, check out the Eastern Southland Art Gallery. You are welcomed into this grand historic library building to the sight of Medusa on the ceiling before engaging in the numerous exhibitions. 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 carving from West Africa, as well as carvings from Elco Island in Australia.

For more free highlights, like the Waikaka Way Walkway and the giant trout and guitar, check out the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gore.

The Guide to Gore on a Budget©

Cheap Activities in Gore

Gore also holds some extremely affordable attractions that won’t be too hard on the travel budget. For instance, in town is one of the quirkiest museums in the country, the Hokonui Moonshine Museum. For just NZ$5 (price subject to change), you can learn about Gore’s illicit whisky-distilling history through an array of static displays, audio recordings and more. It gives an interesting insight into the local culture and dry sense of humour! Also in the museum building is the Gore Historical Museum which is free entry.

Another worthwhile museum in the area is the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre in Mandeville. Set in a large hanger, the centre showcases beautifully restored and preserved 1920s and 30s aircraft, most of which can still actually fly! The colourful Tiger Moth, Fox Moth, Bantam and even a cool Aermacchi fighter jet are on display at this attraction that’s full of surprises. Admission is around NZ$12 for adults and children get in free.

Finally, for a bit of indoor recreation and relaxation, check out the Gore Multisports Complex with its ice rink and an aquatic centre. The ice rink offers weekend public sessions and children’s sessions on weeknights for an affordable price of around NZ$15. Alternatively (or additionally), the Gore Aquatic Centre offers more than just a 25m (80ft) swimming pool, but 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 be travelling with little ones.

For more cheap attractions, like the Hokonui Pioneer Park, check out the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gore.

The Guide to Gore on a Budget© Pixabay

Cheap Eats in Gore

Gore is a good place to experience Southland cuisine even on the cheap! Some of the cheap eats in town include One Chef Kitchen (7 Main Street). Although it looks like an upmarket takeaway from the outside, all of their cafe cabinet treats, coffee and Asian delights like roti and bao buns are actually very affordable.

For a good-value feed, Turkish Kebabs (53 Main Street) is a local favourite. They offer an array of meal deals on kebabs, wraps, burgers and more – made fresh.

For a classic Kiwi kitchen experience, Capri Restaurant (71 Main Street) can provide with its old school dining in the decor, menu and price! It’s the place to try a Kiwi savoury pies, fish and chips, cooked breakfasts and Southland cheese rolls.

Of course, if all else fails, there’s a McDonald’s and KFC in town…

More About Gore

That’s it from the travel guide to Gore on a budget. Check out even more money-saving tips in The Travel Guide to New Zealand on a Budget.


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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