Southland's Events Capital: Gore

Large scale events unique to Gore make it a destination for lovers of fashion, whiskey, farm life and country music.

As home to many large-scale destinational events, Gore is unashamedly the events capital of Southland. Fashion, country music, agriculture and moonshine whiskey are all celebrated in its signature events.

The Hokonui Moonshiners’ Festival, held every second March, celebrates Gore’s illicit moonshine-making past. Located in Gore’s arts and heritage precinct, it harks to the town’s Scottish roots with an ode to the haggis to kick off festivities, a whiskey tent, alongside other beverages, and heritage-themed food stemming from prohibition era. The next festival is in 2017.

Just as it is known as the trout fishing capital of the world, Gore is New Zealand’s home of country music. Every Queens Birthday weekend the NZ Gold Guitar Awards, features talented artists from all over New Zealand. The New Zealand Country Music Awards, the Freeze Ya Bits Off Busking Competition, and Hands of Fame induction concert are among the other events held during the three days of the festival.

Fashionistas know Gore is the place to be at the end of July for the annual Hokonui Fashion Design Awards. Creativity is at the fore for this nationally unique event held over two nights, where amateur designers have their garments judged by a panel of high profile judges. In the past those judges have included Denise L’Estrange Corbett of World, Kate Sylvester, Karen Walker and Nic Blanchett.

Every second February the Southern Field Days, the largest agricultural event in the South Island, is held at Waimumu, just 10 minutes drive from Gore. All manner of agricultural equipment and the latest in technology is displayed and the shopping is fantastic.

Other events:
Gore A and P Show (Waitangi weekend)
MLT Moonshine Trail (February)
Mandeville Fly-In (February)
NZ International Film Festival (August)
MATES Mayhem Motorbike Rally (October)

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