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6 Best Walks in Gore

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Walking Trails & Hiking Trails in Gore.

Get out there and explore the forest, river and hilly landscapes of Gore. This Southland town might be more renowned for its trout fishing and whisky-related museums, but there are still plenty of areas to enjoy some of that famous New Zealand scenery. While there is one pretty walk in town, most of the walks in Gore can be found just 10 minutes drive in the beautiful 95-hectares Dolamore Park and the Bush Croydon Reserve. The reserve offers everything from short easy walks to half-day hikes. Pick the perfect walk for you with this list of walks and hikes in Gore!

While you’re here, you might also be interested in 10 Things to Do In and Around Gore and 5 Gore Must-Dos.

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1. Waikaka Way Walkway (10 minutes one-way or 30 minutes loop)

The only walk on this list actually located in the town of Gore itself, the Waikaka Way Walkway is an attractive short walk along the Waikaka Stream. The walk is easy-going and mostly flat, offering rural views and providing access to the stream for fishermen. While the main walk only takes around 10 minutes to walk one-way, there is the option to make it longer with a number of side loop walks.

Location: Hamilton Park
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2. Whisky Creek Track (1-2 hour loop)

The first of many spectacular walks in Dolamore Park, the Whisky Creek Track is a pleasant loop walk through lush forest. When you enter the Croyden Bush Reserve walks from Dolamore Park (behind the children’s playground), follow the signs to the junction with the Dolamore Loop Track and turn right. The track steadily climbs up a ridge. Take a short side trip to Poppelwells Lookout for epic views of the Southland Plains. Continue on the trail to another side track to Whisky Creek Falls. From here, we recommend returning via the Ian Gilchrist arboretum for a beautiful tree display and unusual red-coloured rocks created by a coal mine fire.

Location: Dolamore Park car park, Dolamore Park
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3. Dolamore Loop Track (45 minutes return)

More rewarding views await on the Dolamore Loop Track. At the hiking trail signposts, follow signs for the Dolamore Loop Track on a well-formed trail climbing through lush forest with trees covered in moss. The ecology of the forest is explained on interpretation panels. After about 15 minutes, follow the signposted side track to a lookout point which provides commanding views of the Southland Plains and even Bluff and Stewart Island on a clear day.

Location: Dolamore Park car park, Dolamore Park
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4. Hidden Valley Route (1h30mins return)

The Hidden Valley Route is a rougher hiking trail than the other walks at Dolamore Park, so walking or hiking shoes are recommended. This walk starts from the Whisky Creek car park along Domain Road. Start by following the Whisky Creek Track. The walk joins a line of an old water race where the Hidden Valley Route begins. Follow the old water race and cross two streams. The walk continues alongside another steam through a mix of forest and open grassland before descending to meet alongside Whisky Creek and Whisky Creek Falls. Continue along the Whisky Creek Track back to Dolamore Park.

Location: Domain Road car park, Dolamore Park
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5. Fantail Ridge & Sequoia Loop Tracks (30 mins-1 hour loop)

The Fantail Ridge Track and Sequoia Tracks are two short walks which join together to form a loop. They offer tremendous views of the Mataura Valley. Both walks also link with the Whisky Creek Track to form an alternative loop.

Location: Dolamore Park car park, Dolamore Park
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6. Croydon Bush Road Walks (1-2 hours return)

Along Croydon Bush Road, about five minutes drive east of Dolamore Park, is a network of three rough hiking trails. Make sure you wear hiking shoes or boots for this adventure. The three walks climb through Croydon Bush parallel to each other, each taking 1-2 hours if returned the same way or they can be looped together to return to the car park a different way. Grants Knob Track is the track on the lefthand side from the car park. It is a well-defined trail through the forest to Grants Knob offering excellent views. Middle Track is right of the Department of Conservation sign climbing steadily onto a rocky ridge. Richardon’s Track begins by climbing a fence into a paddock (field) leading you along the fence to a pine plantation. Then enjoy a bush walk up to tussock grasslands ending at East Peak.

Location: Croydon Bush Road car park
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