Gore Bay: Hidden Gem of the South Island

Having passed the sign-posted turnoff to Gore Bay around 50 times, it was finally time to travel the 1.5 hours from Christchurch to go and check out this hidden gem!

Getting to Gore Bay

Gore Bay is a small village of mainly holiday homes, most of which are situated a stone’s throw from the ocean. It’s a beautiful spot to pause and admire some of New Zealand’s natural beauty.

From 1856, the bay was used by William ‘Ready Money’ Robinson as a gateway to his Cheviot farm. This mainly involved ferrying in goods and passengers from boats. These days, it’s just 21 kilometres off State Highway 1.

Note: If you are planning to stop at Gore Bay, here are no shops. So, make sure you stop in at Amberly or Cheviot for any supplies.

Cathedral Cliffs, Gore Bay
Cathedral Cliffs, Gore Bay

Cathedral Cliffs

The drive to Gore Bay is part of the Alpine Pacific Triangle. It boasts a great view from the top of the hill of the renowned Cathedral Cliffs.

It’s best to see the cliffs after lunch, rather than early in the morning. That’s when the sunlight works wonders!

Gore Bay
Gore Bay, North Canterbury

From the lookout, it’s just a short 2-minute drive down to the beautiful long beach.

Upon arriving, you get the feeling that time stands still. The beach is perfect for just strolling around, and the surf also seemed gentle.

At low tide, you can go boulder hopping on the Southern end of the beach and look for washed up Paua shells or sprats swimming about in the shore.

That may lead you to believe there are bigger fish to catch, however, I didn’t take my gear. So, you’ll have to find out for yourself!

Gore Bay Public Toilets

Being on the tourist trail, Gore Bay is very campervan friendly, with good public facilities such as a recycling station, public toilets and rubbish bins located on the southern end of the beach.

Gore Bay is a must-see for anyone with a little time up their sleeve in the North Canterbury region. Sure, it’s a little off the main highway but if you’re not in a rush then pack a picnic and make a day of it. You won’t be disappointed by this now confirmed, ‘little gem of the South Island’.

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