Favourite places: Gore Bay

Children enjoy playing in the surf at Gore Bay.
Children enjoy playing in the surf at Gore Bay.
As we are making great strides to see more of our own backyards, we asked people from around the South to tell us about their favourite places. Third-generation Cheviot farmer Vince Daly reveals his favourite North Canterbury spots to visit - Gore Bay, the Hurunui River mouth and Manuka Bay.

What I love most about Gore Bay is it is like stepping back in time to the 1970s and ’80s. It is untouched, with no commercial buildings, and is a small community with plenty to offer visitors.

You can get back to nature, and enjoy swimming and fishing at a safe beach sheltered by the surrounding hills. It has two good camping grounds, traditional baches and a few permanent homes and is in easy distance to other good fishing spots. It is close to Cheviot for supplies, walkways and cycle trails.

What people don't know about ...

Many are unaware it is only 90 minutes north of Christchurch, and a short trip away from the Hurunui River mouth where you can catch a salmon or kahawai. The Cheviot Hills Domain is steeped in history. You can fish off the beach at Manuka Bay. St Anne’s Lagoon is north of the Cheviot township.

Two Gore Bay lads enjoying a dip.
Two Gore Bay lads enjoying a dip.
A great area to stay in is ...

The Gore Bay or Buxtom camping grounds at Gore Bay are popular. Down the coast there is the Hurunui River mouth camping ground, a popular sheltered spot with a toilet and cold running water.

The best way to start the day is ...

Take a dip at Gore Bay then set out on one of the many walks and cycle trails in the area, including a Department of Conservation track between Gore Bay and the Hurunui River mouth settlement.

For a great night out (or in) ...

Take a picnic and sit on the beach, or travel to the Cheviot Trust Hotel for an evening meal, or visit the local cafes.

Favourite places to eat and what you always order ...

I enjoy fish and chips on the beach at Gore Bay or a home-made picnic lunch or tea. Fossil Point at Greta Valley is a great place to eat, or you can catch a fresh fish and head home to a good fresh meal.

The setting sun looking north from the Hurunui River mouth.
The setting sun looking north from the Hurunui River mouth.
Top place to walk, run, cycle, tramp, exercise, practise yoga ...

You can visit the Cheviot Domain to walk, cycle, run or enjoy a fun game of cricket with the family, or take a walk on the many tracks on offer. Walk the Department of Conservation track along the cliff-tops between Gore Bay and the Hurunui River mouth. Or travel to St Anne’s lagoon and get back to nature, watching the birdlife and enjoying the tranquility.

Top experience not to miss ...

Cast out from the local beaches and catch a fresh fish to feed the family. Stroll on the beach. At low tide, go boulder-hopping on the southern end and look for washed-up paua shells or sprats swimming close to the shore.

Experience you'd always wanted to give a go but never got around to it ...

I have never been surfing. There are lessons available locally at Gore Bay but I have never got around to it.

Best-kept secret ...

Gore Bay is just a short drive off State Highway 1 at Cheviot.


  • Category: Hidden gem off the beaten track, a family holiday Mecca, and a great day trip/fishing destination.
  • Drive times: Christchurch 90min, Kaikoura 45min, Cheviot 10 min.
  • Population: About 14 permanent residents.
  • Climate: Warm and temperate, average annual temperature 10degC.
  • Accommodation: Whether you’re camper, glamper, van-lifer or bacher, Gore Bay has options perfect for weekend getaways or longer vacations.

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