Gore District Council Reserves & Recreation
There are numerous reserves and recreational facilities right throughout the Gore District. Information on these may be obtained by phoning (03) 209 0330.
Please see also www.gardens.org.nz
The town of Gore derived its name from:
- The middle name of Colonel (later Sir) Thomas Gore Browne, Governor of the colony of New Zealand 1855-1861, Gore being the name by which he was known to his close friends.
- It was probably given to him because of a family connection, Gore being a not uncommon surname.
- The surname is derived from the name given during the Middle Ages to a triangular shaped piece of land which might appear after oblong areas had been allocated to the villages for farming purposes.
- Such pieces of land derived this name from the resemblance to the broad bladed spearhead which was known to the Anglo Saxons as a “gar”.
The geographical origin of the name Gore is particularly apt for the town by reason of the triangular blocks indicated on the settlement plant; in particular the reserve known locally as “the Triangle” can quite correctly be described as a gore.
The Council maintains a total of 275 ha of reserves comprising of 66 individual parks including 26 Playgrounds. We have a total of 5.3 ha of shrub beds, 2055 street trees and 1500m² of annual bedding. The Council's principle reserves are:
Dolamore Park Scenic Reserve
Dolamore Park is named in honour of the Dolamore family, whose gift allowed the camping area to be developed. The land was originally bought by the Gore Borough Council in 1940 to establish a public picnic area and provide access into the adjacent Croydon Bush Scenic Reserve in order to maintain it as a wildlife sanctuary. Walking tracks enable visitors to view the native birdlife, such as wood pigeons, fantails, bellbirds and tui; especially in spring when the kowhai and flax flower. This native forested area forms a green backdrop for the park and is the largest lowland broadleaf podocarp forest in the region, featuring substantial stands of southern rata and rimu, totara and matai over 500 years old. The Waimumu Stream and Whisky Creek running through the park are home to trout, eels, crayfish, ducks, geese and native shags, herons and kingfishers. Extensive lawns are bordered by stone wall terracing. In spring the mature rhododendrons feature, followed by the red rata flowers in summer. Fine selections of conifers can be seen in the Bert Newman Arboretum and the Ian Gilchrist Conifer Collection. The park includes a children's playground and is popular for picnics, parties, barbecues and camping. A country music festival is held here each February. An Education Centre is open by appointment, displaying interactive information which shows the balance of biodiversity in native forests.
Gore Public Gardens
The land was originally set aside in 1874, but not laid out until 1906 by David Tannock of Dunedin. The present design is based on this historical layout and incorporates many mature trees such as the gigantic wellingtonia and horizontal elms planted at that time. Among the exotic trees and shrubs are a number of rare and unusual specimens including those in the extensive conifer border. Spring bulbs are accompanied by the camellias, magnolia and enkianthus trees flowering. Then Gore’s Rhododendron Festival is held each year in the Gardens in October complemented by the spring bedding display of annuals. Tree peonies are a feature, the peony border being spectacular in November. This is followed by the roses, modern varieties making an impressive display through the summer months when the eucryphia trees blossom. Further annuals continue into the autumn as the deciduous foliage begins to turn on the maple trees, the enkianthus becomes a bright red and red berries appear on the sorbus trees. Winter features include the witch hazels which bear yellow flowers on bare branches after the yellow autumn foliage drops. And hawthorns (Crataegus) produce red berries through the winter after the white blossom finishes. The conifer border is also a winter attraction and the Winter Garden complex is open all year. An added feature is the aviary, especially in spring.
Bannerman Park was named in 1977 in honour of Mr R B Bannerman whose foresight helped procure extra land for the park. Known as the Hidden Valley, the land dates from the 1870s but was full of gorse and broom until cleared in the 1960s. Grass was then sown and the springs drained. Extensive plantings of rhododendrons, conifers and silver birches were established at that time and a deer park was also created. Twenty years later the creek beds were developed with bog plants, and since then herbaceous perennials have been extensively planted. Today streams meander throughout the valley bordered by sealed pathways. Early spring is announced by the daffodils, meconopsis, camellias, cherry blossom and magnolias. The rhododendron collection includes large beds of R. yunnanense, R. decorum and R. spinuliferum all grown from seed gathered in the wilds of the Yunnan Province in China. In November the streams and ponds are lush with gunneras, hostas, irises and candelabra primulas. Native ferns, astelias and Chatham Island forget-me-nots also edge the streams. Peonies, daylilies and ajuga groundcover add to the colour as summer progresses. The deciduous foliage provides brilliant autumn colour from the weeping maples to the oaks, twisty willows and silver birches shading the picnic tables. Then winter brings the hellbores into flower. Most of the plants in the park are named.
A recent addition is the 'daffodil paddock' where specimen Decidious trees are underplanted with donated daffodils, which are able to be picked by the public in spring. The first tree to be planted here in 2009 is a Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' (weeping ash) which commemorates the life of Irene McGregor, Patron of the Gore Garden Club whose members annually donate trees and bulbs to this area.
Below this area is a Rhododendron Dell planted with species Rhododendrons and Acers. In addition there are 3 specimen Magnolia Campbellii donated by Soroptimist International of Gore Service Club.
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