The quiet Southland farming town of GORE, 70km west of Balclutha and 70km northeast of Invercargill, is a pleasant transit point at the intersection of routes from Dunedin to Te Anau and Invercargill. Dominated by the Hokonui Hills, Gore spans the Mataura River (“reddish swirling water”), and claims to be the brown trout capital of the world – celebrated by an enormous fish statue in the town centre. It also claims to be New Zealand’s home of country music (not that anyone is fighting them for the honour), a scene that is most accessible during Gold Guitar Week (late May and early June; t 03 208 1978, w goldguitars.co.nz) when hundreds of would-be country stars and a few established performers roll into town for five days of low-key entertainment.