Hokonui Hills

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The Hokonui Hills, also known as The Hokonui Mountains or simply The Hokonui, are a range of hills in central Southland, New Zealand. They rise to 600 metres above the surrounding Southland Plains, of which the hills mark a northern extremity.

The Hokonui Hills also splits the Southland Plains in two - to the north and east lies the broad floodplain of the Mataura River, and to the south and west lie the plains of the Aparima and Oreti Rivers. The Oreti's major tributary, the Makarewa River rises in the south of the Hokonui Hills.

The hills lie within a triangle formed by the towns of Gore to the east, Lumsden to the north, and Winton to the southwest, and cover approximately 1,200 km².

During the nineteenth century, the region gained a reputation for the production of illicit alcohol known as Hokonui moonshine.[1] The association between the region and illicit alcohol lasted until the 1930s and has passed into New Zealand folklore. The "Hokonui Moonshiner Museum" in Gore celebrates the "...colourful history of illicit whiskey making and consumption...".[2][3][4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Moonshine: Illicit stills in Southland", 10 June 1926, Press
  2. ^ Hokonui Moonshiners Museum, Gore District Council
  3. ^ "Old Hokonui", original label, National Library of New Zealand
  4. ^ "Illicit Whisky Still", 1934, Auckland Star

Coordinates: 45°57′01″S 168°37′25″E / 45.9502°S 168.6237°E / -45.9502; 168.6237