12 km south of Gore, Mataura sits beside the Mataura Falls. Founded in 1859, the town was shaped by industry – a paper mill (1876), a dairy factory (1887) and freezing works (1893). The falls were blasted by dynamite to harness water for industry, so they are much smaller than originally.

Meaning of place name
The name is most likely to mean reddish water, from the iron oxide in the local swamp.