Mossburn Diner-saur

Diner-saur, Dear and Deer! As we were leaving the rural Southland village of Mossburn on Saturday we drove past this diner. Now, ‘diners’ aren’t common in New Zealand. Diners are an ‘American’ thing and when they occur in NZ they’re usually retro, antiquated-looking places. This was no exception. What drew my attention was the long line of sharply-angled gables – six of them all in a row. They looked rather reptilian to me and suddenly my brain put retro and reptilian together and got diner-saur! I told Nigel and got a hearty laugh in response so we turned around and headed back to the village for photos.

Photos taken by Liz 30 June 2018. Mossburn, Southland, New Zealand

UPDATE 02 Aug 2020 – sadly the Mossburn Diner was destroyed by fire recently.


This was the view just after Nigel had turned the car around for our return to Mossburn. Its mid-winter here so the mountains are all snowy on top. These days most of the better farmland around here is used for dairy farming. Mossburn is on the route to the popular tourist destination of Fiordland. There’s plenty of snowcapped mountains to be seen when you’re out on a drive this time of year.


Nigel’s work as a landscape architect brings him out to this area sometimes. He’s currently got two dairy farm landscape design jobs in the Mossburn area.
Nigel’s website is Growplan and he has a WP blog



Mossburn is the self-proclaimed “deer capital” of New Zealand. This deer statue is opposite the Diner. I’ve read in Te Ara that “The statue is crowned by genuine stag’s antlers” and also that “New Zealandโ€™s first deer farm was established at Mossburn in 1972”.

Dear and Deer

The Diner had an outside alcove with a deer trophy mounted on a Southland landscape mural. I called on ‘Dear’ to come and put himself in the landscape and he was most obliging. Thanks dear!




Speaking of Dinosaurs, I highly recommend you take a look at this ‘Gharial’ – it looks part dinosaur to me! Published a few hours ago by Emma and Tom from Zoomology. Image below used with permission of Zoomology.

The Gharial: A Critically Endangered Fish Eating Crocodilian


Text and Mossburn photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2018)

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