Find the beat of Dunedin’s heart in its many music events, the UNESCO-recognised literary scene and books, books, books.
6-9 May 2021
The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival returns this May, bringing together a smorgasbord of literary talent from around New Zealand to our southern city. Hosted in Aotearoa’s only UNESCO City of Literature, the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival is a book-lovers paradise with almost 40 events, and something for every literary curiosity.
Uniquely Dunedin, the Nook and Cranny Festival takes over the Dunedin Public Library for a day with local musicians playing live all over the complex - between bookstacks, in elevators, on tables, stairwells and more. Free to attend.
Get down in Dunedin
Whether it be jazz, hip hop, rap, rock, classical, blues, folk or metal – there is bound to be a gig on for you in the city. Song writers galore live and work here, edgy teen bands have evening gigs in stylish cafes, the stadium attracts world-class acts, orchestras and choirs tune in to our senses.
Local literary and film action
Dive into the rich pool of books and cinematic imagination from Dunedin’s literary and screen-focused talent. Dunedin is a UNESCO city of literature due to its present and historical wealth of writers and writing. It’s also a location of choice for many screenwriters, film makers and production companies.
Books are a living part of Dunedin’s identity. As a UNESCO City of Literature with a large university, it’s no surprise that book stores of all kinds can be found here. From shiny new covers in the University Book Shop to the well-loved pages and obscure titles within The Hard to Find Bookshop or Dead Souls Bookshop, there is no shortage of places to satisfy bibliophiles. Find out more
Get the Dtour app which links remarkable writers and their stories to remarkable sites in Dunedin. You can also find the Dunedin Writers walk in the Octagon – the series of brass plaques set into the ground marks many inspirational writers. Take a stroll with Literary Walking Tours and learn why Dunedin thoroughly deserves its City of Literature status as a place where writers, books, and literature, thrive. Find out more
Local authors get international attention online. Here’s a list of e-authors to get you started – we’ll change it up often to share the love.
Iona Winter – poetry and short stories
Essie Summers - romance novels
Diane Brown – poetry and novels
Rogelio Guedea - Mexican thrillers
Majella Cullinane – fiction and poetry
David Howard - poetry
Jane Woodham - crime fiction.
Get another take on the Dunedin Literary Scene with the local magazine Down In Edin.
Dunedin on screen
Either made in, by, or about Dunedin – follow the links to see your city from a new angle.
Wildlife Rescue - A network of wildlife rescue groups work together with passionate volunteers to rescue, treat and release wild New Zealand animals.
Our Big Blue Backyard – a TVNZ show which takes you under the sea and into a world of stunning creatures.
NHNZ clips – lots of clips from Dunedin-based the long NHNZ (Natural History New Zealand) list of extraordinary documentaries
Short Film Otago - Over the past 10 years, Short Film Otago has produced 16 films – check them out.
The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps - Julia Parnell (New Zealand) and co-director Rob Curry (UK) tell the cautionary story of Dunedin musician Martin Phillipps and his legendary band, The Chills.
Wilbur King of the Ring - (AO) Following the journey of a humorous ex-professional Kiwi wrestler.
Wanted Season 2 – See Dunedin local Rebecca Gibney in this story of partners on the run when they witness a murder involving dirty cops and are framed for the crime.
An Angel at My Table – Academy Award winning film-maker Jane Campion brings to the screen the true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished writer.
The Light Between Oceans - A happily married but childless couple on a remote island wrestle with a moral dilemma when they discover a lifeboat carrying an infant. Spot the Port Chalmers locations.
Sylvia – Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the renowned poet Sylvia Plath in this film, made in Dunedin.
Black Christmas - made in Dunedin and the surrounding region in 2019, this remake of a cult horror classic sees a campus killer come face a formidable group of friends in sisterhood.
Scarfies - Released in the US as Crime 101, Robert Sarkies’ feature debut is black comedy with emphasis on the black. Five students at Dunedin’s Otago University find a seemingly abandoned house and decide it is the perfect flat.
X-men Origins – Wolverine - Hugh Jackman unleashes the claws of his mutant alter ego once again in this thrilling tale that explores Wolverine's dark genesis. Spot the Dunedin locations used during the 2008 filming.
City webcams - see #dunnerstunner views in real time. You can check out the Octagon, St Clair Beach, Waikoutaiti, the view from Otago House, the Botanic Garden and more.
Royal Albatross Cam – watch a fluffy Royal Albatross chick as it grows up, live on camera on Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula. That chick really knows it’s best to stay in the nest right now.