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Arts & culture

See your city through the eyes of its thriving cultural community, which gives us amazing street art, galleries, music, libraries, museums, & more


The award-winning Otago Museum is one of the nation's finest, housing a stupendous collection of treasures from around the world, paired with an excellent calendar of year-round events and international touring exhibitions. The many floors of exhibits provide a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the region and wider South Pacific. The highly popular Tūhura science centre an edu-tainment mecca for families and includes 45 interactive exhibits to engage the brain, a thrilling double helix slide, tropical butterfly house and 360-degree planetarium.

For an insight into Dunedin’s past, visit Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, situated in the historic Queens Gardens precinct. The focus here is on people and technology. See its Facebook page for the Curators Corner series shot during Level 4 about historical highlights of Dunedin's past.

For those that prefer their museums with a large dose of quirk, the Museum of Natural Mystery is an emporium of the beautifully bizarre and well worth a visit (reopening 29 May 2020).

New Zealand’s proud sporting achievements are celebrated at the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, just along the road in Dunedin Railway Station.

Steam buffs should visit Dunedin’s unique Gasworks Museum. And Maritime buffs can visit the Port Chalmers Maritime Museum.

Read about all of Dunedin's museums

Lan Yuan Dunedin Chinese Garden

The Dunedin Chinese Garden is a slice of old Shanghai in downtown Dunedin. Traditional and serene, the garden was built by Shanghai artisans as an inner-city haven for peaceful contemplation and features bridges, water features and a tea house. Opening hours daily 10am-5pm.

City of Literature

Dunedin is a UNESCO designated City of Literature, a magnificent example of a small city that lives, breathes and connects through its people, its culture and its intense love of literature. Situated in the South Island of New Zealand, Dunedin has a population of approximately 123,000 people and although a rather young city in worldly terms, it is well known as a university town of excellence in research and learning, and a city where writers, books and literature thrive.

Experience the sites and buildings that inspired and homed some of the city's great personalities on a Dunedin Literary Walking Tour.



Check ahead to see if the Dunedin gallery you want to see is open during current alert levels. Many have curated exhibitions of imagery on their facebook pages for you to enjoy in the meantime.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery houses New Zealand’s oldest public art collection. Old masters feature in its permanent collection alongside significant works by Dunedin and national artists such as Ralph Hotere and Frances Hodgkins. The gallery has a programme of residencies and exhibitions showcasing contemporary artists.

Within 20 minutes' walk of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, you will find at least 20 galleries including contemporary jewellery, ceramics and visual art.

See the full list of galleries

Explore Dunedin's vibrant street art

Dunedin has a rich history in the arts and in making art freely available for all to enjoy. It is unsurprising, then, that the city is now embracing street art, with an increasing number of blank walls being transformed into works of art by local and international artists. Experience these vibrant, whimsical artworks by following the self-guided Dunedin street art trail.

Currently there are over 50 walls across the city, mostly concentrated around the Warehouse Precinct and CBD with plenty of cafes along the way for tasty pit stops. Take a look at our Insiders' Guide to the Dunedin Street Art Trail.


Hours can be spent soaking up the calm and contemporary environments that city’s libraries have to offer. From Medieval manuscripts to precious historical items, reference material for the genealogist of the family to impressive photographic and pictorial collections, Dunedin’s libraries are comprehensive and accessible.

Our libraries have exciting event calendars, with lectures, performance, art and launches often reflecting activities around the city, so do remember to check what’s on when you are in town.


Dunedin has a vibrant independent music scene which rose to international prominence through the 1980s and 1990s. Dunedin Sound bands including The Clean, The Chills, The Verlaines, Straitjacket Fits, Sneaky Feelings and the 3Ds rocked local, national and international airwaves across America and Europe, all affiliated with the Flying Nun record label.

The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, City Choir Dunedin and Dunedin Youth Orchestra cater to classical tastes, as do regular visits from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.