The beauty of Dunedin’s compact city centre is the sheer volume of colourful and quirky street art that can be found around almost every corner. Almost 50 pieces from New Zealand and international artists adorn city walls, brighten up alleyways and pop up in other intriguing out-of-the-way spots, just awaiting discovery. Most of works are around Moray Place and throughout the Warehouse Precinct, so with the help of a street art map and a sense of curiosity, you can immerse yourself in one huge permanent art exhibition. The map is currently being updated as so many new works have been added in recent times, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these newer off-the-radar pieces
If you thought Dunedin wasn’t much of a beer destination, think again! Now for your drinking pleasure there are three very distinct breweries, each with a very different vibe. New New New Corporation is the latest addition to the scene. The taproom wouldn’t be out of place in downtown Tokyo and is tacked on to the light airy brewery floor, where on Friday nights only, you can sit amongst the tanks and machines and sample the fine brews. Food trucks, pop-up eateries and live music add the finishing touches to this very cool Dunedin experience. Emerson’s needs no introduction, but in case you haven’t sampled their beer-tastic wares and most excellent food, head down to their brewery and restaurant for an education in taste. Last but not least, Speights, which like an old mate is always a welcome addition to any party. Tour the brewery and daydream about swimming in vats of beer or maybe just try a brew or two in the tasting room, it’s still pretty awesome.
This once neglected part of the city is now a thriving hub of quirky cafes, street art, bars and other undeniably cool attractions, including an urban winery and an artisan chocolatier. The heritage buildings that dominate this area have been restored and given a fresh lease of life. Hidden amongst the buildings and alleyways you’ll discover Vogel Street Kitchen, Heritage Coffee, Precinct Food, Ocho Chocolate, Good Good, Vanguard, Moiety , Urbn Vino, Wine Freedom, Dutybound Bookbinders, Dead Souls Bookshop the Robert Piggott Art Gallery among other treasures.
Down at the Dunedin Railway Station every Saturday you’ll find the Otago Farmers Market, one of the best in Australasia, where a dazzling collection of local artisan producers, bakers, baristas and more, peddle their delicious wares. Rain or shine, the market is always a vibrant and bustling place, with live music adding to the festive atmosphere. A great way to kick off a weekend in the city and get a taste of the excellent local cuisine.
What would a visit to Dunedin be without taking in some live music? As the home of the Dunedin Sound, the music scene is still alive and well with a number of intimate venues that regularly feature local and touring bands and DJ’s. including Dog with Two Tails, The Cook, The Craic, Inch Bar, 50 Gorillas, Pequeno and The Crown. The Radio One Gig Guide is the go-to for up-to-date listings on live music around town.
If being locked in an old-fashioned prison cell and working with friends to hatch an escape plan sounds like your ultimate day out, look no further. Escape Dunedin runs excellent themed games from two rather dramatic Dunedin heritage buildings, the former Dunedin Prison and the Savoy. There are four games to choose from including Witchcraft & Wizardry, Contagion, Espionage and Redemption. You’ll need to crack codes, discover hidden clues and work together to escape. A novel and strangely fun way to spend an hour, in lockdown.
Something of an artist’s hub, it’s easy to find a new piece for your art collection from one of the many public and privately-run galleries in the city. A great way to spend a morning in between cafes and attractions, Dunedin’s galleries will reward you with a wide spectrum of visual arts from contemporary local and New Zealand artists. A few within a short walk of the Octagon include: Gallery De Novo, The Artists Room, Quadrant Gallery, Moray Gallery or Milford Gallery, but there are many more tucked away in and around the city, including the reasonably new addition fe29.
There are over 12 museums in the wider Dunedin covering all manner of historical, quirky and sophisticated subject matters. Even if museums aren’t usually your thing, we guarantee you’ll be blown away by the fascinating, fun and highly interactive offerings to be found in this ever-surprising city. Two of the newest and possibly most bizarre are the Museum of Natural Mystery which features grotesquely beautiful yet fascinating artworks and curious made from animal bones; and the Whakamana Cannabis Museum, we’ll leave that one to your imagination! Don’t miss the superb award-winning Otago Museum with its Tuhūra interactive science centre and the Toitū Early Settlers Museum for hours of immersive fun.