See the What's On Dunedin calendar for a full listing of events.
21 December - 15 March
The Museum of Broken Relationships exhibition launches at the Otago Museum on 21 December and showcases a collection of locally and internationally sourced mementos of people’s intimate history, telling stories of Dunedin heartache. This poignant, award-winning exhibition has travelled the world to international acclaim. With items collected from 33 countries, and shown in 56 exhibitions, the museum holds the stories of thousands of lost connections, broken ties, friendships failed, and the objects that symbolise them.
Until April 2020
This surprising and completely fascinating pop-up exhibition is the culmination of 25 years work by Dunedin artist Frank Vasanyi, who has created a collection of over 50 life-size tribal warriors adorned with original cultural weaponry. The largest of its kind
in the world, the exhibition also seeks to highlight the ongoing plight of the indigenous people of the world. Running until April 2020 just near the Octagon, it’s certainly one of the more unusual summer attractions in the city but entirely worth a visit.
Dunedin last hosted the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships two years ago. Some of the best off-road riders in the world will again be in action. Cross-country titles for under 19, under 23 and elite will be decided on Friday, January 24, with Downhill titles awarded on Saturday. Spectators are most welcome, so head to Butts Road, at the rear of Logan Park High School.
Join the celebration as Dunedin welcomes the Year of the Rat. Follow the parade from the Octagon to the Lan Yuan, Dunedin Chinese Garden vi Princes Street and enjoy live entertainment, food stalls and a spectacular finale at 10pm.
A fun day in Brighton, the ‘Riviera of the South’. Take the whole family to this seaside haven and enjoy the amusement rides, entertainment, food, crafts and over 150 stalls of goodies. 10am-5pm.
Enjoy an early evening of live music, food trucks, performing artists, games and more at the annual Clocktower Lawn Picnic on the picturesque grounds of the University of Otago.
Forsyth Barr Stadium welcomes back Elton John, considered one of the best performing male solo artists ever. After more than half a century on the road and an unparalleled career that has redefined the cultural landscape, Elton has announced details of his farewell tour.
Elton John headlined the first ever concert at the Stadium back in 2011 and the city can’t wait to welcome him back. You won’t want to miss the last chance to see the Rocket Man under the roof!
Kāi Tahu whānui at Ōtākou will host this year’s commemoration of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi. The theme ‘Waitohu’ acknowledges the signatories who signed on behalf of Kāi Tahu. You’ll be able to catch a bus out to the Otago Peninsula’s Ōtākou Marae to join with mana whenua in the festivities – cross-cultural entertainment and music, food stalls (bring cash) or BYO picnic. These events will be the focus of Waitangi Day events in Dunedin. Haere mai, nau mai, tauti mai!
This is the season's first Super Rugby competition game for the Highlanders and it’s on their home ground so it’s guaranteed to be a great night. Kicking off at 7.05pm in the Forsyth Barr Stadium. Don’t miss it.
The New Zealand Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in New Zealand. With over 60 sports to choose from and more than 300 separate events, the Masters Games are for all sports people. From running to jumping, kicking to punting, riding to thinking, where skill, accuracy, energy or just a willingness to give it a go – these Games have it covered. Proving age is no barrier to participating, the Games attract more than 5000 competitors aged from 18 to 95 and beyond.
Until 9 February
Otago Museum has secured exclusive New Zealand rights to host the blockbuster exhibition James Cameron – Challenging the Deep. The exhibition takes visitors to the depths of our oceans through the lens of Cameron’s underwater cameras. Cameron has documented the shipwrecks of RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, explored deep ocean phenomena, such as black smoker hydrothermal vents, and discovered new species from the lowest point on earth. Challenging the Deep allows James Cameron to bring people with him on some of his journeys of discovery. The exhibition includes screenings of his most renowned movies, including Aliens and the Abyss.
This sensational act is heading to Dunedin for the first time ever, after the enormous success of the film Bohemian Rhapsody, the highest grossing music biopic of all time. It proves that the love for Queen remains as strong as ever. Lifelong New Zealand fans and new converts will be thrilled with the news that Queen original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor are teaming up once more with long-time frontman Adam Lambert for giant stadium shows with a brand-new, spectacular production.
T20 doesn’t get more exciting than this. The idyllic University of Otago Oval ground will host the match between the exciting White Ferns and the always competitive South Africa team.
Enjoy Dunedin’s biggest market of the year. Browse through the variety of creative goods on offer, hunt for gifts and goodies and sample treats from over 200 stalls. Thieves’ Alley Market Day attracts thousands to the central city. Food, non-stop fun and entertainment guaranteed. Dunedin’s biggest market is an all-weather, must-do event.
Octagonal Day & Otago Southland Pipe Band Contest
15 & 16 February
Two rousing spectacles for pipe band fans, the Octagonal Day on 15 February will take place on the North Ground, with 14 bands vying for top spot. The excitement continues on the 16 February with the Otago Southland Pipe Band Contest, including a stirring march of George Street and drill competitions on the North Ground.
Dunedin will be the host city for the Kneeboard Surfing World Titles from 29th February-7th March 2020. Competitors from all corners of the globe will take to the renowned Dunedin waves to vie for the top spot.
Wings and Wheels 2020 is shaping up to be the biggest yet! There are a record number of Replica Warbird Aircraft, General Aviation Aircraft scheduled to attend, and there will be an amazing array of classic, exotic, and special vehicles on display.
There will be a large variety of vendors onsite offering food, drink, crafts, and attractions for all ages. This event once again will offer something for everyone in a relaxed fun day out on the Taieri.
The exciting, high energy atmosphere of T20 cricket will take over the city and Dunedin’s University of Otago Oval as the BLACKCAPS take on Australia.