Over the past few years, street art in Dunedin has taken off. It’s one of my favorite things about this fabulous city on the South Island.
Years ago, this kind of urban redecoration might have got you arrested. Gone are the days of grungy punk tags and ugly incomprehensible letters on seedy back alley corners. Instead, there’s a growing interest in larger-than-life art that shares a story. Dunedin is redefining urban culture in New Zealand one beautifully decorated wall at a time.
The artists flocking to the city aren’t just your average taggers; they are famous artists from all over the world, commissioned to breathe life back into old neighborhoods and spice things up. The street art in Dunedin is one of the many reasons I love this city so much.
You know it’s going to be a funky and memorable place when a city actively invests in things like street art.
If you are looking for a little getaway to a place that invites you to walk and wander, Dunedin is the spot for you. The more you walk around it on foot, the more you’ll be surprised.
Consider joining locals on a guided street art tour of the city. With new pieces are popping up all the time, I needed someone to tell me the fantastic stories behind the art.
My knowledge of this place was so patchy and sporadic that I needed a local to learn about Dunedin through its growing urban art scene. Cue Victoria, aka Street Kiwi on Instagram, introduced me to the very cool street art scene years ago. She’s a passionate local, and together we spent hours exploring all of the art around the downtown area while I learned the beautiful stories behind the art.
There are dozens of pieces, big to tiny, hidden around. To experience something so unique and special with someone who knows so much and has so much joy for the art turned out to be a fabulous way to experience Dunedin.
For me, there is something so captivating about art in the open air. Walls you can lean against but have to step far away to see the full scope of it. If someone wanted to mess with it, they could. But they generally don’t. There’s a lot of respect for this art that is for everyone. Every time I come to Dunedin, I return to some of my favorite pieces. See them in a different light. See them with other cars parked in front of them. Even see how they have weathered.
In some ways, it’s interactive. Maybe that’s why I like the street art in Dunedin so much.
Many of the artists incorporate messaging of nature. Birds and native New Zealand creatures like penguins and tuatara often make an appearance. You can even find Ed Sheeran’s face downtown after choosing Dunedin for one of his major international gigs.
Every time I visit Dunedin, I make a point to find new street art. I usually park blocks away from a place I’m staying, so I make myself go for a wander. As a general rule, that’s usually how I find the best sites.
Scroll on to see some of my favorite street art in Dunedin, taken over several years. How cool is it to have a city that is so colorful, bright, and full of immersive art?
Have you been to a place that features so much street art? Have you spent time down in Dunedin? Spill!