Get Cultured

Dunedin is a city of culture, the proof being its status as a Unesco City of Literature.

The Octagon boasts a writers' walk, recognising the contributions of James K. Baxter, Janet Frame, and many more.

The city's cultural claims stretch beyond words. It's been home to many of New Zealand's best known artists, including Frances Hodgkins, Colin McCahon, and Ralph Hotere. Some of their works can be viewed at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, in the Octagon.

There's also a fine musical legacy, including the Dunedin Sound of the 1980s, with such bands as The Chills, Verlaines, Straitjacket Fits, Snapper, and The Clean taking their music to international acclaim. This continues today, as current artists continue to contribute to the musical landscape, with the likes of Six60 and Nadia Reid going on to bigger things.

All of this is surrounded by Dunedin's amazing built heritage, with great architecture everywhere. There's the Neo-renaissance Railway Station, the University Registry building, the newly refurbished Law Courts, and the stunning First Church spire to name just a few.

For a taste of how the city's Edwardian residents aspired to live, Olveston Historic Home is a must visit. The vast residence and its collection of antiquities is visited by around 40,000 people every year.

Art me up . . .

In recent years Dunedin has joined the international street-art movement.

The city has been enhanced by a growing array of work from artists both local and international.

One of the first lured here was Belgian artists ROA, whose tuatara graces a brick wall on Bath St, just off the Octagon. It's just been complemented by an adjacent Ed Sheeran portrait by young Dunedin artist Tyler Kennedy Stent.

Elsewhere there are works by well-known international artists such as Phlegm (UK), Pixel Pancho (Italy), Hyuro (Argentina), and Dal East (China).

Locals are also well represented, with work from artists such as Sam Ovens, Stickum, Sean Duffell, and Emma Francesca.

There is now an established street-art trail in the central city to meander around, and enjoy both the art and the unique ambiance of New Zealand's first city.

Read more about what to do while you're in Dunedin below:

Concert Goers Guide

Shopping in Dunedin