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Arts & Culture

New Zealand isn't all majestic unspoiled scenery, beautiful wildlife and rich fuel for the adrenaline junkie. Slow the pace down and take in some of the finest galleries in the Southern Hemisphere. Traditional Maori art meets modern European influence to create a fusion as unique as New Zealand itself. Take your pick from our selection of galleries.

Auckland Art Gallery  

Wellesley St East, Auckland

Situated next to the beautiful Albert Park, Auckland Art Gallery is home to the most extensive collections in the country. Attracting exhibitions from all over the world whilst paying homage to homegrown Maori art and craft and that from the wider Pacific area, this is definitely the gallery to begin your exploration of New Zealand’s art scene. 

City Gallery Wellington / Te Whare Toi
City Gallery Wellington / Te Whare Toi

City Gallery Wellington 

Te Ngakau Civic Square, Wellington

A short walk from Lambton Harbour and free to browse, head to City Gallery to enjoy their extensive range of contemporary art from New Zealand and beyond. It is a more intimate venue than Auckland Gallery, always busy with revolving exhibitions which challenge and provoke. And when you’ve finished, be sure to check out the nearby Maori Art Gallery on the waterfront.

Christchurch Art Gallery 

58 Gloucester Street, Christchurch

Transcending its traditional role, Christchurch Gallery was a critical focal point during the recent earthquakes. With its structure designed to withstand the seismic events which plagued this part of New Zealand in 2010 and 2011, the Gallery provided a temporary home to the city’s Civil Defence Authority while it co-ordinated its response to the tragedy. Fully re-opened to the public, the Gallery renewed its attraction to art collections from around the world, and is always busy with fresh exhibitions.  

Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Dunedin Public Art Gallery 

30 The Octagon, Dunedin  

Showcasing diverse medium, at Dunedin Gallery you will find everything from prints by European masters to modern Australian and New Zealand art, by way of Japanese animation film reels.

Dunedin itself also plays host to a lively street art scene, with many international mural artists invited to leave their mark on the city’s walls. 

Turanga Art Gallery
Turanga Art Gallery

Tauranga Art Gallery 

108 Willow Street, Tauranga

A newcomer to the New Zealand art scene opening in 2007, Tauranga Art Gallery has quickly acquired a global cachet, specialising in contemporary arts and crafts. Specifically designed to accommodate the unusual requirements demanded by modern artists, the atrium has already hosted a seven metre tall fluorescent installation, comic book animation from the US, and twenty two of Banksy's works. The gallery also works closely with local schools, hosting exhibitions from younger artists and advising on the curriculum. 

The Sarjeant Gallery
The Sarjeant Gallery

The Sarjeant Gallery  

38 Taupo Quay 

A stone’s throw from the Whanganui River, the Sarjeant Gallery houses more than 8000 works from over 400 years, sourced from around the world.

The gallery focusses mainly on European art, but now features an extensive collection of works from Whanganui born artist Edith Collier.  

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

42 Queen Street, New Plymouth 

Built out of a decommissioned cinema, the Govett-Brewster provides a unique space focussing on contemporary art from New Zealand and abroad. Unsurprising given its location, it has a strong focus on Maori art, and offers programmes and support to local artists to get their work showcased. A recent extension to the Gallery is the Len Lye centre. With its unmistakable chrome and mirror facade, it is the first gallery in New Zealand devoted to one artist.

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery 

420 Titirangi Road  

Maori values and manaakitanga are the inspiration for this award winning and intimate gallery on the outskirts of Auckland. With a reach that exceeds its size, the Te Uru aims to put local artists on the global map, running programmes and providing space to champion New Zealand’s artistic identity. 

Aigantighe Art Gallery 

49 Wai-Iti Rd, Maori Hill, Timaru 

Famous for its sculpture garden set over two acres, this pastoral gallery set back from Timaru Port is  well worth a visit. The gardens feature works by New Zealand artists such as Buck Nin and Fred Graham, and large scale works focussing on the elements reflect the outdoor setting. 

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