Street Art Trail

Now, for one of the coolest parts of Dunedin! On Saturday, we drove into town to walk some of the famous Street Art Trail, which features over 25 pieces by both local artists and international professionals who travel all the way here to contribute to Dunedin’s vibrant cityscape. Armed with a map, we set out.

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As you’ll see, these pieces aren’t your typical city graffiti.


It seemed every nook and cranny had something to offer.



Even the trees were artsy.



This next one, by UK artist Phlegm (lovely name, I know), blends surreal art with NZ history by including Māori waka (boats).


Other pieces utilize nature, like this girl with a watering can by Aussie artist Be Free.


This one is by local Devon Smith, who also happens to be a tattoo artist.


And what would any Dunedin art be without some reference to penguins, like this one titled “Empress of the Penguins”?


Art wasn’t limited to murals, either.



As we continued on, a Star Wars theme seemed to emerge.



One of the most impressive murals was “Love is in the Air” by Polish artist Natalia Rak, especially because of its massive scope.


Remember what I said about this not being your typical graffiti? You definitely wouldn’t see this on the side of a train!


A lot of the art is clustered in one area, but we had to walk a bit further for the next few.


“Riding Dreams” is pretty epic.


Even the electrical box has art of its own.

Some art just comes in the form of the right colors at the right time:



Even Roz from Monsters Inc. made an appearance. Ok, yes, I did have to Google her name.


Next, we were enticed into an alleyway by more incredible work from Be Free, whose art is aptly described as feminine and mischievous.




There was some run-of-the-mill graffiti too, which I bet winds up in a lot more photographs than graffiti that isn’t on the Street Art Trail.



I probably wouldn’t want to wander through this alleyway alone at night, but with six of us during the day, it wasn’t a problem. I love a good decrepit setting for photographs.



This next one, “Chasing Waterfalls,” is a collaboration between two artists from Canada and Belgium. I love how the building’s pre-existing piping is incorporated into the mural.


And remember what I said about Star Wars?



Those ones crack me up.

Last but not least, another by Phlegm. “Song Bird Pipe Organ” depicts a distinctively mysterious figure playing an unusual organ, releasing native New Zealand birds (including the Kākāpō and the Takahē) as he plays.


All credit goes to the Dunedin Street Art website for detailed information on the city’s artwork.

As we were about to head to lunch, a guy popped out of his insurance agency after he saw us taking photos and invited us in to see another piece of art.


What a stunning painting of Dunedin, and if you can believe it, he didn’t even try to sell us insurance. Just a nice Kiwi gesture!

Although we didn’t have time to visit every single stop on the Street Art Trail, I think we got a great taste for Dunedin’s unique brand of artwork, courtesy of artists from near and far.  I love that the city provides a space for them to do incredible work, which in turn brings more people to this vibrant place. It’s a wonderful arrangement that benefits everyone.

And now for something completely different… Larnach Castle. Come along to a truly beautiful anomaly, seemingly displaced from an English manor, up next!

3 thoughts on “Street Art Trail

  1. What an amazing place. And whoever started the art project for Dunedin was a genius. Such unique pieces. And was that Ralphie from A Christmas Story holding the lollipop and getting kissed? I guess if you’re the artist, you can incorporate whatever you want. Loved them all!


  2. I thought it looked like Ralphie, too! Such interesting and inventive art. I’d love to take that walk — and stand with C3PO and R2D2 myself.


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