Best South Island Street Art

Restoration City mural in Christchurch

We spent several weeks touring New Zealand‘s South Island by campervan. It’s wild, rugged, and beautiful, known for it’s natural wonders. What the South Island is less known for is outdoor art. While the North Island has more street art, here’s where to go for the best South Island street art.

Street art is not as common in the South Island. It’s tough to compete with the natural scenery, and the mountains, coasts, lakes, and glaciers are definitely beautiful.

Themes in South Island Street Art

Themes of street art are similar across New Zealand, and wildlife and marine life pop up everywhere on walls. You may recognize some artists from the North as well!

These are the places we visited with memorable street art in New Zealand’s South Island.


Blenheim, in the center of Marlborough wine country, is also home to some of the best South Island street art. Colorful murals and cute sculptures decorate the town’s buildings and squares.

One series, a joint initiative between the Blenheim Business Association and The Economic Action Marlborough (TEAM) Group, depicts species native to the region. This includes the Long-tailed bat painted by Erin Forsyth, below:

New Zealand bat, mural
New Zealand long tailed bat on a wall in Blenheim

Another work in the series is by artist Mica Still called Beaver, an early name for the town of Blenheim.

Beavers mural, Blenheim, New Zealand
Beavers by American born NZ resident Mica Still

We walked and biked around the town and enjoyed the variety of outdoor art, including this sculpture Last of the Stragglers, depicting a shepherd, sheep and a sheepdog. It is New Zealand after all, where there are 5x more sheep than people!

Sheep and sheepdog sculpture
Some of the art in Blenheim’s town center

There’s even a series of Banksy homages in Blenheim, and just like the originals, the identity of the artist is a mystery.

Graffiti artist Banksy homage mural
Banksy graffiti artist homage in Blenheim
little boy fishing street art
Little boy fishing Banksy homage
Pulp Fiction Banksy homage art
Banksy Homage Pulp Fiction street art
Banksy Boom bOx Street Art South Island New Zealand
This one has a boom box

It’s not all imitation Banksys in Blenheim, although there are a lot! Here’s another mural spotted in our wanderings over a couple of days.

sports, bicycles, mural
Sports mural in Blenheim


Christchurch is another great place for street art in the South Island. Still recovering from a series of earthquakes in 2010-11, artists here use the abandoned walls as their canvases. The results are spectacular, making Christchurch an outdoor art gallery like the best street art cities.

women street art
Mural near New Regent Street, Christchurch

I had to take a photo of this sweet cat, part of a Swiftmantis series devoted to stray cats. Olive, depicted in this piece, was soon adopted after the work premiered at the inaugural Flare Street Art Festival in 2022.

Cat mural, Christchurch, NZ
Olive by Swiftmantis in Christchurch

Christchurch is a gateway to the Antarctic, so a mural depicts that in the downtown.

Antarctic mural, penguins and glaciers, Christchurch street art
Antarctic mural on the downtown Novotel in Christchurch

Downtown Christchurch has so many murals that you can join a walking tour or download one of many apps offering self-guided options. Either way, you’ll be sure to see some new pieces as they seem to pop up all the time.

Alice in Wonderland mural in Christchurch
Alice in Wonderland mural in Christchurch

The Restoration City mural is big and bold, a commission for Kiwi artist Jacob Root.

Restoration City mural in Christchurch
Restoration City mural in Christchurch

Don’t forget the fun art hikes in Hanmer Springs and Akaroa where you can enjoy beautiful art in natural surroundings.

Otherwise, those are where we saw best street art in the South Island of New Zealand. Obviously we haven’t been everywhere, so please comment where else to go in the South Island for outdoor art, or anywhere in the world!

Street art of NZ South island
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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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