Best South Island Street Art

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.

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Street Art in New Zealand’s North Island

We love street art, and after travelling around New Zealand for months, by boat and campervan, enjoyed the varied street art in New Zealand. I found the best street art in New Zealand’s North Island.

Some cities are infinitely better than others for street art. It seems like you need a confluence of artists and unused building and enlightened sponsors. Like other places with excellent street art, many of the best towns for street art in New Zealand’s North Island host festivals devoted to the craft.

Street Art in New Zealand’s North Island: Subjects

The subjects of street art in New Zealand run the gamut, as they do in most places with good outdoor art. Here they range from beautiful fantasy women to real people to birds and fish to Maori mythology. Themes and subjects which are important to the culture get repeated more often.

Cowboy street art in New Zealand
“Alex and Carmilita” by LISA KING, Whangarei
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Hiking in New Zealand

They call it “tramping” here, but whatever you call it, hiking in New Zealand is a way of life. If you like to hike, New Zealand is paradise. It’s one of the best places we’ve been for hiking. Everywhere we visited on both North and South islands had nice hiking trails, thousands of them.

New Zealand Is a Hiking Paradise

One of our favorite ways to see a new place is by hiking. Especially after days on the boat, it’s a great way to stretch your legs and get fresh air. Sometimes you get to commune with local wildlife and people too!

hiking trail Greymouth South Island
An inviting trail in Greymouth, South Island

Some of our favorite places for hiking are The Marquesas and Curaçao, thanks to a variety of beautiful trails. New Zealand hiking is even better for variety and quality. The sheer number of well laid out trails means you can pretty much go hiking anywhere. It’s practically impossible to get lost because they are so maintained and marked.

Let's go Tramping sign
A well marked New Zealand trail

Brian and I marvel at the work that went into building these trails and then maintaining them. Someone has to bring loads of lumber into the forests to erect the stairs! Someone else carried in steel to build a bridge to cross the river. We are impressed at New Zealand’s trail infrastructure and reaped the benefits.

Pelorus swing Bridge
We hiked across this swing bridge on the South Island

Add to that the lack of dangerous animals and a temperate climate, and hiking in New Zealand is nearly perfect.

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Top Things to Do in Santa Marta Colombia

Stuck in Santa Marta, Colombia? Maybe you’ve already visited Tayrona National Park and have a few days to kick back in the city. After six weeks there on our sailboat at the marina, I know the top things to do in Santa Marta Colombia.

About Santa Marta Colombia

This city is the capital of the Magdalena region and bases its economy on tourism, followed by commerce, the port and fishing. Nestled in a valley beneath Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, it’s a great jumping off point to visit the mountain town of Minca. However, don’t skip these attractions in Santa Marta.

VISIT THE museo del oro/gold museum

The gold museum is in a two-story building in the historic centre of Santa Marta. While not as big as its namesake in Bogota, the Santa Marta museum’s artifacts and displays within are interesting. In addition to showcasing gold unearthed from ancient cultures in the surrounding mountains, the museum provides a nice historical overview of the region and the city in particular. Good news, all of the displays are in English as well as Spanish.

exterior of Gold Museum in Santa Marta
Exterior of Museo de Oro de Santa Marta
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Curaçao Street Art

I love discovering street art when I travel, and I’m wowed by the street art in Curaçao! Downtown Willemstad is a treasure trove and since there is a lot, I’ve divided this post by neighborhood, so you can do your own walking tour when you go! if you’ve only got a day in Curaçao, this is the area to visit.

Want to see more posts about street art in The Caribbean? Check it out in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Bonaire.

The Top Curaçao Street Art is in Otrobanda

We stayed at an airbnb in Otrobanda, so this hip and growing neighborhood introduced us to the colorful street art of Curaçao. In our first days in the city, we wandered the streets taking photos and learning about the community. We also went on a Free Walking Tour and our guide showed off this trendy neighborhood and its street art.

  • Love Locks
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