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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Top Things to do in Tahiti

We spent over two months in Tahiti and explored a lot. We came here planning a much shorter visit, but plans change on a boat! A few months later, we enjoyed our time on this big island with its happy people, experiencing the top things to do in Tahiti.

About Tahiti

Tahiti is the largest and most populated part of French Polynesia. Islanders from all parts send their children to school here, and many remain in Tahiti to work before starting families. I read that Tahiti is home to over 68% of French Polynesia’s population. The good thing is that “big island” vibe doesn’t mean it’s unfriendly. On the contrary. We found Tahitians, and Mooreans, some of the friendliest people we’ve ever met, making it even more fun to get out and explore! Plus, they are multilingual, switching between French, Tahitian, English, and more with ease.

Get in the Water

Tahiti is surrounded by coral reefs and the clarity of the sea is perfect for spotting marine life. We joined several dives with Fluid Tahiti and saw sharks, colorful fish, and tons of turtles. Snorkel, swim, scuba, kite board, or surf. The South Pacific waters are beautiful and refreshing!

Sea turtle in Tahiti
The reefs around Tahiti are full of sea turtles

Go to Market

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Street Art in Tahiti

Tahiti is an island of bounty: amply stocked stores and restaurants, friendly people, and flocks of chickens and roosters. The street art in Tahiti colors the city of Papeete with beauty.

Super colorful wall in Papeete
Super colorful wall in Papeete

Enjoying Our Time in Papeete

We thought we’d be in Papeete for a week or so to get some chores done, but boat work is taking longer than expected. At first, we took Papeete on foot, but after a few days we rented bikes which make it easier to cover more territory, run errands, and stop to photograph the street art in Tahiti.

Mural, Tahiti
This beautiful mural is tucked away down an alley

Any way you travel around Papeete, expect to see beautiful murals around most corners. Sometimes you have to duck down alleyways to see the art. I love cities with vibrant street art and it’s one of the unheralded highlights of Papeete!

painted building Street art Tahiti
Super colorful building in Papeete
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Why To Visit Bogota

As Colombia’s capital city, many people fly in and fly out of Bogota to more glamorous Colombian destinations but I recommend staying for a few days. We liked Bogota so much we returned for a second visit this summer and loved it even more. Now, with two multi-day visits almost exactly five years apart, here’s what we loved and why to visit Bogota.

Monserrate

Many people hike up this hill with great views of the city, but we chose to ride up on our first day due to the altitude. And even then, after years living at sea level, I got dizzy and light-headed up there. Monserrate is over 3,000 meters above sea level, with great views of Bogota. It is the site of a 17th century church, and is a big tourist attraction which can be reached by cable car, funicular, or hiking. We did the cable car up and funicular down, but I’m sure the hike is good once you’re acclimated to the altitude.

View from Monserrate
View from Monserrate
Church at Monserrate Bogota
The church at Monserrate

The views are stunning, the church is pretty, and Monserrate has a whole section of restaurants serving Colombian food and drink. If we’d known, we would have waited to eat lunch! Even with the dizziness and general discomfort from altitude adjustment, Monserrate was a pleasure to visit and the intermittent showers made for some moody photographs.

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