Best Art Galleries in New Zealand

Updated 11 months ago

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  • New Zealand’s largest art institution is the best place to get acquainted with Auckland’s thriving arts scene, with works from local icons Rita Angus, Gordon Walters, Len Lye, Colin McCahon, Marti Friedlander and Francis Upritchard.

  • Visit this contemporary exhibition space to see 18,000 items by the late and great artist Len Lye, who specialised in large-scale kinetic sculptures.

  • More than 400 years of international art history are represented at this major gallery, which has 8500 works in its permanent collection.

  • The national museum is a trove of traditional and contemporary Kiwi art, backed up with cutting-edge installations that engage multiple senses. An essential destination for both locals and travellers.

  • Established in 1884, New Zealand’s first art gallery holds the country’s only Monet. But it’s unmissable for a few more reasons: a curation of Japanese prints, 20th Century Australian art and works by pioneering Dunedin artist, Frances Hodgkins.

  • Located a short stroll from Wellington’s waterfront, the city’s largest public contemporary art gallery is dedicated to thought-provoking exhibitions from local and international artists.

  • Find this high-ceilinged contemporary art gallery in an unexpected place down one side of the gigantic Commercial Bay building. With an emphasis on embracing variety and complexity, sharing pūrākau (stories) and promoting hauora (health, wellbeing), both established and emerging Māori artists are well represented.

  • Art world stalwart Anna Miles's eponymous contemporary art gallery is a true hidden gem – find it tucked away in a mixed residential-commercial block of terrace houses near Karangahape Road overlooking a tranquil, little-known leafy pocket of the Symonds Street Cemetery.

  • This regional gallery is worth visiting for the eye-catching, chequered building alone – and even more so for the Wairau Māori Art Gallery – New Zealand's first dedicated entirely to contemporary Māori art.