South Island entertainment

Top Choice Live Music in Oamaru

Penguin Club

Tucked down an atmospheric alley off a 19th-century street, the Penguin’s unusual location matches its acts: everything from touring Kiwi bands to punky/grungy/rocky/country locals.
Cinema in Arrowtown

Dorothy Browns

This is what a cinema should be like: wide, ultra-comfortable seating with fine local wine, cheese boards and olives available to accompany the mostly art-house films on offer. Most screenings in the main theatre ha…
Theatre in Christchurch

Isaac Theatre Royal

This century-old dear survived the quakes and emerged restored to full glory in 2014. Its heritage features are enjoyed by patrons venturing inside for everything from opera and ballet to contemporary theatre and ro…
Cinema in Wanaka


How very Wanaka that an art-house cinema should adjoin an indoor climbing wall. Channelling a lush New York or Shanghai vibe, Ruby's has a whiff of cinema's glory days. Watch a movie from a reclining leather chair w…
Cinema in Te Anau

Fiordland Cinema

In between regular showings of the excellent Ata Whenua/Fiordland on Film (adult/child $10/5), essentially a 32-minute advertisement for Fiordland scenery, Fiordland Cinema serves as the local movie house.
Theatre in Oamaru

Oamaru Opera House

First opened in 1907 and now beautifully restored to its original glory, Oamaru's opera house hosts a variety of shows, including music, dance, theatre and comedy. The main auditorium seats 500-plus patrons under th…
Theatre in Nelson

Theatre Royal

State-of-the-art theatre in a charmingly restored heritage building. This 'grand old lady of Nelson' boasts a full program of local and touring drama, dance and musical productions. Visit the website for the current…
Cinema in Wanaka

Cinema Paradiso

Sprawl on a comfy couch, or recline in a dentist's chair or an old Morris Minor at this Wanaka institution, screening the best of Hollywood and art-house flicks. At intermission head to the lobby for freshly baked c…
Theatre in Christchurch

Court Theatre

Christchurch's original Court Theatre was an integral part of the city's Arts Centre, but it was forced to relocate to this warehouse after the earthquakes. The new premises are much more spacious; it's a great venu…
Live Music in Queenstown


The faux-Tudor architecture might have you expecting lutes and folk ballads, but the Sherwood is Queenstown's go-to spot for visiting musos. Many of NZ's bigger names have performed here; check the website for comin…