Sounds of New Zealand - New Zealand Music


2 minute read

Get hold of your free New Zealand Trails brochure here

Now it’s time to tune into the musical sounds of New Zealand, but where to start! New Zealand music has been influenced by so many genres – blues, jazz, reggae, rock n roll, hip hop and pop, opera and classical. Our talented artists here have taken these influences and given them a New Zealand twist.

Some of our favourite New Zealand musicians

There are so many fantastic New Zealand musicians and bands, it's hard to choose! But here is a small selection of our favourite musical Kiwis.

Crowded House

Although this band was formed in Melbourne in 1985 and is often thought to be an Australian band, some of the members are actually New Zealanders. Neil Finn is a well-known New Zealand musician and was one of the founding members of the band.

Dave Dobbyn

In his early career, he was a member of the bands Th' Dudes and DD Smash but has since released the majority of his music as a solo artist. During New Zealand's 2003 America's Cup campaign, his song 'Loyal' became the official song and was voted one of the best New Zealand songs.

Dave Dobbyn


Lorde is a New Zealand singer-songwriter. Her music became popular in 2013 with the release of her song 'Royals' when she was only 16 years old. She has continued to release music and is certainly a talented New Zealand musician.


Fat Freddy's Drop

Fat Freddy's Drop is a seven-piece band from Wellington, whose music has been described as a combo of blues, dub, reggae, rhythm and blues, and jazz. They can often be found playing at various summer festivals around New Zealand.

Gin Wigmore

Gin Wigmore became popular after she featured on Smashproof's single 'Brother' in 2009. She has since released chart-topping songs and is known for her high-pitched raspy voice.


One of the most popular Kiwi bands today. Six60 was formed in Dunedin in 2008. The hit songs 'Don't Forget Your Roots' and 'Rise Up 2.0' put them on the map of New Zealand bands. They tend to sell out their New Zealand shows and are often playing at summer festivals like Rhythm and Vines in Gisborne.


Some of our favourite New Zealand music

If you’d like to set up a playlist and get a taste of New Zealand music in all its variety then we recommend you sit back, relax, plug in your headphones and try some of these gems:

  1. Lorde - Royals, Green Light
  2. Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over, Weather With You, Fall At Your Feet
  3. OMC - How Bizarre (our most famous one-hit wonder!)
  4. Bic Runga - Sway, Drive
  5. Split Enz - Six Months In A Leaky Boat
  6. Fat Freddy's Drop - Wandering Eye
  7. Dave Dobbyn - Loyal, Slice of Heaven
  8. The Exponents - Why Does Love Do This To Me?
  9. Tiki Taane - Always On My Mind
  10. Anika Moa - Falling In Love Again
  11. Hayley Westenra - Pokarekare Ana
  12. Six 60 - Don't Forget Your Roots, Rise Up 2.0

Your guides will introduce you to more Kiwi songs and artists that you want to hear more of as you travel around New Zealand. There’s nothing like watching the scenery roll by to the mellow tunes of our New Zealand musicians.


Let’s talk – we’d love to hear what you think. Pop your details in below and have your say.

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments