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Mysteries Abroad: 6 New Zealand Crime Dramas to Binge Watch Tonight

Mysteries from a far off land that hit close to home.

new zealand crime dramas
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  • Photo Credit: South Pacific Pictures

After a while, all of the American crime procedurals on TV can start to look the same. Taking a trip to the other side of the pond to dive into British mystery shows can be a nice and refreshing treat—but what happens when you run out of those? Take a journey off the beaten path and investigate the wonderful world of New Zealand crime dramas.

Whether you like gritty police investigations, dark family mysteries, amateur sleuths, or legal dramas, there's something for everyone here. And all of the shows are available now for streaming on Acorn TV! So without further ado, here are six must-watch crime dramas from New Zealand.

The Gulf

Detective Senior Sergeant Jess Savage (Kate Elliott) solves crimes in her home of Waiheke Island. However, her life and career is derailed by a catastrophic car crash. The collision left her husband dead and her own memory fading. But with high stakes cases on the line, there's no time to rest. This show currently has two series under its belt, with a total of 14 gripping episodes.

The Sounds

In this 8-episode miniseries, Canadian couple Maggie (Rachelle Lefevre) and Tom Cabbott (Matt Whelan) move to New Zealand's Pelorus Sound region in order to escape the oppressive drama of Tom's family. However, their new life in paradise doesn't last long. One morning Tom disappears while out on a kayaking trip. As Pelorus Chief of Police Jack McGregor (Matt Nable) and the Cabbott family forensic accountant, Esther Ishikawa (Emily Piggford), investigate the mystery surrounding Tom, some disturbing truths come to light.

Related: 12 Domestic Thrillers That Make You Read Between the Lies

The Brokenwood Mysteries

Premiering back in 2014, this still-running detective drama consists of 30 episodes to date. Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) arrives in the fictional New Zealand town of Brokenwood to look into a local police officer. When the case closes, he finds he doesn't want to leave the charming locale. But while Shepherd's unconventional police work makes him good at his job, he flounders when it comes to interpersonal relationships. As he works alongside Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland), the two butt heads.

Related: 9 "New Beginnings" Murder Mysteries

One Lane Bridge

This 11 episode series adds a dash of fantasy to the crime drama genre. When a series of mysteries deaths take place on a one-lane bridge in Queenstown, young ambitious Maori detective Ariki Davis (Dominic Ona-Ariki) investigates alongside his superior, Stephen Tremaine (Joel Tobeck). But when Ariki inadvertently awakens a spiritual gift, the case and his life are suddenly in danger.

The Blue Rose

Airing back in 2013, this series ran for a total of 13 episodes. When Jane March (Antonia Prebble) takes on an office temp job at an inner city law firm, she comes to realize that the woman she's filling in for has died. The dead woman's best friend, Linda Frame (Siobhan Marshall), believes her friend was murdered. As the police dismiss this theory, Jane, Linda, the IT guy, and a woman from payroll form the Society of the Blue Rose to get to the truth.

Dear Murderer

This five episode series is based on the true story of New Zealand's most controversial lawyers. Mike Bungay (Mark Mitchinson)spent decades of his high-profile career defending the likes of murderers, spies, and gang members. And while this series depicts him at his best in the courtroom, it also shines a light on him when he's at his worst, drinking and philandering his life away.