Taking art outdoors in Auckland
Auckland's temperate coastal climate makes the great outdoors accessible all year round. Art and landscape combine in gardens and events across the region, providing art lovers with plenty of opportunity to enjoy art in the outdoors.
Waiheke Island, located 35 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, is a haven for artists, with more than 70 working artists resident on the island. Their studios are dotted across the island.
Connells Bay Sculpture Park - Waiheke
On the eastern side of the Waiheke Island lies Connells Bay Sculpture Park, located on a 60-acre coastal property. Owners John and Jo Gow established the park with the vision of uniting art and nature by planting sweeps of native trees and creating special places for commissioned site-specific New Zealand sculptures.
Their collection includes pieces made in concrete, bronze, stone, steel, aluminium and wood - some up to eight metres high. Accommodation is available onsite in a 100-year-old, self-contained guest cottage, located metres from the beach and set amongst native trees.
Te Whau Garden - Waiheke
On Waiheke's western side, Te Whau Garden comprises three different types of garden - the rainforest, the wetlands and the house garden.
It features a blend of natives and perennials, with sub-tropical rainforest covering 26 acres. The wetland is a backdrop for an outside sculpture gallery representing some of New Zealand's finest sculptors.
Sculpture on the Gulf - Waiheke
Outdoor sculptures are showcased at the biennial Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, an exhibition created by the locals of Waiheke to interweave art and landscape and embrace the coastal scenery of the island.
The exhibition takes place on a two-kilometre-long public walkway above the ferry terminal at Matiatia Harbour. More than 40,000 visitors walked the trail in 2013, and the next exhibition is scheduled to take place in late January / February, 2015.
Domain Sculpture Walk - Auckland city
In Auckland city, Auckland Domain is home to both the stately Auckland War Memorial Museum and Domain Sculpture Walk.
The project, initiated during 2004, now includes eight large works from leading New Zealand artists on display throughout the domain.
Brick Bay Sculpture Trail - Snells Beach
The Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, near Snells Beach north of Auckland, is an ambitious project that has turned coastal farmland into a celebrated vineyard and a magnificently landscaped outdoor gallery framed by lakes, native trees, palms and vines.
The Brick Bay Sculpture Trail starts at the unique Noel Lane-designed Glass House building which also serves as a cellar door and café serving platters and wine. The ever-changing exhibition of around 45 sculptures by leading contemporary New Zealand artists is sited along a 2km trail that takes an hour to complete. Smaller works are displayed in the Shrunk courtyards, and all sculptures are for sale. The trail is open daily.
Zealandia Sculpture Garden - Mahurangi
A 30-minute drive north of Auckland city, Zealandia Sculpture Garden sits on a hill at Mahurangi. Created by artist Terry Stringer, the site features a gallery built to resemble a New Zealand shed and surrounded by farmland.
A former cattle yard is now a walled maze garden, and an outdoor theatre showcases a variety of sculptures. Zealandia Sculpture Garden is open daily from late October through to April each year.
Telstraclear Pacific Events Centre - Manukau
In Manukau in south Auckland, the 'Pou Kapua' on display at the Telstraclear Pacific Events Centre is a significant Maori and Pacitic Island arts show-piece carved from a large kauri tree.
The 'pou' weighs more than 30 tonnes, and at 70 feet high is the largest totem of its type in the world.
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|Waiheke's magnificent panorama frames the artworks on the 'headland' sculpture trail.
Photo: Chris Peacocke