Wellington waterfront art walk

Wellington is blessed with a very walkable waterfront. If the harbour views aren’t enough, this stroll is peppered with various works of art and sculpture.

Here’s a list of some favourites, starting from the Northern end and walking toward Te Papa museum – a flat walk of about 1.5km.

Nga Kina – these 9 giant Kina are located at the mouth of the historic Kumutoto Stream and were designed by Michel Tuffery to reflect the importance of the sea as a food source to Maori.

Water Whirler. Designed by renowned kinetic artist Len Lye in the 1960’s, the water whirler was finally realised in 2006 – 26 years after Lye’s death.  The Water Whirler plays in 12 minute cycles, on the hour at 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 3pm, 6pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. It is also a great watch at night.

Wellington Writer’s Walk.  23 concrete sculptures from past and present poets, novelists and playwrights – each revealing the writer’s connection with Wellington.  Some of the fun is trying to find them (so don’t forget to look in the water).

The City to Sea Bridge – this heavily carved and decorated bridge links the waterfront with Civic Square.  It’s a great place to pause and enjoy the harbour views.

Ferns – Seemingly defying gravity above Civic Square is Neil Dawson’s sculpture with five different overlapping ferns. 

Fault – Often missed is the light-sculpture across the entire façade of the City Gallery.  Created by Ralph Hotere and Bill Culberth in 1994, the parallel lines allude to the fact that Wellington sits across several major fault lines.

Solace in the Wind is a local favourite, and reflects internal quiet despite the subject apparently leaning into one of Wellington’s famous northerly gales!

And that’s not all.  Whether you enjoy a Gelato next to the Albatross fountain, or stride the Seven Steps to Heaven in Civic Square, art will elevate your enjoyment of Wellington’s wonderful waterfront.