Sunshine, sea and sculpture are a winning combination on Waiheke Island

Auckland is waking up to the fact that spectacular scenery and out-of-the-box, larger-than-life sculpture is a winning combination. Throw in a sunny day and a glass of a locally produced Waiheke wine and the organisers of headland sculpture on the gulf must be feeling pretty pleased with themselves.

I didn’t mean to, but I visited on the last day of the exhibition. My heart sank as I boarded the ferry and had to search for a seat. The boat was packed and, as it turned out, so was the sculpture trail.  I should have known better; after all it was a Sunday and there were 2 huge cruise ships in town full of passengers itching to make the most of their 24 hours in Auckland. Although there were crowds of them, and they walked ever so slowly along the single-file trail, I’m glad that they got to sail across to Waiheke on a sunny summery day and create memories to take with them as they journey around the world.

Headland Sculpture on the Gulf was started in 2003 by the wonderful Waiheke Community Art gallery and is held every 2 years. In 2013, 45 000 people walked the 2km trail that hugs the coastline around Matiatia Bay. The views from the trail are of endless  ocean, pert little islands and dozens of dazzling white yachts bobbing in the blue-green water. This year there are 31 sculptures hidden in tree branches, hugging the parched hillside or standing starkly against the stunning watery views.  The sculptures are whimsical and intricate, colourful and bold. Some are for looking at, some for touching and playing with, even listening to, but most of all they are for wondering at.



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