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Sculpture safari

In a fundraiser first for Eastwoodhill Arboretum, a busload of gardeners, garden and art lovers headed north to Gibbs Sculpture Farm on Kaipara Harbour. Eastwoodhill manager Marion Nicholas, with arboretum staff Margot Sherratt and Anthea Dalton, escorted the group. Marion writes about their trip.

What a pleasure it was to host those who joined Margot, Anthea and me on a most enjoyable weekend, for the first Eastwoodhill Bus Trip which was held the last weekend of August to Gibbs Sculpture Farm on the Kaipara Harbour in Auckland.

Sculptureum Gardens in Matakana and Hamilton Gardens were also visited during this excursion.

This was organised as a fundraiser by the Arboretum staff, and although we were a bit worried about getting a full bus, we made the numbers, and a huge thanks to everyone who supported us, either by participation or the donation of goods for our gift bags and spot prizes.

We were very lucky to be able to get a date to visit the Gibbs Sculpture Farm, as visiting this sculpture collection is only available to charitable and educational facilities now as a fundraising opportunity, with a long waiting list.

Gibbs Sculpture Farm has the largest collection of large-scale outdoor sculptures in New Zealand.

Artists from New Zealand and around the world have been commissioned by the owners to create works that blend in with the scale of the landscape, set in approximately. 440 hectares of contouring land. The parkl is also home to giraffes, zebra, bison, alpacas, emu and more.

This park needs to be seen to be believed.

The group also visited the Sculptureum Gardens in Matakana which has areas of gardens, and galleries housing the personal collection of the owners.

This includes some amazing glasswork and a chandelier by one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary glass artists, Chihuly, who currently has his glass art on display at Kew Gardens in London. A very interesting place to visit.

Visiting these two properties on the same day gave us the chance to see two extremes of philanthropical collections, which are both incredible in their own right and very different.

Gardens with a themeThe group stayed in Auckland for two nights then we headed south to visit the Hamilton Gardens, which for those that have never visited, is a fabulous place to spend a few hours.They have a number of themed gardens with more to open in next year or two.

A very social group who enjoyed wining and dining and lots of laughter together with one couple wanting to book for next year’s trip already. Destination to be decided . . .

Testimonials by some of our wonderful supporters:

“Thank you both for all that work to make such an enjoyable trip over the weekend for us. Wonderful time had by both of us. So good to interact with so many folks we knew little about. The Gibbs farm overwhelmed us. So please know we did so have a ball.

“Thank you for a lovely few days”

“Marion and her team at Eastwoodhill I wish to say thank you for an interesting and well organised trip to the various places that we saw last weekend. probably few of us would have got to those places under our own steam so thank you once again.”?





REACHING FOR THE SKY: Jacob’s Ladder, by Gerry Judah, dwarfs visitors to Gibbs Sculpture Farm. Pictures supplied
ON THE BUS: The tourists took a minute for a group picture.
CHEERFUL: All manner of sculptures greet visitors to the Sculptureum at Matakana, including this yellow beauty, towering over Anthea Dalton.
FOUNTAIN FEATURE: Wind catches the streams of water pushing up out of a pond in sequence, at Gibbs Sculpture Farm.
INTO THE SEA: At Gibbs Sculpture Farm , this work by Andy Goldsworthy, Arches, is made of pink sandstone blocks. Each arch is 7m long.
VIVA ITALIA: The Italian Renaissance Garden at Hamilton Gardens.