Sculpture on the Gulf

Sculpture on the Gulf is a great reason to visit Waiheke Island

Like Lantern Festival, Sculpture on the Gulf is an event that I always attend when I’m in Auckland.  Sculpture Walk 2015 was the subject of my first real post on MileSteppin.com.

I had hoped to spend a week or two getting to know Waiheke Island, but the timing wasn’t right, so we took the ferry out to Waiheke for the day just to enjoy the sculpture walk.

Part of the exhibition was visible from the ferry, on the headland at Matiatia Bay, not far from where the ferry docks.

Sculpture on the Gulf, headland at Matiatia Bay
Sculpture on the headland at Matiatia Bay

We caught the shuttle to the start of the walk, which returns to Matiatia Wharf.  The route was the same as 2 years ago.  I guess it probably always has been the same, but I didn’t recognize it before this year.

Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island
Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island

The great thing about Sculpture on the Gulf is walking and enjoying art in that great setting.  The coast of Waiheke offers views across Hauraki Gulf to Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands, central Auckland and the Sky Tower (the latter not visible in the picture below).

Sculpture, Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island
Sculpture on Hauraki Gulf, Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

Boats have a special significance to Pacific Island cultures, including Maori.  They show up in a lot of New Zealand art.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

New Zealand law insures public access to the foreshore.  That’s just the land that is underwater at the highest tide , but fortunately tracks along the coast above the waterline seem to be the norm. You see some impressive lawns along the walk, and in many cases you can’t see a house.  A line between stakes indicates the boundary of the walkway (see the header image at the very top of the page).

Sculpture on the Gulf
Private lawn visible from the Sculpture Walk

The Headland Sculpture Walk follows a generous strip of land along the coast, but the headland itself is the largest open public space.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

Two years ago I attended the last day of the sculpture walk, and went to the Lantern Festival the following weekend.  This year the Sculpture Walk ended the weekend after the Lantern Festival.  This may be due to the latter being scheduled on the lunar calendar – I’m not really sure.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

This summer, as every scheduled event approached, I watched the weather, hoping it would clear.   We went to Waiheke on Sunday, the last day of the Sculpture Walk.  Fortunately we got a day without rain.  The walk was closed for a few days earlier due to the wet and unsafe conditions.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

Part of the sky, at least, was blue by mid-afternoon, and it got hot and sunny… and humid.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

Signs warn visitors to take it slow as the trail gets a bit steep in places as it leaves the headland and follows the coast of Matiatia Bay back to the wharf.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Matiatia Bay
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf
Matiatia Bay

We had parked in Devonport to take advantage of the late ferries and spend as much time as possible on Waiheke Island.  When we got back to Matiatia Wharf we caught a bus into Oneroa and had dinner on Oneroa Beach, enjoying the view of Oneroa Bay.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

After dinner we strolled along the beach.  As always the landscape was even more photogenic during the golden hour before sunset.

Sculpture on the Gulf
Sculpture on the Gulf

It was a long day, but a good one.  We caught the bus back to Matiatia Wharf, then the ferry to Auckland, and finally one more ferry to Devonport.

Please enjoy the full gallery of 39 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

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