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Botanic Gardens East Sculpture Path

Walking time 30 mins

Walking steps 1690 steps

Distance 1.3 km

Starts at 102 Hill Road, The Gardens

Get directions on Google Maps

About the path

If you're looking for a free, fun whānau activity, then check out this sculpture trail in the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Be inspired by art and different garden settings, including the Potter Children's Garden – a special garden full of secrets and surprises that kids will love.

Start at the Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre and pick up a map. With a welcoming entrance and sweeping panoramic views, Huakaiwaka is the gateway to the gardens.

The East Sculpture Path isn't signposted, so use a map to find your way around. You can download the free STQRY app on your smart phone to follow the sculpture trail.

Entry to the Auckland Botanic Gardens is free.

Bikes, scooters, skates and skateboards are not permitted within the gardens.

Dogs are allowed, providing they are under control and on a leash.

You'll see 11 awe inspiring artworks on the East Sculpture Path:

Fred Graham, Manu Torina (2005)

This piece makes a welcoming statement and highlights the vital relationship between birds and the gardens. The bird theme also reflects the gardens' location in Auckland – Manurewa is translated literally as 'flying birds'.

James Wright, Nikau (2005)

Three stylised forms in the shape of our iconic native palm and fitting of the visitor centre entrance – the palms mirror the three Nikau growing on the opposite side.

Jim Wheeler, Object of Devotion (2011)

A mere leaflet of an imaginary branch of the Tanekaha tree, a member of the conifer family. For the artist, this sculpture gives a feeling of humility knowing he is a tiny being, with only a fraction of the tree's age, experience, strength and worth.

Llew Summers, Butterfly (2008)

Inspired by the movements of a dancer, Butterfly has a playful quality despite its large scale. Its mood of celebration and ebullience welcomes visitors to the gardens.

Richard Mathieson, Turn (2007)

Turn visually lures visitors from the visitor centre down the Pōhutukawa Walkway. It then becomes a spring – feeding the nearby stream and leading visitors further into the Gardens. Turn is dedicated to the memory of George Rainey, one of the Botanic Gardens greatest supporters.

Virginia King, Waka (2001)

Waka is the gateway to the Threatened Native Plants Garden. It references the ancient Totara tree growing behind this site and acknowledges its mana.

Bing Dawe, Tuna (2013)

The long and slender Anguilla dieffenbachii is New Zealand's only endemic freshwater eel and as a species gradually declining in numbers, is under threat of being lost forever. Christchurch artist Bing Dawe has explored aspects of longfin eel (or tuna, as it is known to Māori) for many years.

Fred Graham, The Web (2014) – Engineer Rex Erikson

A spectacular sight in early morning dew, The Web was inspired by a Don McDonald poem:

"I know a man
Who – raving on 'the view'
Broke with his clumsy feet
A spiderweb
Starry with dew"

Colleen Ryan-Priest, Caught in the Act of Losing You – Sporadanthus ferrugineus (2009)

This piece pays homage to Sporadanthus ferrugineus, the giant cane rush. The eleven blades of steel cast glass boldly celebrate what the artist sees as a botanical icon of New Zealand.

Regan Gentry, Splayed 2012

A collection of ordinary variety spades arranged to form an extraordinary botanical specimen. The wooden handles of the shovels create the illusion of a bloom, whilst blades from the flower head with a geometric symmetry so often seen in nature.

Dr Richard Cooper, Awhi Rito (2007)

Family. Balance. Harmony. Awhi rito is a symbol of the harmony within a family and group of people. Each of the three pieces are individual – just as individuals make up a family, a group and society and, although different, each share the same symbol: the symbol for people.


  • Drinking fountain
  • Playground
  • Public artwork
  • Public toilet

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