SCULPTURES ON THE GULF

A last minute getaway, to Waiheke Island off the coast of Auckland, happily coincided with the biennial art event headland Sculpture on the Gulf.

Having been a regular visitor to Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney and Perth, I was excited to see the New Zealand equivalent. After an indulgent day of eating and drinking at one of Waiheke's many wineries, an evening stroll along the stunning coastline admiring these wonderful works of art was the perfect end to a beautiful day.

These are just some of the sculptures, hSGOTG is on until February 19, so if you happen to be in or around Auckland it is definitely worth jumping on the ferry and taking the short trip across the gulf to see this awesome event for yourself.

Feature Image: Phil Price Forbidden Tree

Anton Parsons Myopia

Paora Toi-Te-Rangiuaia Barry’s Catch

Virginia King Phantom Fleet 

Chris Booth Kinetic Fungi Tower

 

Robert Jahnk Kaokao

Tiffany Singh The Journey of a Million Miles Begins With One Step -  the stories of Beyond Refuge

Shannon Novak and Raimana Jones Twelve Intervals

Jae Kang Whirimori

Sriwhana Spong The Plum Tree

Chris Bailey Te Rerenga Wai o Tikapa Moana

Semisi Fetokai Potauaine Manuesina (White Bird and White Angel)

 

 

THE PERFECT ISLAND HOLIDAY

Happy New Year everyone! I'm guessing most of you are back at work after the festive season and wishing you were still on holiday. So here is a little distraction for you, or possibly some inspiration for your next holiday.

Towards the end of last year, after our first winter in NZ, we decided to take a short break to see us through to the end of the year. With Auckland being so close to the Pacific Islands we were spoilt for choice when it came to destinations— in the end we found a good deal on flights and accomodation in Rarotonga, so the decision was made.

Let me tell you, this place is paradise! It was exactly what we were after, five days of sun, sea, sand and relaxation. It didn't take us long to settle in to 'island time' and forget about the timetables and stresses associated with everyday life. Not wanting to fill every second of the day with things to do and see, we arrived with no plans and let the weather or our mood decide the days itinerary, which usually consisted of eating, kayaking, snorkelling and snoozing on repeat!

 

Sunrise at Muri Beach.

Taakoka Island.

Cruising the lagoon.

Exploring Koromiri Island.

Koromiri Island from above.

Captain Awesome, king of the coconut trees!

One of the best ways to view the island, from the sea.

The pool at Little Polynesian Resort. It was extremely hard to leave this place.

Charlie's Cafe and Beach Hire. 

No crowded beaches here.

A colourful section of the Punanga Nui Market.

Chilled Nu.

I was mesmerised by the beautiful flora on Rarotonga. The flowers above would fall to ground and looked like little discarded hula skirts! 

The end of another day in paradise.

There is so much to see and do on Rarotonga, wanting a relaxing trip we skipped a lot of the more adventurous activities such as diving, hiking to the Needle, or laser tag amongst the ruins of an abandoned hotel! But we enjoyed every minute of our time on Raro, here are some of our recommendations:

Take an entertaining and educational snorkelling trip with Koka Lagoon Cruises Get a birds eye view of Rarotonga with Air Raro Marvel at the skill of the cultural dancers (and possibly join in) at Higland Paradise Shop for food, sarongs, ukuleles and pearls at Punanga Nui Markets Devour delicious waffles at The Waffle Shack Fill up on fish burgers while gazing over the aqua lagoon at Charlie's Cafe Have trouble deciding what to eat at the Muri Night Market Sip on chilled Nu (coconut water), available almost everywhere... even the side of the road! Enjoy the peace and tranquility at Little Polynesian Resort

ART ON THE STREET

In a bid to keep their local streets free of graffiti, Sydney's Inner West Council devised the Perfect Match initiative. Local residents and property owners plagued with graffiti are matched with street artists who transform the unsightly publics wall into works of art. Perfect Match 2016 took place earlier this month. Having recently moved from the inner west, to New Zealand, I haven't been able to check out any of this years walls, so here are a few photographs I took from previous Perfect Matches. Artists include Fintan MageePhibs, Dallas Clark and Stephen Evans, Mulga, Jumboist,  Ears, Sid Tapia and Peque,

And while the organised tours and events associated with the Perfect Match weekend may be over, you can still download the map and take a self guided tour of this impressive outdoor gallery.

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WINTER IN THE GARDEN

Wintergarden_Auckland-32 Well, not my garden—which currently consists of more mud than plants—but the Auckland Domain Wintergardens.

Don't worry! This hasn't suddenly become a gardening blog, I just wanted to share this amazing oasis with you. While winter in Auckland hasn't been as bitter as I suspected it might, it is still a relief to escape the chilly air and rain. And this is the perfect place to do just that. Consisting of two glasshouses—one temperate and one tropical—a fountained courtyard  and a quarried fernery, the Wintergardens are a world away from the concrete and chaos of city life. I found the tropical garden especially tranquil... and warm! So warm, compared to the cold air outside, that I had to wait for my camera to 'acclimatise' before I could take any photos! The Wintergardens have definitely made my list of favourite places in Auckland and I will certainly be visiting again.

P.S. Who else thinks purple and green were made for each other?

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VIA INSTAGRAM

Picturette on instagram I have been a bit quiet on Instagram this past year, so I'm trying to get back in the habit. This is what I have been up to lately: makin' maps, frolicking on the Te Ara I Whiti (Lightpath), taking in the view at the top  Mt Victoria, looking for fairies at the bottom of these  Falls, printing scarves and trying to ignore the cold weather in the Wintergardens.