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Sculptures in the Gardens

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"Te Kereru Rua

by artist Shane Hansen

This spectacular corten steel piece featured in our 2019 Sculpture Northland exhibition. It represents the beloved Kereru – Native Wood Pigeon. We can witness the soaring flight of this stunning bird right where you stand, as we have many Kereru living here enjoying berries in the native trees that stand around you.

Shane Hansen is an artist, a graphic, furniture and fashion designer, a loving husband and doting Dad to two boys. Born in New Zealand in the 1970s, he is of Māori (Tainui, Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Hine), Chinese, Danish and Scottish descent. The benefactor of a life lived long and well in Aotearoa. This country is in his blood, his heart and in his art.

Whangarei Quarry Gardens are currently raising funds to keep this wonderful sculpture in the Gardens, as it is the perfect fit for our community in all that it represents. Please help us keep it here by donating to the sculpture fund.

Enquire how at the Visitor Centre or go to our Givealittle page. Thank you!

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"Hand Holding Young Kiwi" 
by artist Susan Dinkelacker

"Hand Holding Young Kiwi" featured in the 2019 Sculpture Northland exhibition held at Whangarei Quarry Gardens. The Kiwi was originally carved in wood during for the Sculpture Symposium in 2018, and then later cast in bronze. The idea stemmed from a photograph in the local newspaper of Robert Webb of the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre holding a young Kiwi in his hands.


Northland has been working hard in recent years to boost the Kiwi population, and we have had releases right at our doorstep on the Pukenui Forest. The Pukenui Forest Ranger even has his office on site here at the Gardens.


We feel this sculpture is a stunning representation of what we hold dear, as garden lovers, and art enthusiasts. We are currently raising funds to keep this gorgeous Kiwi here. We appreciate any donations towards these wonderful sculptures.

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"Te Wai U O Te Atakura - 
The Milk From the Breast of Te Atakura"
by artist Chris Booth

Keri Keri based artist Chris Booth spent the summer of 2017-18 in our Dell Garden, creating his beautiful giant goddess. It is the 5th in a world-wide "Vader" series that began in Denmark 20 years ago.

We are deeply honoured to have the only one in the southern hemisphere, here at the Quarry Gardens.

Chris Booth says "The main living aspect of the sculpture is fungi, the greatest recycler on the earth and a vital organism for the health of the majority of plants and animals. In these living sculptures I collaborate with fungi. The fungi consume the organic material causing the boulder to ever so slowly descend to the ground. Depending on the wood, it could take 70 years or more. "

This sculpture is magnificent and sits beautifully in the gardens.

Thank you to Chris and Rata Kapa, who worked hard with Chris through the summer to build Vader V. It was an honour having you both on-site, talking to our intrigued visitors as your
masterpiece grew out of the ground.

Pictures show Chris fitting pieces of wood into the towering structure. The 2nd image is the completed work, towering over it's creator - Chris Booth



In winter 2022, after several rain storms, Booth's beautiful sculpture began to visibly evolve sooner than expected. The natural decay of wood, thanks to the help of insects, has caused the rock to begin its descent, sending many logs crashing to the ground. We can observe soil formation in action as a result. Booth is delighted to be able to witness his collaboration with nature transform.

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Sadly Te Wai U O Te Atakura was in the path of debris during a landslide caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, and all that remains is the original central column and the large rock, see the photo at right. The beloved Dell, where the sculpture was situated, is almost unrecognisable post-cyclone. Recovery work is ongoing, with hydroseeding of the area providing a lush green carpet of grass and native seedlings to strengthen the site until more permanent work can safely take place. The remains of the sculpture will form part of the landscape that evolves here. 

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Russell Fransham Memorial Sculpture 

by artist Peter Brammer

In December 2018 the Tutukaka Garden Club and Whangarei Quarry Gardens Trust unveiled a new sculpture in commemoration of Russell Fransham who passed a year before. 

Russell was a passionate horticulturist whose contribution over the years to Whangarei Quarry Garden's (and the greater communitys' through his nursery) was significant. Many of our special sub-tropical plants came from Russell's nursery, and his knowledge and generosity towards the Quarry Gardens is something we are glad to acknowledge.

You can now visit this stunning steel sculpture, designed by local artist Peter Brammer, here at Whangarei Quarry Gardens next to our world class Bromeliad Garden.

Bluebells by Rod Cunliffe

Memorial Sculpture for Rosemary Sanderson

In September 2023 Rod Cunliffe installed "Bluebells" at Whangārei Quarry Gardens, in memorial of Rosemary Sanderson. Rosie (as she was fondly known), was a devoted trustee and volunteer, and a fierce supporter of everything to do with The Gardens. She is sorely missed by all those who knew her.

Our sincere thanks go to Bill Sanderson and the rest of the Sanderson whānau for honouring Rosie in such a special way. 

Rod Cunliffe is a sculptor based in Whangarei who specialises in mixed media sculptures. "Bluebells" was partly chosen for the colour, an undeniably Rosie shade. It is made of copper and ceramic and can be seen opposite the Camellia Garden, on the edge of the lawn near the concrete bridge stream crossing.

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