Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Thank you, Alan Gibbs

My preferred route to Auckland is not via State Highway One but rather the less popular SH16 which twists and turns, following the Kairpara Harbour most of the way.  I prefer to have a second rate road to myself
rather than share a first rate road with others.  Give me the road less travelled and the occasional lovely view any day!

One of the things that make SH16 interesting is a 1000 acre sculpture park, modestly named The Farm, owned by millionaire Alan Gibbs.  He bought the windswept site in 1991. Since then, he has commissioned sculptures featuring original works by local and internationally renowned artists.

Slowly over the years we have been watching the changes as we drive by.  Not that you can see much from the road but a glimpse of this huge wall has always intrigued. 

I found this photo of the man himself and the wall sculpture on the net. 

But next month, if I had $250 to play with I could visit The Farm on one of the rare occasions the property is open to the public.  Alan Gibbs will host a couple of former politicians to discuss what they would do as "New Zealand's dictator for a year".

If guests at the champagne lunch aren't interested in politics they can wander among the farm's priceless giant sculptures and African wildlife.  I will need to pay a "standard" or "premium donation" – the latter includes a ride in Gibb's invention, Aquada, an amphibious car.   I think the $250 "standard" will do me fine, thanks.  I'd just love to roam that outdoor gallery, see all 22 sculptures as well as the giraffes, zebras, water buffalo and yaks.

Click here if you are interested in knowing more about the amphibious car.

Imagine seeing this out in the middle of the farm somewhere.

Yesterday, as I was driving to Auckland the fountain was playing.  I think it must only be turned on when Mr Gibbs or guests are at the property as it's not on most times I go by.

But yesterday I stopped and peered over the security fence to watch it and breathe in the beauty of the setting.


  1. You need to poolyour resources and go so you can get pictures for all of us to see. I have never heard of this place so I will be doing some research for sure.

  2. Will they let you take pictures?

    Can you imagine how exciting it would be to be a little local sculptor, and have a piece selected to display alongside world-renowned artists?

    There's a park about 50 miles from here, called Pyramid Hill. It's open to the public, but I believe it was started under similar circumstances.

  3. What a wonderful and entertaining posting, Pauline. I read the (very long) article on the Aquacar and was absolutely fascinated. Thanks. I'll reserve judgement on the sculptures for the time being I think.


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