Wheeling around Scultureum!
A private collectors dream has been put on show for all to enjoy. Boasting three sculpture-filled gardens, six galleries, its own vineyard, an events space, restaurant, and bar. This place is something to put on the list to visit. We drove through the wide-open entry to take a look around – greeted by a guide who welcomed us through the gardens and gallery to show us the thought that had gone into providing an accessible space for all to enjoy.
First stop, parking
Plenty of car parks to be found just to the side of the restaurant and gallery entrance. A lowered paved area to allow curb free access to the building’s outside decking. The deck wraps around the entire building allowing access to both the gallery, event space and restaurant with welcoming automatic glass sliding doors.
There are six galleries within this area each boasting a different theme. Just at the entrance to the galleries, you will find a courtesy wheelchair for use and an accessible toilet to the left. Here you can purchase a ticket on entry, staff will greet you as you go in. The doorways are very wide (and lip-free) allowing considerable space to effortlessly wheel and walk around inside. I was very impressed with the sensor-driven automatic doors that slide open to allow you to pass into another area of the gallery. The immense space provides good viewing, allowing you plenty of opportunities to marvel at the enormity and beauty of such a diverse collection of artworks.
The Palm & Pink Snail Gardens
As you pass-through doors that open automatically, you will find yourself outside in The Palm Garden and The Pink Snail Garden. To your left, you will immediately discover a neat row of courtesy umbrellas hanging on hooks. There is a level pathway in The Palm Garden which is made of coloured concrete and a path in The Pink Snail Garden which is a raised timber walkway. This part of Sculptureum will delight children. You can see that the owners, Anthony and Sandra Grant took particular pleasure in collecting pieces for this area with giant lego men, brightly coloured snails, and tall stemmed flowers. the bright coloured sculptures bring a real sense of fun to this part of Sculptureum. As you are passing through you come across the various area to shelters within the gardens in the event of rain, making this a perfect all-weather part of the sculpture park. After you have completed the circuit for these gardens you will return back inside and see hooks waiting at the ready for you to replace your umbrellas onto before entering back inside.
On leaving you will find yourself in the section of the gallery that is home to ‘The Magnum Opus’, a fiery blown glass chandelier by famous American artist Dale Chihuly, this is apparently the most substantial work of glass art on public display in Australasia. It is also the pride and joy of Mr Anthony Grant, owner, founder, and creator of Sculptureum.
More information regarding the sculptures themselves can be found by visiting their website.
“The sculpture’s get lit up once it’s dark!”
We didn’t get the chance to sample the Rothko Restaurant menu but could clearly see that it offered state of the art cuisine and an extensive wine selection. The restaurant alone is becoming quite the venue for its food and award-winning wine.
You can read more about the Rothko Restaurant by visiting the website.
The restaurant space itself offers lots of light through the wall to ceiling glass that looks out across to the sculpture park. You will find plenty of space to navigate around to find your perfect spot. Accessible toilets on hand with clever walkways to gain entry to the bar and other services on offer.
“People should take the time to reflect on things that make life better in non-material ways, on things that make life more interesting, more enriching and more enjoyable. One of the purposes of Sculptureum is to achieve that objective”
The Garden of Creative Diversity
This expansive sculpture garden is on your left as you drive in. You will see the ticket and a large map of the park under a shelter. Along with a rich array of around 46 sculptures, you will find the odd live animal and bird living in. A rabbit habitat which provides elevated housing amongst the trees with walkways accessing the different areas. I couldn’t help having a smile thinking how accessible their treehouse habitat was. Along with rabbits, you will find brightly coloured birds along the way.
You will also come across a sound garden which I look forward to revisiting once it becomes developed further. There are wonderful meditative benefits that can come from enjoying vibration and sounds in a therapeutic setting.
The gardens are bristling with creative inspiration thrown in with areas of amusement. You will find works by Cezanne and Monet, beautiful statues of children swinging, animal sculptures by artists from all over the world and then the more contemporary works in plastic and alternative materials.
40 Omaha Flats Road, Matakana, Auckland
Mon, Thurs, Fri: 10am – 5pm
Friday Dinner: 5 – 10pm
Weekends: 9am – 5pm
Tues, Weds: Closed
Functions: 6pm – 10pm
ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO STAY