Auckland Council’s public art collection includes more than 400 artworks across the region. Many of the works are great for children to explore and interact with, and visiting them is a fun and educational way to spend a day with kids. Here are a few of our favourites.
Drop A Loop, Albany Stadium Pool
This work by Seung Yul Oh adds an intriguing and colourful glow – both day and night – to an otherwise muted building. Kids love the work because the light boxes are cloud-shaped and involve light and colour.
Upon A Pond, Albany Stadium Pool
Seung Yul Oh’s quirky structures are like oversized bendy straws and shiny bubbles. Children love playing with the mist that puffs out of the three tubes, and they’re fascinated by the sheer scale of the work.
Wind Tree, Wynyard Quarter
This sculpture by Michio Ihara was first installed in Queen Elizabeth II Square in 1977, where it stayed for 24 years. In 2011 it found a new home at Jellicoe Plaza in the Wynyard Quarter. Stainless steel trusses float and shimmer above a pool that reflects light up through the sculpture – and also provides a place for children to play on hot summer days.
Neighbourhood Picnic, Sandringham Reserve
Artist Katy Wallace worked with a reserve playground renewal design team to create a family picnic space, a play area and a well-defined village green space for staging community events. The woodland-themed play area uses recycled and unprocessed materials, and the reserve has a pebble mosaic that was produced by students from Edendale Primary School.
Te Ara I Whiti – The Light Path, Nelson Street
Te Ara I Whiti is a hot-pink cycleway and walking path along the Nelson Street off-ramp. It features laser-cut carved designs at intervals along the length of the western side of the path, and LED lights that pulse as people pass them. The concept was created by Monk Mackenzie Architects and LandLAB, in association with artist Katz Maihi.
The Lighthouse: Tū Whenua-a-Kura, Queens Wharf
The Lighthouse: Tū Whenua-a-Kura by Michael Parekowhai, is a 1:1 replica of a 1950s family home. Its interior features an installation of light and a sculpture entitled The English Channel. Explore the artwork by looking through its windows and doors and by climbing the exterior staircase. What famous person can you see inside?
Tokens From The Game, Todd Triangle, New Lynn
Children’s boardgame pieces – a camera, a dodgem car, a bell and a tent – are scaled to giant proportions in this work by Peter Lange in New Lynn’s Todd Triangle green space. The brick sculptures encourage play and exploration and are familiar objects associated with fun and games.
Twist and Thief, Beresford Square and Karangahape Road
Spot the surprise combination of Twist, a girl dancing with an elephant by Beresford Square, and Thief, a boy tussling with a pig over a turnip on Karangahape Road. The sculptures by Tanja McMillan and John Oz celebrate the area's history as a farming district, then a shopping area in the early 1900s.