Within the Garden are a number of works of art. These are well worth visiting.

For the location of items within the Garden, check the Location map - click. Map numbering refers to the text on this page.

This walk can be taken on its own, or incorporated into other exploration of this Garden

Cable Car, proceed down East Path to the Met Office junction. There the first path is William Wakefield Way, take the next on the left which is Manuka Way, or the third which is the Norwood Path. East Way exits on to Salamanca Road.

From the
Begonia House,the easiest way is to  take Serpentine Way at the rear of the Begonia House. At the Junction turn right to the Herb Garden, then return to the Junction Landing. Walk uphill, up Remembrance Ridge. By the Met Office, turn left down Norwood Path. This route is uphill, and the Norwood Path is quite steep for the return downhill to the Begonia House.

From the Rose Garden you can go directly up to the Herb Garden via the zig zag path, which has a few steps, past the new Green Island Sculptures.  From there go past the Lion Head to Junction Path and the remainder of the tour.

1 Rasa Leela -  Norwood Memorial Sculpture
  2  Peace Flame
3   Rose Garden Fountain
4   Green Island Sculpture
5  Lion Head Fountain Herb Garden
  6  Peacemaker
  7  Listening Device
8   Rudderstone
  9  Body to Soul
   10  Bronze Form
11 Joy Fountain
12  Bee Lady
13  Old Man Wellington "Ol Stumpy"
14  Looking and Listening for the Sea

15  Cowan Lamp
16  Campbell tiles
Location  map

The Wellington Sculpture Trust, (web site from which some sculpture information has been obtained) a registered charitable trust, has installed a number of significant art works in the Garden. In addition there are several separately installed other works. The works are (with artists statements where available):-


Norwood Memorial Sculpture

A Verse of

We can't feel saddened over the loss of those we love
without first remembering the joy of having loved them.

The real sadness would have been never having
 had them in our lives at all

Remembering is a journey the heart takes,
back into a time that was
and our thoughts are the only tickets needed to ride
A poem read at the dedication of the Norwood Memorial
(Author unknown)
Rasa Leela (Dance of Life)
Norwood Memorial Sculpture

Three generations of the Norwood family have been generous benefactors to the botanic garden.

This sculpture is a memorial to the second generation, Sir Walter and Lady Rana (whose ashes are buried here), erected by their children in 2001.

De Boer’s large bronze casting is an enlargement of a small sculpture with a dancer theme by Bob Bennett, which Lady Rana Norwood had acquired. For the Norwood family, its stylish elegance perfectly memorialises their parents.

Californian twins Bob and Tom Bennett developed their sleek,fluid style of bronze sculpture in the 1970's, after a few years of tinkering with metalwork in the back of their service station. By the 1980's their work was being sold in Bennett Art Galleries throughout the United States of America, including Honolulu, where Lady Norwood acquired her piece.

De Boer, an Auckland-based sculptor, is als
o known for his wooden and cast-concrete pieces.

Artist: Bob Bennett (1939-2003)
Casting: Andrew de Boer (b.1960)

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14      Looking and Listening
for the Sea
Looking and Listening for the Sea

Paul Dibble (b.1943)
Donated to Wellington Botanic Garden by Sir Frank and Nola, Lady Holmes.

Casting in bronze and using unique colour effects, Dibble pokes gentle fun at kiwi myths and clichés, using images from the land and from our provincial culture.

Dibble’s sculptures incorporate natural figures from the land such as sheep, rabbits and the moa and their interaction with man, farmer and hunter.

In Looking and Listening for the Sea (1992) Dibble depicts a mermaid, once believed in but now a myth, as a forgotten figure trying to listen to the sea through the conch shell above her head. Note the bees in their honeycomb on her tail – bees in the wild inhabit rotting wood. The bees symbolise that she belongs to the past and is now landlocked, resting on another conch shell.

The rabbit was placed to balance the sculpture and shows Dibble’s wry sense of humour. The inquisitive rabbit is considering, “Will this make a suitable burrow?” In the past, if sailors saw a rabbit before they sailed, they believed it meant bad luck and refused to go on board.

The sculpture sits on a recycled kauri and jarrah telegraph pole pedestal.

Paul Dibble is a leading New Zealand sculptor. He holds a BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004 and an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Massey University in 2007.

Located in the Lady Norwood Begonia House, above the pond in the Temperate House.  Installed November 2010

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2 Hiroshima - Nagasaki Peace Flame

Peace Pool tablet

In 1994 the Hiroshima - Nagasaki Peace Flame was installed here. The lantern originally (1975) stood in wetlands area near the Duck Pond being  presented by the Japan Society of NZ. Subsequently the Japan Soceity of Wellington agreed to its relocation to the present site in 1994, and altered to house the Peace Flame .

The flame was presented by the City of Hiroshima .

In 1997 a 200 kg stone from the Old City Hall of Hiroshima was placed here .

Also in the pond is a concrete tablet with an extract of `No Ordinary Sun` by Hone Tuwhare .

Peace Flame and plaque
Hiroshima stone and plaque
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3 Rose Garden Fountain

Rose Garden Fountain

This 100+ year old Bronze statue fountain was given by the Norwood family in 1977 to replace the fountain placed here in 1956 .

It originally stood outside a bank in London and came here via Australia

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4   Green Island Sculptures

Scuptures viewed from Herb Garden lookout

 The Four Plinths Temporary Sculpture Trust  Project operates to select and install a new work on or around the four plinths  located between the national museum Te Papa and the Circa Theatre every two years.  The opening forms part  of the International Festival of the Arts which takes place in Wellington over three weeks in February and March in even number years (2010, 2012 etc). The selected work stays on the plinths for up to 22 months, then removed to make way for its successor.    The committee undertakes a selection process which normally commences soon after a new work is installed. The selected artist currently receives $25,000 to fabricate and install the work. The work remains in the ownership of the artist and may be sold at the end of its time on the plinths.

The first of the Four Plinths sculptures is Green Islands by Regan Gentry. It was installed before the 2008 International Festival of the Arts and will remain in place until early 2010.

The work is the result of Gentry's first visit to the site when he was struck by the absence of natural vegetation. With each plinth providing an island for “greenery” Gentry has ironically introduced plants to the area, creating replica trees and other flora commonly found around Wellington out of the ever-popular number 8 fencing wire.

Sculpture detail
Artist Regan Gentry in the Garden at the installation of the artwork

The  sculptures, consisting of native tree look-a-likes (flax, cabbage tree, pohutukawa and toetoe) are  made of 20 km of  No. 8 fencing wire, 20,000 stainless steel staples, galvanised pipes and plates.      They were moved to a permanent site near the Lady Norwood Rose Garden in the Botanic Garden in January 2010.  The Botanic Garden is providing the site and the foundations, with the cost of the artwork met by private donors.

Green Islands has become one of Wellington's most popular sculpture landmarks and its many admirers will be able to continue to see it  on the Western slope above the Rose Garden.  The donors are the Sir Walter and Lady Rana Norwood Charitable Trust, Janet McCallum and the Richard Nelson Trust,  all in association with the Wellington Sculpture Trust.
Regan Gentry was born in Napier in 1976 and educated at Havelock North High School. He dabbled at Victoria University then sunk his teeth into sculpture at Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Art, graduating in 2000. As the William Hodges Artist in Residence (2006), he began his first major project Of Gorse of Course now owned by (the) Phil Price and Connells Bay Sculpture Trust. He was the winner of the Wellington Sculpture Trust's first Four Plinths sculpture project (2007) and his 2007 Tylee Cottage Residency project is based on the Bridge to Nowhere valley. His latest public sculpture commission is Flour Power in Christchurch
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5 Herb Garden

Lion Head Fountain on far wall
in Herb Garden

Another sun dial and bricks and bricks. 40 000 bricks collected from the chimneys of houses demolished to make way for the Chinese Embassy in Glenmore St . were used to develop this Herb Garden .

The Lion Head fountain was hand carved in natural stone by Mr. Methan of Petone (1980) .

The sun dial close to the fountain was presented by The Herb Society (1975). It has a stone plinth of Takaka marble and inscribed in the bronze face the words 'The light of the Sun is Reflected in the Glory of the Earth'

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6. Peacemaker

Sculpture by Chris Booth on Manuka Way erected in 1991.


"The basalt boulders that comprise Peacemaker were collected from Paikoa, near MatauriBay, Northland in 1989. These were part of a number of boulders used for the Gateway Sculpture in Auckland City Art Gallery commission, Albert Park Auckland, and the Rainbow Warrior memorial sculpture, Ngati Kura/NZ China Clays Limited commission Matauri Bay Northland. All boulders were selected with the permission and necessary customary rituals of Ngati Kura and also permission from the Department of Conservation and adjoining landowners.

The three sculptures embody my profound thought about our planet and its inhabitants. Peacemaker particularly attempts to communicate the choice of being peaceful among human beings. The transmitter/receiver like quality of the sculpture communicates this
message (note how it fits in with the transmitter receivers of the meteorological station nearby). The fact that birds can drink and bathe in the spring-like fountain grounds any feelings towards the sculpture and adds to the message of peace."

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7 Listening and Viewing Device

Listening Device

 Sculpture by Andrew Drummond on Druid Hill was presented to the City in 1993.

The artist notes "I call it a device so I'm not mystifying it at all. It is a device for viewing and listening. You can grab hold of it, you can get inside it and look up it. You can move it round. I'm interested in all these relationships."

The four white columns with the large inverted cone made from copper piping look like a temple standing among the pine trees . Climb up to it and you will see the signs of more violent activity when the strong winds have blown causing it to swing around .
Another Andrew Drummond sculpture is the `Tower of Light` in Cobham Drive .

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8 Rudderstone sculpture by Denis O'Connor on Manuka Way

Rudderstone rear view with coloured marble

Fosselised marble as originally installed on path face in 1997
Removed in 2006 because of deterioration of material.
Replaced with plain black marble on path side,
reflective as seen in photo below.

"The void of the doorway is in a rudder formation and symbolically memorialises our migrant cultures. A rudder is a guiding principle, a device that steers us on our joinery. To ritually walk through this rudder image engages the body in a metaphor for the journey that the New World we live in challenges us to take. Rudderstone is to be walked or passed through.

The millions of exploding fossilised creatures vividly trapped in the black marble are a visual experience not unlike the view of the night sky. This marble confirms that metaphor of passage to another realm and its high polish reflects the image of those who stand in front of it. The vivid blue and white stripes of the revers side are abstracted panoramic streams of sea and sky so familiar to the mind's eye. The turquoise blue Azul marble from Brazil and the crisp laundered while of the Carrara marble from Italy glow luminously in this position where direct sunlight is quite filtered."

The fosselised marble was replaced in 2006 with black marble because of crumbling of the original material.
Ensure you walk through the opening for a different view!

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9 Body to Soul
Sculpture by Mary-Louise Browne, erected on Norwood Path in 1996.

Body to Soul



Body to Soul steps with changing  words

This black granite staircase is designed to follow the natural incline of the site and provide a means for the viewer to climb to a grove of beautiful evergreens on the boundary of the Botanic Garden and Salamanca Road.

The thirteen steps are engraved with a word sequence from BODY to SOUL. The words change one letter at a time in a pattern with the letters grouped; as a letter changes It has been suggested that the letters form part of the name of two roses from the rose garden, although the artist has recently denied this.

"As the medieval alchemist strove to transmute base metals such as lead into gold in the hope of making fortunes for themselves and their patrons, so does an artist. Although no alchemist succeeded with precious metals, it is possible to transmute words easily enough.

Although the staircase will be reminiscent of memorials, and there is an obvious allusion to mortality and an afterlife, on this site it is positioned as an invitation to climb and to read. Visitors who make the climb are prompted to think about the balance of imbalance between psyche and nature. Without death there is no life. Without shadow there is no sunlight. The intention is to create an atmosphere intensified by the placement of text, to remind the viewer of the power of nature and the transitory quality of life, that 'all things must pass'"

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10 Bronze Form
Sculpture by Henry Moore on the Salamanca Lawn.

Henry Moore "Bronze Form"

Presented by Fletcher Challenge in 1988, and moved from Midland Park to its present site in 1995.

"In the early 1980's Moore developed an opened out three part sculpture, where an internal 'profile form' became the central figure in Figure in a Shelter. He later decided that the Bronze Form of Figure in a Shelter was a piece that could be totally independent and could stand in its won right. There were six cast, Wellington's is No. 4"

The City's acquisition of New Zealand's only public Henry Moore, Bronze Form, was a joint venture between the Wellington Sculpture Trust, Fletcher Challenge Corporation and the Wellington City Council. The Mayor, the head of Fletcher Challenge Sir Ron Trotter and the Trust agreed to collaborate to obtain a Henry Moore for the city. Dr Ian Prior, deputy chairman of the Sculpture Trust, visited Henry Moore in England in 1987 and arranged for the city to purchase Bronze Form. The Trust also arranged for the transport of the work to New Zealand with the assistance of the New Zealand Shipping Corporation, and other logistic matters. Fletcher Challenge agreed to meet the purchase price of $NZ1 million, supported by an offsetting arrangement with the City Council under the City's Art Bonus scheme. The Council with help from the Henry Moore Foundation installed the work and assumed ownership and responsibility for future maintenance.

Bronze Form was placed in Midland Park in the centre of the city in 1988, then moved to its present site in 1995.

"Henry Moore (1898 - 1986) was one of the outstanding sculptors of the 20th century. His work has had a strong influence on contemporary figural sculpture.

"The most important and lasting influence on Moore's work was the world of nature. 'The human figure', he wrote, 'is what interests me most deeply, but I have found principles of form and rhythm from the study of natural objects, such as pebbles, rocks, bones, trees, plants.'
(Information from the Sculpture Trust)

Accessed from the Norwood Path

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11  Joy Fountain

Joy Fountain in Main Garden with children playing with bronze frogs

Located in the Main Garden. 

Unveiled in 1946, Joy was 16 years in the making. The cost escalated from £120 to £520.

Designed by Mr. Alex Fraser the original was  made from Hinuera stone. 

Over the years this soft stone deteriorated, and in 2009 it was remade with reconstituted marble.  The original frogs,  popular with generations of small children, where recast in bronze.  The refurbishment was part funded by the Friends of the Garden

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12  "The Bee Lady" was displayed in Civic Square as
The Bee Lady
part of a Wellington Festival of the Arts,and was donated to the city by an anonymous benefactor.

The sculptor, Alison Clouston, is also a bee-keeper. She was born in Wellington and brought up in Glenmore Street, opposite the Botanic Garden. She now lives in New South Wales.

"The Bee Lady" was carved out of an Australian Eucalyptus that was blown down in a storm in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney). She holds a bee-smoker in her powerful and gnarly hand. Her blue eyes gaze out through the wire gauze of her bee veil. Bees, carved out of her form, cluster on her dress and also cling to her bonnet. Brilliant yellow pigment, mixed with beeswax from Alison's own hives, colour her dress and the bees' abdomens.

It can be seen on the Treehouse balcony.

13  "Old Man Wellington"

In Children's Main Playground
Carved from the trunk of one of the old pines that had to be removed
for safety reasons.
Official name given by children in a naming competition
Erected 2007

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Pottery lamp - unnamed. Roy Cowan (1918 - 2006)
Originally a lithographer and painter, Cowan began experimenting with pottery glazes and stoneware forms in 1966. He produced upright vessels pierced to show the interior of the pots and to play on light and form. Cowan
became well known for his many impressive garden pots and lamps now held in private and institutional collections.
This lamp was gifted by Winsome Shepherd ONZM (1921 - 2011) - a tireless advocate for garden and a founding Friend of Wellington Botanic Garden
Located in lower foyer of the Treehouse Visitors Centre

These tiles were made by friends and colleagues of Betty Campbell, City Councillor 1968 - 1983
A total of 54 separate tiles have been mounted on the foryer wall by the lower lift entrance to the Treehouse

Location Map


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Norwood Path rises steeply from the Begonia House, and is best walked downhill.

The walk down Manuka Way and Remembrance Ridge is a peaceful contemplative walk and provides an alternative to the main Downhill Walk from the Cable Car. (From the Cable Car lookout proceed down East Way to the Met Office corner to Manuka Way)

From the Begonia House, up Serpentine Way and down Norwood Path is the easiest contour.

 If you do not mind a short uphill walk with some steps you can go from the Rose Garden up the zig zag path direct to the Herb Garden passing  the Green Island sculptures.

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