The Arts

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Te Kakano The Seed, Town Basin Whangarei

© Minette Hanekom

Discover galleries and exhibitions showcasing unqiue works of art and craft in all mediums, many of them strongly inspired by Whangarei’s unique cultural, physical and spiritual environment.

The Town Basin Experience

The Town Basin is a great destination to begin to discover the arts and crafts of Whangarei.

The Sculpture Trail

The Sculpture Trail features artworks in a range of media from bronze and limestone to steel, concrete and marble and offer interpretations of the story of Whangärei. Guides are available from Te Manawa The Hub Information Centre at the Town Basin.

Te Kakano (The Seed)

Te Kakano (The Seed) is a small “folly” that is the first step towards building of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Mäori Art Gallery, should it go ahead in future. Te Kakano has been designed so local craftspeople can master the techniques required for the project.

Galleries & Museums

The Bach gallery offers a diverse range of high quality art and craft from 100 Northland artists. Feel the heat of the furnaces while watching Glass blowing expert Keith Grinter at Burning Issues Gallery which specialises in NZ glass, ceramics and jewellery.

Whangärei Art Museum is the permanent home of the city’s art collection, embracing both heritage and contemporary art work to tell the story of the district’s history. The museum features internally curated and national touring exhibitions.

Historic Reyburn House

Reyburn House features beautiful permanent works as well as new monthly exhibitions from a variety of talented local artists. Home of the Northland Society of Arts, Reyburn House is Whangarei’s oldest house – a New Zealand Historic Places Trust Category 2 listing, built in the 1870s. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens adjacent to the children’s playground at the Town Basin.

Fab Artisan Fairs

In summer, frequent Artisans Fair Markets on the Canopy Bridge at the Town Basin showcase many works of arts and craft, allowing you to meet and talk with the artisans themselves.  Supported by entertainers and a great choice of foods and refreshments, these are vibrant gatherings of artists, crafts people and their wares.  

Attractions in Other Areas

In the city centre, Tuatara Design Store has authentic Mäori art, Mäori Taonga (traditional treasures), NZ art, design and clothing.

The Geoff Wilson Gallery is an integral part of the learning experience of art students studying at the NorthTec campus, and features a range of contemporary art including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, Mäori art and installation art.

Helena Bay Art Gallery exhibits established and emerging New Zealand artists, many of which are Northland based, and includes contemporary Mäori and Pacific artists.

The Quarry Arts Centre is a cooperative of artists set within a serene bush-clad former quarry site. Exhibitions are held regularly and artist’s work is available for sale at the shop onsite.

Music, Drama & Dance

Professional and amateur theatre, performance art, opera, rock, jazz and blues, ballet, cheerleading, Scottish dance and more  – there’s always something to keep you entertained and to move you, there’s always a gig to see, there’s always something  to get involved in. Check out what's on right now.


Annual events celebrating art and culture are held throughout the Whangarei District, all year round: