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Sculpture trail for Government Gardens

News Release 
Tuesday 3 September 2013

Sculpture trail for Government Gardens

ROTORUA 03.09.13:  Rotorua District Council is creating a sculpture and leisure trail in Government Gardens to provide a link to the area’s nearby attractions and to help re-establish a man-made lake as a place of healing.

Sulphur Lake, at the southern-end of Government Gardens, was created around 1908 as one of a number of artificial lakelets that provided a tranquil setting and healing waters for convalescing patients of the nearby Sanatorium and Bath House.

RDC community arts officer, Marc Spijkerbosch, said at one point the lakelet was completely devoid of vegetation and became known as ‘The Casting Pool’ - a place to practise the art of fly-fishing.

In recent years however, he said the lake and surrounding area has been somewhat neglected, pathways have overgrown, and litter has been strewn throughout.

“The establishment of a sculpture and leisure trail in Government Gardens will have enormous benefits for the area, and for locals and tourists alike.

“I’m very excited about this project. The lake is a true gem. It’s in the perfect location, has tremendous potential, and not many locals know about it. I was involved in its heritage assessment and it has a fascinating story.”

Mr Spijkerbosch said that given the area has a central proximity to other well-visited attractions in Government Gardens, there is enormous potential to bring Sulphur Lake back into the purpose for which it was originally intended – an area of tranquillity and contemplation.

“Aside from the aesthetic improvements and increased amenity value, a sculpture trail will provide a key connection for the Rotorua Arts Village to the other Government Gardens attractions, including Rotorua Museum, Blue Baths and Polynesian Spa.

“This project also presents an opportunity to showcase the talented carvers that our district boasts.”

Work will begin on the clearing of vegetation and establishment of pathways in the next month or two.


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