For the Love of Travel
For the Love of Travel

Road-tripping NZ’s weird and quirky art galleries

While the Hundertwasser Toilets in Kawakawa are well-known as the ultimate roadside art gallery stop-off in New Zealand, there are many other fun and intriguing galleries to help break up your next road trip. So instead of stopping for an ice cream, or at a picnic area in the middle of nowhere, call into a quirky gallery when you need a break. Avis New Zealand has compiled a list of weird and wonderful galleries to visit on your next road trip.

Sculptureum – Matakana. If you’re en route to Auckland, why not stop and stretch your legs at Sculptureum in Matakana. Sculptureum is an art lover’s playground and a kid’s wildest dream. The venue has six indoor galleries which follow different themes and use a range of materials including glass, sculpture and recycled materials. Outside, wander the magical gardens to discover exhibits including giant dandelions and pink snails, and even a polar bear.

{Suite} Art Gallery – Wellington. Next time you’re at a loose end in Wellington or waiting for your ferry crossing, nip into town and take a stroll down Wellington’s iconic Cuba Street. Enter through the bright pink door and discover the {Suite} Art Gallery.
Striking artworks in a range of different mediums curated by artists from around the world adorn the walls of {Suite}. Displaying a mix of abstract portraits and brilliant coloured sculptures, the regular exhibitions ensure you’ll see something new each visit. Upstairs the {Suite} museum is dedicated to renowned New Zealand photographer Ans Westra, whose work sits at the centre of debates around Pakeha representation of Maori.

Hullabaloo, Cromwell. Stuck for what to do in between vineyard visits or when the mountain road is closed? Take in some of the best local Central Otago art at Hullabaloo Art Space, less than an hour from Queenstown.

The space was founded over a decade ago by a group of creatives looking for a local space to showcase their work and it has grown into a Cromwell institution. When you pop in, you’ll meet the artists who take turns looking after the gallery. It’s a chance to ask Andi Regan about the inspiration behind her cable tie masterpieces and how they come to life or hear about what inspires Kay Turner’s ‘native’ gold jewellery.

Gallery 33 – Wanaka. Featuring some of the best contemporary art from Kiwi and Australian artists, Gallery 33 is the perfect pitstop on a South Island roadie. Filled to the brim with funky pieces in a range of medias, including glass sculptures, ceramics and bespoke jewellery, there will be something for everyone.

Jimi Rabbitz Gallery – Bluff. Once you’ve had your picture taken at Bluff’s iconic international signpost at Stirling Point, enter the unusual and wacky world of Helen Back at the Jimi Rabbitz Gallery.

Dedicated to showcasing her dark and often twisted sculptures, you’ll be wowed and intrigued by her version of classic fairy tales. Let your imagination run wild as you delve into the dark history of her broken carnival animals, circus ringmasters and other sinister figures.

Driving holidays are the best way to experience New Zealand’s tourist hot spots and stunning scenery in one trip and to encourage you to hit the road and explore Avis New Zealand has announced a range of offers including $30 off your weekend rental, $80 off Hybrids and get your 4th day free.