Great Coromondal Arts Tour 2010

( Great Coromandel Arts Tour, The Coromandel
30 April – 2 May / 7 – 9 May / 14 – 16 May 2010

Twenty-five Kiwi artists will open their studios to the public during The Great Coromandel Arts Tour – three weekends of art, music, exhibitions and workshops in one of New Zealand’s most creative little towns.

The arts tour weekends, which provide a rare opportunity to see talented artists at work, launch with a unique Kiwi art auction on 30 April.

Arts tour visitors receive a collectible map with details about the artists and their studio locations, and follow a trail that’s marked with giant orange flags and arrows.

Creative centre
The wide, open spaces and lush landscape of the Coromandel region, on the western edge of the North Island’s Hauraki Gulf, is a creative centre for many talented and famous New Zealand artists.

The arts tour also offers an opportunity for art collectors to discover hidden gems, and purchase art directly from a range of artists.

Artwork on exhibition and for sale ranges from paintings to wood carvings, dolls, textiles, ironwork, clothing, sculpture, accessories, prints and jewellery.

The event also includes music, a digital photography workshop, art trains at Driving Creek Railway, and a huge finale with fireworks and special entertainment on 15 May.

Two exhibitions run for the duration of the tour: Taste of the Tour features selected works from artists in the tour, and Colville Village Community Art Exhibition displays the work of local artists including craft, weaving and painting puzzles.

Driving Creek Railway
Driving Creek Railway – one of the Coromandel’s most popular attractions – takes visitors on a train ride through magnificent native kauri forest.

Renowned Kiwi potter, conservationist and train enthusiast Barry Brickell built the railway to create a unique environmental experience on his 22-hectare property.

The one-hour return train ride chugs through a replanted kauri forest and climbs to a mountain-top terminal called the “Eyefull Tower” which has spectacular panoramic views over the Hauraki Gulf islands, Coromandel mountain peaks and valleys.

Driving Creek opened to the public in 1990, and it remains New Zealand’s only narrow-gauge mountain railway. A narrow gauge railway is smaller than standard rail tracks.

Brickell sources clay for his pottery pieces from the hills above Driving Creek, creates and sells his works onsite.

The Coromandel region
A warm sunny climate and laid-back lifestyle make the Coromandel a year-round holiday destination for visitors. In summer, Kiwi families flock to the region to stay in baches (holiday homes) and camping grounds.

Regular events, such as The Great Coromandel Arts Tour, and activities offer visitors a chance to experience the Coromandel way of life and environment.

Coromandel Town, a quaint little town on the Coromandel Peninsula, hosts many events such as the Pohutukawa Festival, a celebration each December of the flowering native pohutukawa trees that line the Coromandel coastline.

Other highlights on the events calendar include the Whitianga Scallop Festival in winter, the Coromandel Mussel Festival in November, and the Keltic Fair in January, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors. The Coromandel region is also renowned as a water sports paradise and adventure racing destination.

Media Release 6 April from