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Wind Wand

Be impressed by this kinetic sculpture as it drifts back and forth in the Taranaki wind on New Plymouth’s lovely coastal walkway.

Set against the glorious backdrop of the Tasman Sea, the Wind Wand is a 147-foot (45-meter) high sculpture, consisting of a red fiberglass tube that has a diameter of only 8 inches (20 centimeters), but which can bend up to 65 feet (20 meters) in any direction. At its peak is a sphere that contains 1,296 light-emitting diodes and emits a soft red glow at night. Go for a walk or bike ride along the coastal walkway and stop to admire and photograph the immense and bizarre sculpture.

Designed by internationally renowned New Zealand artist Len Lye, the sculpture was installed in 1999 as part of the city’s millennium development program. Despite facing initial ridicule from the community, the Wind Wand is now an iconic and beloved feature of the city. Make sure to allow time to visit the sculpture, as it is a must-see of any trip to New Plymouth.

Take a seat nearby the sculpture to consider it in more depth. Focus on the dramatic interaction between the artwork and the surrounding scenery. Whether there is a storm brewing or calm weather afoot, the Wind Wand adds a dynamic element to the natural environment. Turn your attention to its physical design. The artist has described earlier wands with these poetic words: “Their weight is so lightly balanced that if a bumble bee stood on the ball at the top they would dip a bit, and the more honey he carried the more it would dip.”

Visit the Govett-Brewster gallery nearby if you feel inspired by the sculpture and want to learn more about its creator. It is a five-minute walk away and contains a permanent exhibition of Len Lye’s works, including other kinetic sculptures. 

The best way to see the Wind Wand is while exploring New Plymouth’s coastal walkway, a 12.7-kilometre-long (7.9-mile) promenade that hugs the coastline and stretches the length of the city. Enjoy spectacular views of New Zealand’s dramatic west coast and see other public artworks while walking or cycling along the track.


Guide to Exploring Wind Wand


Map

Top Wind Wand Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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Copthorne Hotel Grand Central New Plymouth NZ$175
Copthorne Hotel Grand Central New Plymouth

Copthorne Hotel Grand Central New Plymouth

42 Powderham Street, New Plymouth
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in New Plymouth CBD, this hotel is steps away from Saint Mary's Church and TSB Showplace. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Observatory are also within 10 minutes.

    Novotel New Plymouth Hobson NZ$189
    Novotel New Plymouth Hobson

    Novotel New Plymouth Hobson

    Cnr Of Hobson And Leach Streets, New Plymouth
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of New Plymouth, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Centre City Shopping Centre, Pukekura Park and TSB Stadium. Wind Wand and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      Quest New Plymouth NZ$135
      Quest New Plymouth

      Quest New Plymouth

      21 Currie Street, New Plymouth
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in New Plymouth CBD, this luxury apartment building is steps away from Centre City Shopping Centre and Wind Wand. TSB Showplace and Puke Ariki are also within 5 minutes.

        The Devon Hotel A Heritage Hotel NZ$138
        The Devon Hotel A Heritage Hotel

        The Devon Hotel A Heritage Hotel

        390 Devon Street East, New Plymouth
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of New Plymouth, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of East End Reserve and Fitzroy Beach. Centre City Shopping Centre and Wind Wand are also within 1 mile (2 km).

          Auto Lodge Motor Inn NZ$118
          Auto Lodge Motor Inn

          Auto Lodge Motor Inn

          393 Devon Street East, New Plymouth
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated by the ocean, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Puke Ariki and Saint Mary's Church. Pukekura Park and Observatory are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            King and Queen Hotel Suites NZ$167
            King and Queen Hotel Suites

            King and Queen Hotel Suites

            Corner of King and Queen Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in New Plymouth CBD, this luxury hotel is steps away from Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and TSB Showplace. Puke Ariki and Saint Mary's Church are also within 10 minutes.

              Millennium Hotel New Plymouth, Waterfront
              Millennium Hotel New Plymouth, Waterfront

              Millennium Hotel New Plymouth, Waterfront

              1 Egmont Street, New Plymouth, Taranaki
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Offering direct access to the beach, this New Plymouth CBD hotel is in the city centre, steps away from Puke Ariki and Wind Wand. Observatory and Pukekura Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                The Metrotel Motel NZ$147
                The Metrotel Motel

                The Metrotel Motel

                22 Gill Street, New Plymouth
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in New Plymouth CBD, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Centre City Shopping Centre, Wind Wand and TSB Showplace. Puke Ariki and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery are also within 10 minutes.