Sulphur Lake was originally created in 1908 through the vision of Dr Arthur Wohlmann – the country’s first Balneologist who lived in nearby Wohlmann house (now part of the Rotorua Arts Village).
Dr Wohlmann believed that tranquil picturesque surroundings were an essential part of the healing process. In 1916, Dr Wohlmann was treating, on average, over 60 injured New Zealand soldiers per day returned from the Great War. Many of our soldiers would walk the perimeter of this lake as a part of the healing process.
Created in 2014 as an integral part of Rotorua’s 100 year WW1 commemorations, Sulphur Lake Sculpture Trail is refreshed every two years with the biennial Sulphur Lake Sculpture Symposium.
2014 Sculpture Symposium – The Returning Soldier
2016 Sculpture Symposium – The Energy Within
2018 Sculpture Symposium – Ngā Wai o Rotorua
Unfortunately the biennial 2018 Rotorua Sculpture Symposium was postponed due to constraints caused by COVID-19. However there are some exciting new artworks for you to discover on the Sulphur Point Sculpture Trail with two sculptures swapped out and one being carved in situ over the summer.
One of the new artworks is by Anna Korver and is entitled Shell. The sculpture is made from Corten steel and explores the ‘collapse of known reality’ (location 13 on the trail).
The second new sculpture in the Sulphur Point Sculpture Trail is by artist Claire Sadler. Claire has carved Pride out of Taranaki Andesite which explores ‘Pride in Place. Pride in Identity’ (location 18 in the trail).
One of the new sculptures in the Sulphur Point Sculpture Trail looks just like a block of stone – and that is because it is! Artist Nicola Wright will be carving her new artwork, Ko Ngā Tuna, in place over the summer (location 3 on the trail).
With a central proximity to other well-visited attractions in the Government Gardens, and located alongside the Rotorua Arts Village, this sculpture trail brings Sulphur Lake back into the purpose for which it was originally intended over a century ago – an area of tranquillity and contemplation.