Growing up with a garden crazy Mum who has a green thumb, I often find myself drawn to gardens when we travel. We’ve seen some beauties and I always love sharing photos with Mum back home so she can enjoy them from afar. While staying in Taupo, we visited a gorgeous garden with a twist. The flowers in the Lava Glass Sculpture Garden are made from handblown glass. The uniqueness of this garden puts it firmly on our list of must-visit accessible attractions in Taupo. If you don’t believe us, the the experts at the National New Zealand Garden Trust, awarded it ‘garden of significance’ status.
LAVA GLASS SCULPTURE GARDEN – TAUPO, NEW ZEALAND
Taupō is centrally located in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand, approximately 3&1/2 hours drive from Auckland. We based ourselves in Taupo for five nights during our stay because we always prefer to have a base and do day trips rather than moving every few days. It’s simply too big an effort and Taupo had plenty to keep us busy.
The Lava Glass Sculpture Garden is only a short drive out of town and we found it both intriguing and incredibly creative. The garden features over 600 sculptures, all handcrafted by Lynden Over and his glassblowing team.
The garden is filled with sculptures created in the studio onsite, some considered to be New Zealand’s largest pieces of handblown glass. The incredible rainbow, pictured above, is four metres long and took months to create.
I imagine the glass sculptures are even more vibrant and impressive when the sun is out to highlight and accentuate the colour, but even on a drizzly afternoon we could appreciate the kaleidoscope of colour.
The landscaped gardens, filled with native plants, provide the ideal setting to showcase the various glass pieces. Only one element appeared to be missing, that’s the fairies and pixies! The inner child in me has a theory that they come out to frolic at the end of the day when the tourists go home!
The glass studio is the ideal place to pick up a gorgeous piece of art to take home and we hear the glass blowing demonstrations are excellent. We visited late in the afternoon so the cafe had already closed but the menu looks great and offers gluten free and vegetarian options.
LAVA GLASS SCULPTURE GARDEN – ACCESSIBILITY
Sealed pathways connect the various areas of the garden making wheelchair access easy throughout. There are a few inclines that will require some extra muscle if you are a manual wheelchair user, but in general it’s good.
An accessible bathroom is located in the studio shop.
We find when we travel for several weeks it’s often hard to decide if an attraction is just a tourist trap or worth the admission price. There’s always so many places vying for your attention. The Lava Glass Sculpture Garden was definitely worth the visit for us. It’s lovely to visit somewhere that’s so refreshingly unique.
If you’re planning a visit you can find more information on the Lava Glass website.
Some of our other day trips from Taupo included –