Gibbs Farm – Makarau, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Makarau, New Zealand

Gibbs Farm

A gigantic sculpture garden packed with innovative oddities. 

In 1991, entrepreneur and art collector Alan Gibbs purchased a piece of property on New Zealand’s North Island that has now come to be known as Gibbs Farm. Immediately following his purchase, Gibbs knew that the property would eventually grow to become the world’s ultimate meeting place of giant sculptures and rolling farmland.

Over the past 25 years, Gibbs has hired 22 renowned sculptors from around the world to construct towering abstract sculptures atop the rolling hills of the 1,000 acre plot. Every month, the farm is open to the public for one day, in which visitors will have the ultimate chance to witness the unique adaptation of innovative sculptures to an outdoor environment.

Perhaps one of the most famous sculptures on Gibbs Farm is Neil Dawson’s “Horizons,” which resembles a giant piece of corrugated iron atop a hill. While it may appear to be a computer-generated cartoon, astoundingly, Horizons is a real sculpture made of welded and painted steel, and it fits in perfectly with the cow-filled agricultural landscape of the farm.

Also found on Gibbs Farm is Sol LeWitt’s “Pyramid,” a cluster of concrete blocks that form a perfect staircase for the sheep of the property. Anish Kapoor’s “Dismemberment” sculpture is a humungous tube with open ends on both sides, nestled in a slight dip in the farm’s rolling hills. Perhaps one of the most ingenious creations found at Gibbs Farm is the Electrum, the world’s largest Tesla coil, standing at four stories tall.

On a leisurely walk through Gibbs Farm, visitors will be treated to an array of multi-story paper clips, a forest of 100 giant vertical lights, a bridge made out of cubes, a field of multi-colored squares, and even a life-sized, incredibly-realistic giraffe. Although Gibbs Farm is rarely open to the public and is little-known worldwide, it is truly one of New Zealand’s best-kept secret gems.