Whale Tales 2022

Whale Tales Auckland 2022

100 tails, 100 tales, 100 artists, 10 week, 1 city, 1 mission presented by WWF-New Zealand, Auckland Unlimited, & Wild in Art

A truly immersive experience celebrating Aotearoa, art, and marine conservation is coming to Auckland February 2021. Whale Tales is a public art trail exploring Tāmaki Makaurau and you’re invited!

Auckland’s streets, parks, and open spaces will be adorned with 70 individually designed, beautifully created whale tail sculptures for 10 weeks during the summer/autumn of 2021. This event is presented by WWF-New Zealand, Wild in Art and made possible through the support of Auckland Unlimited on behalf of Auckland Council. Whale Tales is an opportunity for New Zealand’s artists, businesses, schools, community groups, and individuals to collaborate on a marine-themed public art installation, coinciding with the 36th America’s Cup, to capture the hearts of visitors and residents alike while also generating awareness and action for our ocean’s health.

Inspired by Hauraki Gulf resident- the Bryde’s Whale, these sculptures will each tell the tale of marine conservation, particularly of the magically diverse Hauraki Gulf. Bryde’s Whale are found in the coastal waters around the Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana/Te Moana Nui a Toi. In New Zealand, Bryde’s Whale are endangered with only an estimated 140-250 remaining. They feed and rest close to the surface, making them vulnerable to ship strikes, noise pollution, reductions in habitat, climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and other human activities in the ocean.

WWF-New Zealand’s CEO, Livia Esterhazy, said:

“If our whale populations are healthy and thriving, it is a sign our ocean is also healthy and thriving. Whale Tales is the story of a healthy ocean. Whales have been singing their own stories for generations and now is our opportunity to amplify their voices.”

Once the trail closes, the sculptures will be auctioned and the proceeds will go towards WWF’s vital work to protect and restore the mauri (life force) of our ocean. From London to Melbourne, Wild in Art has hosted sculpture trails around the globe and raised millions of dollars for charity. Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art, said:

“We are delighted to be returning to Auckland and working with our partners WWF-New Zealand and Auckland Unlimited to create Whale Tales – our second art trail in the city.”

“Our events are designed to bring the enjoyment of public art to everyone while offering new ways for people to explore their local area, but we need the support of local businesses to make it happen. Sponsorship of a whale tail is an unprecedented business development, employee and community engagement opportunity. There are many exciting ways to benefit from creative collaborations with us and it is an excellent way to support WWF-New Zealand’s vital work. Don’t miss the chance to join us!”

In 2018, Wild in Art produced the Big Hoot in Auckland which saw about 230,000 attendees visit and follow the trail of 47 giant owls during the 10 week run. It’s estimated over a million other people saw one or more of the Big Hoot sculptures which were auctioned to raise more than $382,000 for Child Cancer Foundation.

Whale Tales will be a beautiful anchor to the wonderful events planned for 2021, as Auckland Unlimited General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage, explains:

“We’re working closely with Wild in Art to map out a trail to guide visitors beyond the city centre and America’s Cup Race Village. This ensures the entire region benefits from this dynamic, exciting public art display while also putting a well-deserved spotlight on the Hauraki Gulf and the waters which flow into it.”

Whale Tales 2022 Art Trail