• Site wide emergency announcement. Site wide emergency resolved announcement. Site wide generic announcement.

    Check the most recent COVID-19 updates from NSW Health regularly, and follow the relevant health advice to help keep our community safe. Find more info on which services are open, closed, or online.

Main Content Anchor

Wauchope Bicentenary Riverside Sculptural Trail

Rocks Ferry Reserve

Celebrating our unique history with the Wauchope Bicentenary Riverside Sculptural Trail 

Yapang Bila Yapun.yapun

Due to recent weather conditions and the one in one hundred-year flood event that impacted Rocks Ferry Reserve, Yapang Bila Yapun.yapun has been postponed. Rocks Ferry Reserve is currently closed to the public.

Wauchope and the surrounding hinterland are steeped in history, and in partnership with the community, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council seek to bring this history to life in a unique space which the whole community can share.

Yapang Bila Yapun.yapun is the Birpai name given to the new Wauchope Bicentenary Riverside Sculptural Trail, set on the Hastings River, winding its way along Rocks Ferry Reserve.

The project is funded with a $196,140 grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

The Walk will depict the history of Wauchope with a particular focus of life on the river and encompassing Aboriginal as well as colonial history creative interpretation, sculptures, and creative seating set with a minimalist approach within the idyllic foreshore location. The Trail presents a unique opportunity to tell community stories in a creative, respectful manner that would result in a legacy to the Wauchope community.

A Reference Group of local stakeholders informed project delivery and include representatives of the:

  • Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council,
  • Wauchope Chamber of Commerce,
  • Wauchope District Historical Society,
  • A Wauchope creative community member with experience in Public/Sculptural Art,
  • Hastings Co-op, and
  • Council staff.

Council received an overwhelming number of responses from local and established artists from outside the region through a formal Expression of Interest (EOI) program which closed on the 12th July 2020. A panel of local community representatives have reviewed the EOI submissions against pre-determined selection criteria and the art piece for each of the sculptural sites have been selected. The six sculptures will be installed along the Riverside Walk and in Rocks Ferry Reserve. 

Public art can stimulate thinking, deepen sense of place and transform how we engage with spaces. The Riverside Sculptural Trail will include a selection of public artworks that showcase the rich history of Wauchope and the surrounding hinterland. Covering themes of history, culture, agriculture and indigenous heritage which depict the essence of Wauchope’s heritage and community. 

Marine Intersection - Bridge Pylons mural

Marine Intersection

By Manning Daly Art www.manningdaly.com

Marine Intersection is a powerful symbol connecting place and Community, exploring layers of local history and natural landscape.

From all approaches, this dynamic gateway art concept energizes the space providing an exciting sense of arrival and identity to the riverside Trail. Colourful contemporary design elements utilised for the mural investigate marine and terrestrial habitats through a dynamic process of abstraction engaging the viewers sense of perception.

The art connects First Nations and European history, telling the story of this rich landscape and its people in an accessible and interesting way. From First Nations intimate knowledge of the landscape and its abundant resources to more recent recreation pursuits and timber industries.

Mural design elements reference layers of meaning from flood levels on the Hastings River to sacred trees such as the bunya pine Araucaria bidwillii, at the bora/corroboree grounds at Wauchope High School and their connection with Bunyah Jimmy. The Swamp She-oak, Casuarina glauca growing in an endangered habitat, its hardwood used for making shields, clubs and boomerangs and the distinctive patterning of the Mulloway found in the marine habitat.

The primary focus for our public art is to present significant and meaningful contemporary art concepts for local residents and visitors that explore a sense of community, civic culture and local identity to encourage the viewer to engage, explore and enjoy the riverside art trail.

The Fishing Tale* - fishing table and light pole

 The Fishing Tale

By Francessca O’Donnell www.theouttherecollective.com

Assisted by Gaye White & Nick Juric

This site was a unique opportunity to create a space that not only improved the useability of the table but, bring some colour and fun to the area, with a design that reflected the abundant marine life of the Hastings River.

Historically, the river has been an important part of the diet and culture of the traditional custodians of this land, the Birpai people. Today it is a popular recreational area for locals and visitors.

I love colour and playing with patterns, lines and different techniques. This artwork allowed play with all of these fun elements to creativity. The designs represent the many fish, sharks, prawns, stingrays and eels that are commonly found and fished in these waters. The adjacent light pole’s colourful stripes represent a fishing rod and give new light to this area.

As we created this space, we met so many of the locals as they headed out to fish, met mates for their morning walk and told many a story of this river and their memories of it over the years.

We hope visitors to this space enjoy the upgraded facilities and many years of fishing and fishing tales, yet to be told.

*Unfortunately, this installation was destroyed and washed away by the March 2021 floods. Council acknowledges the artist and the project teams many hours of work to deliver such a wonderful project.

Meeting at the River - sculpture installation

 Meeting at the River

By Antone Bruinsma www.stonesculpture.com.au

This sculpture installation represents the echoes of travellers on the river coming ashore in this place to meet and share their tales, reflect on their journey and look to the future.

The stones symbolise upright canoes inspired by indigenous bark canoes fused with figurative elements and character, acknowledging the important role indigenous peoples have in the land and in society. The canoes pay homage to the venturing soul that dwells in all of us. Movement means growth in learning, understanding and the development of mind, body and spirit and while the canoe symbolises survival, travel and enjoyment, it is equally important to find suitable places to rest and to establish a more permanent settlement. Placing the canoes in an upright grouping, they offer shelter and suggest community.

The artwork recognises the importance of trees in a historical, economic and environmental context. The bark canoe also reflects us in our own skin travelling in time and gaining experiences, with the hands offering a connection, especially with the ancestors, and similarly to a canoe, a balanced perspective will see us go further.

Zoetrope - sculpture installation



 Zoetrope-sculpture-installation-2.jpg   Zoetrope-sculpture-installation-3.jpg  Zoetrope-sculpture-installation-4.jpg  Zoetrope-sculpture-installation-5.jpg

By Stephen Gale

Reconciliation. What is it? How can it be achieved? Often we must reconcile with the people around us- partners, family, friends, and employers. Without it, we have the scars of bitterness and regret weighing upon us. We attain reconciliation by listening, understanding, forgiving and embracing.

Zoetrope is trying to share with us a story; it starts 60,000 years or more ago, continuing uninterrupted to today and extending further into our shared future. Birpai elders speak this story in many voices.

 Each plate of this sculpture is a glimpse into the world and experience of our First Nations people. Much like the original spinning Zoetrope though, it is nothing more than a small glimmer of an immense and beautiful culture.

It is my dream that Zoetrope aids you in your journey towards understanding the story, hopes and aspirations of our First Nations Peoples. They are waiting to embrace you.

The Waymarker - sculpture installation

 The Waymarker 1

By John Van Der Kolk www.vanderkolk.com.au

Occasionally inspiration can be triggered by the simplest of things.

A chance pickup of some seeds while wandering the proposed Wauchope sculpture trail site was one of these occasions. The seeds in this case were acer pseudoplatanus. We called them helicopter seeds as kids and a find like this would have us climbing the nearest high thing in an attempt to re-launch them.

Re- visiting the seeds as an artist they lose none of their fascination, and at their simplest are such a simple sculptural object beautifully balanced in both line, form volume and purpose.

The evolution of its design serves one purpose only and that is to direct how the wind effects it in the few seconds between detaching from the tree to hitting the ground.

The Waymarker suspends a stylised form of this seedpod off the ground allowing even the slightest breeze to change its direction.

Contact person

Project Officer Public Art
Email: council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au
Phone: 02 6581 8111

Proudly funded by the NSW Government with a $196,140 grant provided under the Stronger  Communities Fund.

2021 NSW Government Waratah Logo



This page was last updated on: 08 September 2021