Support Local: Sculpture Park

27 February 2024

Support Local: The Ruru's Nest at Sculpture Park

The Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum is best described as an art-in-nature experience. Featuring a 2km bush trail filled with opportunities to spot native birds and wildlife, incredible local and international artist’s work, and the cutest container cafe and seating area in the vicinity.

Our wholesale manager Ruby and I were lucky enough to pop out on a warm sunny summer day, chat with the park manager, and indulge in some delicious Duck Island icecream sundaes in an edible cup - topped with beautifully juicy locally grown strawberries! We had a bit of a stroll through the park, and experienced the serenity that nature brings, by walking through lush greenery, listening to native birds chirping, and taking it all in. We had a chat about the creation of the ‘Ruru’s nest’, (their onsite container cafe) and the sale of Volare products.

How did the Ruru's Nest come about?

“It was started in May 2023 and was a long process to get it here. Nonetheless, we got it over the line eventually. The container itself was donated by Mitre 10, which we are so grateful for.

We decided very early on that bringing in valued local brands such as Duck Island, and Volare, would be important. They help us to bring patrons in and it’s so nice to be in community with them.”

What products are you selling from the container cafe?

“We do a Reuben with the delicious Volare Grain Sourdough, a classic ham and cheese croissant, a panini with chicken and brie, and a selection of pastries and sausage rolls. As well as ozone coffee, and of course our brand new creation with Duck Island ice cream and edible chocolate cups. We think that doing even a little bit for sustainability is good in the long run."

Tell me about the last couple of years for the park?

Early in 2023, we had a cyclone that took at least 120 trees, the clean up was huge, needing about 6 arborist clean up groups to deal with the aftermath. We’re getting good numbers through summer now after taking a bit of a hit through covid, with around 6 different tour groups and school groups coming through.”

What's the teams favourite Volare product?

We love a sausage roll and the vanilla custard cronut! We’d have them every day if we could!”

Lastly, is there anything you would like people to know about the park?

“Yes! There’s so much to do here, we have lots of workshops, lots of ‘meet the artists’, a dog day where you can bring your dogs through on the last Sunday of the month, a park scavenger hunt for the kids, and of course the Ruru’s nest is such a nice place to hang out for a coffee and a bite with a friend. Also if you are getting married or know anyone who is, we can have weddings here, and there’s plenty of space to choose from.”

Ruby and I would highly recommend coming here - as soon as we left were talking about going out to visit on a weekend.

We had such a nice time, walking and listening to the birds being surrounded by nature, we couldn’t stop smiling! (Although - as if being immersed in nature could make anyone grumpy.)

The park is located on Scotsman Valley Road in Tauwhare, see map here. The perfect balance between Hamilton in Cambridge and the perfect stop-in for a day out from either side!