The Granite Island sculptures add a new dimension to this island near the town of Victor Harbor. The sculpture trail is easy to access and a fun way to explore the island and its natural beauty.
Known officially as Sculpture Encounters Granite Island, the trail includes works by Australian and international artists featured in the Bondi and Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions. There are also pieces commissioned from local South Australian artists.
Victor Harbor is just over an hour from Adelaide. A causeway connects Granite Island to the mainland.
A matter of taste
As is the case with any art, how you rate the sculptures is in the eye of the beholder. One of the fun things about the trail is that the sculptures take many and varied forms.
While some pieces stand out, others are more subtle. You’ll see the black plaque with the work’s title and artist, then you will need to look twice to find what it’s referring to. Some are suspended in trees and others blend in with the environment.
From time to time new artwork gets added to the display. So, even if you have walked the trail before, it is worth going around again to see what’s new.
What a tasty looking burger – James Dive (NSW)
Granite Island Sculptures
When you arrive at Granite Island across the causeway, you can go left or right to start the trail.
Left takes you towards the Café and past several sculptures. There’s a giant hamburger anchored to the foreshore that kids, especially, love. A wooden staircase next to the cafe leads to a lookout. From there you can walk around the island on the Kaiki Walk to see more sculptures.
Turning right at the end of the causeway takes you straight onto the Kaiki Walk. The walk is an undulating trail of approximately 2 kilometres. Most of the sculptures are on the walk although there are one or two that are off the main track. They are only minor detours which are worth taking to see the extra works of art.
From the weird…
We always turn right at the Granite Island Kaiki boulder sign. The first part of the walk has great views of Victor Harbor. It also has some of the more subtle sculptures.
At the time of writing, two of the first few sculptures are in trees. It took us a minute to locate one of them. Keener art appreciators will likely have no such trouble. The name of one of the pieces – Nests – should have given us a clue.
Also look out for the low, long green signs that many of us will associate with signage for national parks. Titled Signs, this was one piece that provoked strong opinions as people walked past.
It either caused a laugh or was labelled stupid. You be the judge. Keep an eye out for several of them around the island
.… to the wonderful
As you continue along, you pass some rock art and a piece incorporating an ornate weeping tree. Both had us scratching our heads a little. Get past this stretch and things become more spectacular.
Along the east coast of the island, to our eye, are some spectacular pieces that work well with the environment.
It’s hard to miss Horizon Figure by local artist Greg Johns. It is visible from some distance away and makes quite an impression. You’ll find it hard to resist framing the distant coastline as you get a picture of its curving design.
Other pieces in this section of the trail are as impressive. We saw people of all ages walk around them, touch them and photograph them from a variety of angles.
Horizon Figure – Greg Johns (SA)
You never know…
One of the great things about the Granite Island sculptures is you never know what you are going to see. Nothing illustrates this more than the giant egg whisk. This was a new addition since we last walked the sculpture trail.
The huge kitchen utensil cuts quite the image perched on the south coast of the island. On the day we saw it, the rough seas behind it seemed quite a fitting backdrop.
A favourite of ours from previous visits is nearby – Pot Plant. It really stands out against the wind swept landscape. Near here you might also notice a red and white striped tower.
We heard a dad tell their child it was a marker for the highest point on the island. Sorry, no. It’s a solar powered lighthouse sculpture. Take the detour, it’s worth checking out.
Love them or hate them
There are several more pieces near the top of the Kaiki walk. They couldn’t be more different in form to each other and are a great way to round out the sculpture trail. There is one piece here that Nat hates and I like called Element 0. See what you think.
From here, there are a couple of walking options. Not far from these final sculptures is the lookout and stairs down to the café and tuna swim office. There is a great sculpture outside the café. It’s also a nice place to grab a drink or a bite to eat.
If you done walking or stairs aren’t your thing, you can take the path that leads back towards the start of the Kaiki Walk. This is the steepest part of the walk and has some loose gravel so take care going down.
In Awe – Rebecca Rose (New Zealand)
Element 0 – Lubomir Mikle (Slovakia)
Granite Island, Victor Harbour, South Australia
Located right on the beachfront, overlooking Encounter Bay this Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park is the perfect base for your Victor Harbor holiday. With bouncy pillows, water parks, pool, recreation room, kids holiday activities there is plenty to keep the kids occupied.
Adults $15 Return
Catch the historic horse drawn tram across the 650 meter causeway from Victor Harbor to Granite Island
The tram will run from 10.40 am off the Mainland, every 40 mins with the last tram being 3.20 pm from the Mainland