General Info

Driftwood and Sand Map

When and Where


  • Our 2023 Festival will be running from Rāapa (Wednesday) 25 to Rātapu (Sunday) 29 Maramatahi (January) 2023 on Hokitika Beach Front.

  • Our guest artist and judge is to be confirmed.

  • Watch this space for more details nearer the time!

In 2022, we had New Zealand artist, Brett Graham as our guest judge.  His mahi is part of national and international collections and we were fortunate to have him as part of the team.

Brett Graham (Ngāti Korokī Kahukura) is a leading Māori artist and New Zealand sculptor. He makes monumental installations which look at indigenous experiences of the colonial process and emphasize relationships between Māori and other colonised cultures. In this way, Graham has maintained the activist tradition of contemporary Māori art while positively contributing to bicultural and multicultural discourse in New Zealand society.
More recently, Brett's work has been included in international exhibitions that put contemporary indigenous art central to an emerging international art movement. He has been at the forefront of this movement from the early 1990s to the present.

You can find out more about Brett at

Who can participate?

Anyone who wishes to register a sculpture may take part. This is an event for everyone, not just artists, especially people who are looking for an excuse to spend time on a wild and beautiful Te Tai Poutini/West Coast beach. Even those who only wish to watch and marvel can take part by voting for their favourite artistic creation.

Eligibility Rules

Any registered sculpture made from beach material is eligible for prizes. Fixings are allowed but must be kept to a minimum and removed later. No dangerous or poisonous substances are allowed. No glass.


$10 Adult entry
$5 Junior entry (under 16)
$2 Penguinville
Gold Coin HokiZoo
Gold Coin to vote

About us:

Driftwood and Sand is based in Hokitika, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and began as a community beach sculpture event in November 2002. It was conceived by local artist Donald Buglass. Who saw the driftwood-strewn beach as a fabulous creative opportunity, offering the raw materials and the inspiration for a community art celebration - a sculpture competition with a difference. Every year he is commissioned to build a large “signature piece” to inspire other artists.

Driftwood and Sand is a charitable trust and the sculpture event is run annually by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. The Trust aims to create benefits for the community and improve participation in the arts in the region.

As a beach sculpture event the Trust encourages participation by artists, novices and people of any age. It is also hoped that the unique beach venue will break down barriers and make art less intimidating by providing an opportunity for novices to make art alongside artists.

Driftwood & Sand has become a regular feature of the Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) arts calendar, providing a delightfully artistic edge to the stunning scenic backdrop that the Te Tai Poutini is famous for.

“The Driftwood and Sand 2007 event was a fantastic showcase of community, creativity and passion for the environment of New Zealand’s West Coast. Every work that I discovered along the beach was a delight, and the passion for our landscapes that I felt expressed in these artworks was energising and inspiring.” - 2007 guest judge artist from Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) Caroline Robinson

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