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The Whangārei Camera Obscura is an interactive sculpture on the Hātea Loop walk.
A camera obscura is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side through which an image is projected onto a wall or table opposite the hole.
Visitors can enter the shell-like structure to find a surprising "upside-down projection room" inside showing the celebrated Bascule bridge, Te Matau ā Pohe and its surrounds, complete with vehicles, boats, people, skudding clouds and flowing water.
The attraction offers visitors and residents a simple yet wonderful phenomena of light projection and educational opportunities. Visitors can adjust the image using a movable aperture on the wall of the camera obscura.
It is one of only a handful of obscura sculptures in the world and is among the largest.
People who need mobility access to Camera Obscura sculpture can call our Customer Service centre and request a gate code.
Phone: 09 430 4200
The code will let people access the service road that runs from the Pohe Island Car Park directly to the Camera Obscura sculpture.
The Whangārei Camera Obscura was a community-led project designed and project managed by three Whangārei creatives, from 2016 - 2020:
It was gifted to the people of Whangārei as a finished artwork in November 2020.
Security cameras, with real time recorded image projected onto the exterior screen, offer additional visibility and interaction for visitors.
Major funding and support partners include:
Timatatanga Hou translates from te reo as ‘new beginnings’ and describes the sensation of travelling into the obscura room and viewing Te Ao (the world) in a new way.
Timatatanga Hou introduction - Educational resource(PDF, 1MB)
A camera obscura device consists of a lightproof box or room with a hole in one side.
Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, inverted (thus upside-down), but with colour and perspective preserved.
How a camera obscura works - Educational resource(PDF, 1MB)
You can make your own camera obscura using a room in your home or school!
You will need:
Make your own camera obscura - Educational resource(PDF, 513KB)
Camera Obscura Timatatanga Hou, Hātea Loop, Pohe Island, Whangārei 0110 View Map
Camera Obscura Timatatanga Hou, Hātea Loop, Pohe Island ,
From dawn till dusk.
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