The latest addition to Paihia's newly upgraded waterfront is a sea-themed mural by an artist from a landlocked country.

Darina Cincurova, originally from the Czech Republic but now living in Russell, spent 14 days painting the 4.8 metre by 1.9m mural on a wall of 35 Degrees South restaurant.

Her artwork features the islands of the Bay of Islands, Cape Brett, Paihia wharf and 25 animals seen in the area, ranging from orca to the korora (little blue penguin). The mural faces the community-built waterfront park called Our Place or Horotutu.

Ms Cincurova said she had been approached by the restaurant owners after being recommended by a Paihia artist. It is her fourth mural. The others are at Auckland University of Technology, a North Shore campground and Orongo Bay Holiday Park, near Russell. She felt an extra sense of responsibility with the Paihia mural because it was in such a public place, but the feedback had been "really nice".


Ms Cincurova studied art in the Czech Republic before moving to Iceland with her husband. The couple came to New Zealand for a holiday three years ago to escape the bleak Icelandic winter. They liked it so much they stayed.

Inspired by Northland's scenery, wildlife and Maori culture, Ms Cincurova said she considered herself lucky to be able to make a modest living from her art.