There's something fishy happening in Rotorua this week.

From this Thursday 13 uniquely decorated fish, created by local artists, can be found in various shops and outlets in a trail around the CBD.

The Fish Out of Water Art Trail is an annual summer art event which Rotorua Lakes Council initiated 14 years ago as a creative way for local artists and the community to celebrate the district's lakes and fisheries.

The trail features 13 fibreglass fish which are transformed each year, co-ordinated by local artist Jill Walker.


The fish are then released into the inner city streets, where they are hosted by local businesses for six weeks over the festive summer season, giving both locals and visitors the opportunity to walk the trail and vote for their favourite fish.

Walker said "The creativity of the Rotorua community is related in the outstanding diversity of the fish in this year's trail. A call for compassion for the environment is a common theme chosen by at least half the artists this year. Treat yourself to a visual feast".

2018 Fish Out of Water Art Trail artists and fish. Photo / Supplied
2018 Fish Out of Water Art Trail artists and fish. Photo / Supplied

From fairy tales to treasure chests, plastic bags to space odysseys, this year's fishy creations around the city will delight and surprise.

Free trail maps will be available from the Rotorua iSite on Fenton Street or from any of this year's host venues.

You can also vote for your favourite fish in the People's Choice Award, with the winning artist receiving a prize.

For the first time, a smaller rogue fish named Captain Peggy Wetbeard will be visiting different locations over the summer.

Hints to the next location will be given so people can see who can find the captain first.

This year's Fish Out of Water Art Trail will be in place until February 3, 2019.


The fish will then be recaptured to be scraped down and re-painted white ready for their transformation for next year's trail.

The 2018-19 Fish Out of Water Art Trail is hosted by the following businesses

- Artworks, Hinemoa Street
- Atlantis Books, Eruera Street
- Café de Paris, Hinemoa Street
- McLeods Booksellers, Pukuatua Street
- O'Keefe's Anglers Depot, Eruera Street
- Rotorua iSite, Fenton Street
- Simply Different, Tutanekai Street
- Sole Outlet, Tutanekai Street
- Sustain Vegetarian Takeaways , Tutanekai Street
- The Arts Village, Hinemaru Street
- The Living Room Collective, Amohau Street
- The Rotorua Cycle Centre, Te Ngae Road
- Trade Aid, Tutanekai Street