Quirky and creative fish can once again be caught among the streets of Rotorua's town as part of an annual art trail.
The next season of the Fish Out of Water Art Trail had its launch event on Tuesday evening at The Arts Village, and will open tomorrow.
The Fish Out of Water Art Trail is an annual summer art event.
It was initiated by Rotorua Lakes Council 16 years ago as a creative way for local artists and the community to celebrate Rotorua's lakes and fisheries.
The trail features large fish (fibreglass moulded) transformed each year by local artists and then released into the inner city streets, where they are hosted by local businesses over the festive summer season, with locals and visitors able to walk the trail and vote for their favourite fish.
The Fish Out of Water team is excited the fish are being released into the street on such a special weekend, with the beginning of the school holidays, the Christmas Festival tomorrow and the Christmas Parade on Sunday.
Those who walk the trail this weekend and get their entry into the i-Site before Monday, December 19, 9am, may be lucky enough to win one of the Fish Out of Water opening weekend spot prizes.
This year's trail includes one additional fish, two new hosts - Arts United Rotorua and Rakai Jade, and two hosts returning after several years - Hamills Rotorua and Rotorua Library.
There are 11 new artists/groups and a wide range of themes.
Tracey Flay, one of the Fish Out of Water artists, says this is her first time entering and creating a fish for the trail.
"I've seen the fish trail before over the years and thought they looked really cool, and always thought that one day I should apply. It was a fun project."
She says her fish is called Summer Reverie and features bright colours with the likes of flamingos, pineapples, cactus and fruit. It has been created using different mediums such as acrylic paint and feathers.
"Because 2020 has been such a negative year, I was going for bright, happy and summery for the kids who will see it."
Tracey says anything that is fun and free to do during the school holidays, like walking the trail, is awesome.
"To pay for things for the kids to do can get really expensive. It's fun and gets them outside. I hope it goes for many years to come."
She says she is excited for her fish to be out in the trail and that it has been quite a process - "It turned out different to what I thought it would and took on a life of its own.
"All the fish look amazing and the diversity of all the designs is cool too."
Rotorua Lakes Council community arts adviser Marc Spijkerbosch says every year the originality and depth of creativity given to each fish truly impresses, and it's become apparent that the annual fish trail has a huge band of dedicated followers.
"They really are a quirky bunch ... the fish, that is.
"This type of art trail has become something of a global phenomenon.
"What a great way to celebrate not only our local artistic talent, but also our magnificent lakes environment."
• What: Fish Out of Water Art Trail
• When: December 19 to February 3
• Collect trail from Rotorua i-Site and Visitor Information Centre