See the Sand Safari Arts Festival

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: February 21, 2020

Reading time: 3 mins

Be enthralled by the unique sand creations of Gold Coast spectacular sandy festival!

The Gold Coast is regarded as a sandy wonderland, home to a picturesque golden stretch of foreshore that is bustling with walkers, surfers, and sun bakers alike. However, no better time highlights the Gold Coast’s sandy shoreline than in the month of February, with the region’s annual Sand Safari Arts Festival! An event which entails fifteen of the best professional sand sculptors designing and creating stunning carved sculptures made completely with sand. Be captivated by these massive sand sculptures as they come to life as the artists show off their skills along this picture-perfect coastline!

About the Festival

It is the biggest sand-and-sea inspired festival in the entire Asia-Pacific region, spread out along the beachside of Gold Coast with the massive sand sculptures. Held between the start of February until the start of March of this year, the Sand Safari Arts event is focusing on fairy-tale characters.

In the first three days of the event, visitors can watch as these gigantic carvings of fairytales are carved live, with the sculptures remaining along the coast for the remainder of the month. Characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and the Pirate ship and much more pop up over the coast, with festival attendees able to vote for their favourite, with the winner announced on the last weekend of the event.

About the Sculptors

  • Clive Abben; Hansel and Gretel

    Clive first began sculpting sand on the beach like most people but evolved his skill and passion even more by volunteering in major sand carving events until he became good enough to be paid for his skills. He is gifted in landscaping design and uses this talent to completely spellbinding displays of scenery in his Hansel and Gretel retelling.

  • Meg Murray; Puss in Boots

    Originally a painter for 35 years, Meg only got into sculpting 18 years ago while trying new types of mediums. She believes that sand is a natural healer and teaches us to let go, with all her creations. She is the current Australian Sculpting Champion for last year’s event and is planning to create the marvellous sculpture of the beloved Puss in Boots.

Other Activities on Offer

After seeing the masters at work, you may find yourself itching to try this sand making out! Look no further to many sculpting and sand workshops held throughout the festival’s month, with both kids and adult classes on offer.

If you prefer getting lost in the stories behind the sculptures, you can listen to book readings, with storytellers telling riveting tales of the sand characters as well as daily mermaid readings at Treasure Rock.

There are also a number of art installations throughout the Surfers Paradise Precinct. Cavill Mall hosts a bustling art gallery, as well as the night-time bringing an even better spectacle to the sand sculptures as they are illuminated in picturesque light.

On the foreshore, there is a range of free activities on offer, including captivating performance art, children’s dance classes, and a range of live music.

Related article: The Mountain Ranges of the Gold Coast Hinterland

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.