The Birdwoods Story
Both from third generation Zimbabwean farming families, Birdwoods founders Bruce and Louise Stobart, emigrated to New Zealand in 2004 with their three young children, Jack, Sophie and Harry.
Birdwoods originally started in 1991 when Louise, Jack’s mother, started a business creating metal birds out of recycled oil drums on their farm in the Mazowe District of Zimbabwe. This grew into a highly successful export-based enterprise until 2003 when politics took a grip and almost everything was lost to a lawless government.
Upon immigrating to New Zealand in 2004, Louise and Bruce established Birdwoods Gallery in Havelock North. It is now one of Hawke’s Bay’s most popular destinations attracting over 60,000 visitors each year and offering a large and beautiful gallery, extensive sculpture gardens, well known café, ice-cream & expresso coffee shop and a much-loved old fashioned sweet shop.
In 2020 Birdwoods South Gallery was opened by the Stobart's eldest son Jack in Arrowtown, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Since starting Birdwoods in New Zealand the Stobarts travel back to Africa yearly to select textiles, artwork, craft and importantly, stone sculpture. The sculpture is displayed in their two galleries as well as in the expansive Birdwoods garden and sculpture walk in Hawkes Bay. Birdwoods have also hosted two international exhibitions in Virginia, USA and at Burtown House, Ireland, as well as at several notable venues throughout New Zealand.