Browsing local art and craft galleries is one of the joys of travel. In New Zealand you get the added bonus of an art-rich indigenous culture to discover.
Traditional Maori crafts include weaving, carving and ta moko
(tattooing). In Rotorua you can watch highly skilled Maori wood carvers and flax weavers at work, and there are many quality galleries where you can purchase your own taonga (precious treasure) to take home.
In certain parts of New Zealand - Nelson, Waiheke Island and Coromandel for example - there are high concentrations of resident creatives. Their work is for sale at art shops and weekend markets, and some welcome visitors into their studios.
If you get the opportunity, rolling up your sleeves to create your own artwork is a deeply satisfying experience. Whether it’s a bone carving, an oil painting or a hand-finished ceramic, your self-made masterpiece will become one of your most prized souvenirs.