Our arts and crafts
Whether you love the skillful purity of art glass, the down-to-earth beauty of wood or the translucent gleam of jade, talented artists will tempt you with their creations.
Wood studios that use native timbers such as kauri, rimu and totara can be found throughout the country. In particular, try to visit the shop associated with the Matakohe Kauri Museum in Northland. On the west coast of the South Island, look for the House of Wood in Hokitika.
Hokitika is also the place to shop for New Zealand pounamu (jade), because it’s sourced from the local rivers. It has a special significance for New Zealand’s Maori people and master carvers work the stone to craft jewellery and beautiful ornaments.
Glass art has forged a strong culture in Nelson, where the Höglund art glass studio is based. You’ll also find art glass studios in Whanganui, Rotorua, Hokitika, Taupo and Geraldine.
More examples of Kiwi arts and crafts can be found in our souvenir shops, sprinkled through the country, and at local markets. The markets are a treasure trove for art-lovers.
If you’re in New Zealand long enough to tune into the culture, you’ll find out about ‘kiwiana’ – everyday icons that have become part of who we are. Carry back a reminder of culture; there’s something for everyone!
New Zealand flavours
Our markets, supermarkets and specialty food shops are teeming with artisan products that beg to be tried. They also make perfect gifts for your food-loving friends back home. Infused avocado oils, herb mixes, food pastes, olive oil products … you’ll be spoilt for choice. Not to mention quirky sweet treats – chocolate fish or pineapple lumps, anyone? Also, keep an eye out for New Zealand manuka honey – it is known for its medicinal properties, particularly the brands that have a UMF (unique manuka factor) rating.
Take home some of our world-renowned wines, picked up around your travels to our wine regions or at dutyfree – a flavoursome reminder of your New Zealand holiday.
While you can shop for New Zealand designer clothes in many parts of the world, the experience is more satisfying down here. It is the home turf of labels such as Trelise Cooper, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, WORLD, NOM*d, Zambesi, Annah Stretton, Huffer and Ruby, just to name a few.
In the souvenir shops
Shops that are purpose-built for souvenir shopping often sell New Zealand-made products that you may not find in ordinary stores. Possum merino knitwear is an example. Created from the fur and wool of two introduced species that thrive in New Zealand (brushtail possums and merino sheep), possum-merino yarn is light, soft and very resilient. Take a look at Great Kiwi Yarns(opens in new window).
Souvenir shops also sell attractively packaged New Zealand-made beauty products that are world-renowned for the effectiveness of the indigenous ingredients they use. These products are popular buys for locals and travellers alike. Other items that you're likely to find in souvenir shops include sheepskin footwear, jewellery, clothing, napery, funny New Zealand-themed t-shirts ... the list is endless, and there is something to suit everyone's taste and budget!