2 August 2017
When travelling in New Zealand, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up something special to take home that is unique to an area. The beauty of buying a locally made product is often found in the stories behind them which can be quirky, interesting or simply amazing.
There are many places in New Zealand where not only you can pick up something special, but can discover the true origins of that product and experience how that product was made or grown. New Zealand offers unique story-telling experiences, including factory tours and specialised stores – sometimes run by the very same people who own them.
New Zealand is a small place with a big heart which is clearly apparent in the locals who are passionate about the products they produce. Don’t be surprised if they fill you in on the stories behind their region and their products. New Zealanders are clever people known for our creativity and ingenuity, but we are also known for our friendless and hospitality.
A great place to discover authentic New Zealand Made jewellery and souvenirs is Paua World in Carterton, Wairarapa. Not only a retail store, Paua World is a full experience of New Zealand’s unique shell, where you can learn about the life of Paua through a short film and witness the factory in action, seeing the paua being shaped and polished. There is also a playground outside - a bonus if you are travelling with kids.
You’ll learn Paua isn’t just a pretty shell for jewellery and souvenirs as Maori used the shell for tools, it’s an important fisheries resource for traditional Kiwi fare such as Paua fritters and it’s also used in New Zealand art. Paua remains an important aspect of New Zealand culture.
Another way to experience New Zealand Made and become enlightened on a product’s story is by visiting local markets. Find out when the next ones are on in the area where you are visiting and pop down and meet some of the local craftspeople for a truly unique experience.