On our trip to the North Island of New Zealand, we purchased some great gifts and souvenirs unique to the island. New Zealand offers excellent cultural and traditional souvenirs as well as many locally sourced and produced gift ideas.
When I travel, I love to pick up personal gifts for my family members and special souvenirs for myself. Souvenirs are a great way to spark wonderful memories from holidays.
But buying souvenirs and gifts for our loved ones when we travel, can be both time consuming and difficult. How can we know exactly what to purchase for them? Will the recipient like the gift? Will I be able to bring it back home? How will I fit it in my luggage? These are all issues to consider when buying souvenirs and gifts. You also need to make sure you check with customs regulations and airline baggage/weight restrictions before bringing home gifts and souvenirs, as each country will differ.
Here is a list of the ultimate souvenirs and gifts to buy when traveling in New Zealand…
Jade, quite commonly also known as greenstone or pounamu, can be found everywhere in New Zealand, from duty free to souvenir shops to specialty Jade dealers. The gorgeous green gem is an ideal gift for loved ones. According to the Maori culture, these significant stones symbolise the special bond between the giver and receiver of the jewel. Therefore, traditionally you are only supposed to buy jade with the intention of giving it as a gift, and not buying for oneself!
We all know New Zealand is renowned for their sheep farming industry. Merino wool products are a great idea for gifts or souvenirs. As well as being notoriously soft and warm, wool is a sustainable, renewable lasting fibre. Merino wool garments can be found in souvenir shops and most New Zealand-brand clothing stores
New Zealand Wine
Both in the north and south islands of New Zealand, vineyards are plentiful. Each region has their own unique soil and climate conditions, with most producing on the East coast of the country. From the eminent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to the expressive fruit driven Pinot Noir predominantly grown in the cooler climate of the South Island, a visit to a New Zealand winery is a must!
Chocolate always makes a great gift idea, and the classic Kiwi brand Whittaker’s is the perfect choice. At the airport stock up on these bars of goodness, as there are always specials or deals on these chocolates. The only dilemma will be choosing a flavour!
Famous worldwide, Manuka Honey is the ultimate New Zealand super food! You can find Manuka Honey all over New Zealand, even in supermarkets. There are also many honey farms throughout New Zealand, where you can buy direct from the wholesaler and support the locals or alternatively pick one up from a Farmer’s Market. Manuka Honey skincare, healthcare, honey and an expansive range of other artisan honey products, make unique souvenir and gift ideas.
New Zealand Paua is another common material used for jewellery. This native specie found in the waters surrounding New Zealand, has an amazing multicoloured rainbow shell, with dominant blue and green shades. These shells are processed into beautiful jewellery and gifts.
Jade, bone and wood carved jewellery are distinctly traditional New Zealand gifts. Each particular carving represents individual traits and luck. Bone carvings are believed to have a special feel to them, blending with the owner’s body and over time taking on the owner’s spirit. The Bone Matau (Fish Hooks) represent prosperity, abundance, fertility and strength, and are considered lucky for those traveling over water.
Cosmetic Mud Products
Famous for the various natural thermal activity within New Zealand, the mud from these areas is rich in minerals. Thermal springs contain natural healing properties. With a huge selection of thermal mud products to purchase, soaps, lotions and creams are one of a kind gift ideas.
Kiwi Fruit Products
Though originating in China, New Zealand first planted the green tropical fruit at the turn of the century. It wasn’t until 1959 when the unpopular fruit then named the Chinese Gooseberry, was then renamed after the national bird of New Zealand, the Kiwi.
Nutritiously delicious and high in Vitamin C, kiwi fruit products to bring back home include dried kiwi, jams, spreads, juices, honey, skincare, and oils. Just remember to check with customs regulations before transporting products like these.
With these great gift ideas mentioned above, shopping in New Zealand for loved ones can be an exciting adventure incorporated into your schedule.
There’s no need to make it a chore and leave it for the last minute, resulting in the common fridge magnet and postcard.
Plan your trip when visiting New Zealand and your loved ones will not be disappointed with the thoughtful gifts and souvenirs you bring back for them.
Have you travelled to New Zealand? What unique souvenirs or gifts did you return home with?