From beautiful artefacts to iconic cultural relics to other kitschy items your friends might wish for, we have listed down the most popular souvenirs in New Zealand you can take home.
13 Best Souvenirs in New Zealand for your Friends and Family:
1. Wooden Buzzy Bee Toy:
As much kiddish as it may sound, this buzzy bee toy is one of the traditional souvenirs in New Zealand. The wooden pull along toy is a favourite among kiwi kids, adults and travellers alike. It is beautifully crafted with rotating wings which make a clicking sound when pulled. It can be found in almost any souvenir or toy shop in New Zealand.
2. Merino Wool:
New Zealand's merino wool is famous all around the globe thanks to its exceptional quality, warmth, softness and comfortability. It is so soft that it is often compared to luxury wool-cashmere. It is used in different kinds of clothing like jumpers, scarves and beanies. You can find these woollen items in any clothing store or souvenir shop easily.
3. Whittaker's Chocolate:
Whittaker's Chocolate is a premium chocolate brand in New Zealand and the second largest only after Cadbury. A classic kiwi thing, it is immensely popular locally because of their importance given to high-quality cocoa beans and controlled processing resulting in the mouth-watering chocolate. Begin with the "Minimix" packet and enjoy all the flavours.
4. Pounamu/Jade Necklaces:
A symbolic Maori jewellery item, jade necklaces can be found in every corner of New Zealand. According to tradition, you are supposed to buy jade necklaces as a gift for someone and not for yourself. These stones have carvings which have a certain meaning and are often family heirlooms. Puawai Jade in Rotorua is a popular souvenir shop where you can buy these necklaces.
5. New Zealand Wine:
A great gift for wine connoisseurs, New Zealand's wine is considered one of the finest, high-quality wine, this makes for one of the best souvenirs in New Zealand. With an abundance of quality vineyards like Marlborough, New Zealand has become one of the leading wine producers in the world. Having many varieties, the most famous ones are Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. You can buy wine from liquor stores or local supermarkets but what will be more fun is a trip to the local vineyards.
6. Kiwi Soft Toy:
Another toy on the list! Spotting a kiwi bird in wildlife may be hard but you will spot plenty of soft toy kiwis, almost in every souvenir shop. A favourite of kids and adults both, the plush toy is quite popular given that kiwi is New Zealand's national bird. Not only kiwis but sheep plush toys are also very popular as a souvenir.
7. Lord of the Rings Memorabilia:
New Zealand for the Lord of the Rings fans is Middle Earth and not the country. Although available all around the world, the merch here is the best and most authentic. Get your friends merchandise made by the same people who produced the props for the actual LOTR set! An awesome place to buy this stuff is the Weta Cave in Wellington.
8. Manuka Honey:
Known for its natural antibacterial qualities, Manuka Honey is produced by bees foraging on the manuka flowers. It is famous all over the world, primarily for its medicinal properties, and is very costly and hard to find too. Therefore it will make a wonderful gift for your loved ones. Readily available in all supermarkets in New Zealand, it is affordable as well, making it the perfect souvenir from New Zealand.
9. Maori Art:
If you want to get something more traditional or cultural, go for Maori art and sculptures. Wood carving is a classic feature of Maori tradition and souvenir buyers must always look out for wooden sculptures. These sculptures are carved beautifully with designs and print inspired by Maori art. The culture is native to the country and will make a perfect souvenir from New Zealand. Some amazing pieces will be available at the Art Galleries and Museums across New Zealand. You can find them at local art shops too.
Postcards are something you can find easily and at very economical prices. If you are a backpacker, postcards are an ideal souvenir in New Zealand. You might buy costly and lavish looking souvenirs but according to me the best souvenirs for yourself are postcards. It is a visual reminder of the place you've been to, and by writing your favourite memory on it makes it even more special. You can buy it from any souvenir shop at reasonable prices.
11. All Blacks Jersey:
New Zealand's legendary black rugby t-shirt is recognisable all over the world. Gift this to your sports enthusiast friends and watch them squeal with joy. You can buy these jerseys at any sports shop across New Zealand, a famous one being Champions of the World in Queen's Street, Auckland.
12. Lemon and Paeroa:
Also known as L&P, it is a sweet soft drink manufactured by combining lemon juice with carbonated water. It is very famous throughout New Zealand and can be purchased at any food outlet. You can also visit the tourist attraction in Paeroa, the place where Lemon and Paeroa was born, and witness the giant Lemon and Paeroa bottle and learn about the development of the drink.
12. Woven Flax Kete:
This "kete" or basket is about the size of a tote bag and is made up of New Zealand flax leaves. These leaves are very strong and durable and are also used in making floor mats. Maori weaving is an age-old tradition of New Zealand which makes it an excellent souvenir. Patterns woven on the baskets are Maori designs or are special symbols passed down through generations.
Looking at these souvenirs in New Zealand, you will always remember the beautiful times you spent in Kiwi country. Capture those moments and keep them alive with yourself forever.