Although shopping in New Zealand is not as thrilling as Hong Kong or Singapore, there are still some areas in which New Zealand is the number one destination for. Bargains for clothes, electrical goods, and the like may not be as good as those for dairy produce and arts and crafts. Nevertheless, New Zealand does have some excellent choices of brand names that are simply irresistible.
Sheeps dominate more than 80 percent of New Zealand's entire population. Therefore, it is of no surprise that among the country's major buys are sheepskin and woolen products. The cheapest sheepskin clothing is found here and the color and variety of sheepskins make them ideal gifts or souvenirs.
Many shops stock a range of coats and jackets made from sheepskin, slinkskin, possum, deerskin, leather, and suede. Other items that are popular among tourists are the sheepskin rugs and car seat covers. Some retailers provide postal services where purchased items are packed and posted to the buyer's desired destination.
Woodcarvings and Handicrafts
The most traditional Maori area of New Zealand is the East Cape where you will be able to find authentic woodcarvings as souvenirs to take home with you. Maori woodcarvings are made from the highest quality wood and are carved intricately with classical Maori designs that symbolize their cultures, lifestyle and traditions.
In recent years, New Zealand has seen a boom in the sale of handicrafts by local craftsmen and craftswomen in situ and by local shops catering specifically to tourists. The most popular craft product is pottery, though patchwork, quilting, padded boxes, canework, handspun knitwear and weaving, woodcarving, Kauri woodware, wooden toys, bark pictures, paintings, glassware, and leatherware are among the enormous range of crafts available.
Similar to the Chinese jade is the greenstone found only on the west coast of the South Island. The stone is a distinctive Kiwi product and is normally made into jewelry, figurines, ornaments, and Maori tikis. Some factories in the west coast towns of Greymouth and Hokitika open their doors to welcome visitors to see the manufacturing of jades.
Greenstone or Pounamu was formed from thin slivers of the exotic rock, which lies deep below the earth's crust. Altered by heat and pressure during mountain-forming processes, these rocks were pushed to the surface in only a few isolated spots in the west of the South Island.
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