The nation of New Zealand consists of a stunningly beautiful north and south island. This South Pacific island nation is known the world over for its remarkable beauty, which includes rugged and towering mountains, lush rolling hills, mammoth glaciers, volcanic crater lakes and sweeping beaches. The landscape in New Zealand is so picturesque that all three The Lord of the Rings movies, as well as The Hobbit, were filmed here by New Zealand native and director Peter Jackson, so The Lord of the Rings souvenirs from New Zealand are as abundant as the country’s natural beauty. You can even find the One Ring to rule them all.
New Zealand is also famous for its world-class national rugby team, the All Blacks. In fact, rugby is the country’s national sport, and its national team won the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and 2015, so New Zealand souvenirs of the rugby variety are not hard to find.
Furthermore, the culture of New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori, is sacrosanct. Visitors to New Zealand are fortunate in that they can tour authentic Maori villages, where they can not only experience the traditional Maori way of living but find a culturally significant souvenir from New Zealand, including Maori art, clothing and jade jewellery.
And because sheep vastly outnumber people in New Zealand, the country is brimming with products made of wool. Merino wool, in particular, is extremely popular here, and apparel made from this famously soft and warm wool includes sweaters, scarves, shirts, leggings, vests, hats, blankets and just about anything else you can wear or wrap around yourself.
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The Lord of the Rings Souvenirs
Are you a The Lord of the Rings superfan? If so, you can take your fandom further than just a “Frodo lives” bumper sticker while visiting Middle Earth, aka New Zealand. Although you can visit Bag End, you can’t move into Bilbo and Frodo’s Hobbit hole; however, you can take a piece of The Lord of the Rings trilogy back to your own home via an authentic souvenir.
You will have no trouble finding The Lord of the Rings mementoes in most places in New Zealand, but if you want a shop for all things Rings, check out the Nomad Safaris Lord of the Rings Store in Queenstown, which is a “Hobbit hole of gifts, souvenirs and costumes” related to Lord of the Rings. The store stocks collectables by WETA, the workshop behind the movies, replica swords, The Lord of the Rings film location guidebooks, masks and jewellery, including the One Ring.
You can also schedule a Lord of the Rings tour with Nomad Safaris, including a 4WD tour that takes you to film locations from the trilogy. You can also go straight to the source and find your perfect piece of the Lord of the Rings at the WETA Cave Gift Shop in Wellington, such as a prop from the movie, a T-shirt and much more. If visiting the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata, you can find even more Lord of the Rings souvenirs at the Shire Store, including Tolkien books, exclusive branded clothing, WETA collectables and exclusive Hobbit Southfarthing beverages.
All Blacks Rugby Gear
The New Zealand National Rugby Union Team, otherwise known as the All Blacks, is the pride of the nation. However, you don’t have to be a Kiwi to support the team. Fortunately, there’s an official All Blacks store right in the Auckland Airport, where you will find team jerseys, scarves, T-shirts, hats, polo shirts, travel pillows, Teddy bears, pens, shot glasses, coffee mugs, decals, umbrellas, bottle openers and much more. There is also an official All Blacks store at the Christchurch Airport.
Wellington Saints or Auckland Huskies Wear
If rugby isn’t your game, you’ll be glad to know that New Zealand has a very popular semi-professional National Basketball League. Its current champions are the Wellington Saints, who also have the most league titles. You can support the blue with a team jersey, T-shirt, hat, hoodie or even personalized cell phone case. If your allegiance lies more with Auckland, you can join the pack and don the purple, violet and green of the Huskies. Fan gear includes jerseys, hats, hoodies, T-shirts, beanies, polo shirts and much more. Other teams in the New Zealand National Basketball League include the Otago Nuggets, Manawatu Jets, Taranaki Mountaineers, Franklin Bulls, Canterbury Rams, Hawke’s Bay Hawks, Southland Sharks and Nelson Giants, all of which sell fan gear.
The Maori, a Polynesian people, have been inhabiting New Zealand for about 800 years, and their culture has survived throughout the centuries, a culture they proudly share with visitors. Some of the most relevant souvenirs from New Zealand are Maori artefacts, including traditional Maori art, such as carvings, paintings, drawings, prints and weaves; Maori jewellery, including bone and pearl shell carving earrings, tiki necklaces and pendants, known as nga taonga; traditional Maori music, or puoro Maori, including acapella and guitar and ukulele; and Maori clothing, such as the flax piupiu skirt, or dance kilt, which is worn by men, women and children.
When travelling around New Zealand, you will definitely see greenstone jewellery everywhere. This is pounamu, a hard and durable stone found on the South Island that is sacred to the Maori. In fact, pounamu carvings are very important in Maori culture and it is considered a treasure with spiritual significance. There are several types of pounamu, but the most popular is nephrite jade. Today, pounamu is largely used in jewellery and is frequently given to visitors as a gift and as a symbol of peace. However, the Maori believe it is bad luck to buy pounamu for oneself, so if you believe in mana, have someone buy it for you. If walking on the beach on New Zealand’s South Island you might even find a piece of pounamu in the sand, but keep in mind that pounamu is protected by law and it is illegal to take it if found anywhere but the beach. But you, or a companion, can buy it at a number of shops throughout the country. Popular pounamu jewellery includes necklaces, pendants and rings, and can be found in colours ranging from cloudy light green to deep emerald, and every shade of green in between. Pounamu jewellery is usually carved into traditional Maori symbols, often representing aspects of the natural world.
According to Stats NZ, there are approximately 5 million people and 60 million sheep in New Zealand, meaning there is more than enough wool to go around for every resident of and visitor to the country. The New Zealand environment is ideal for raising Merino sheep, which produce world-famous Merino wool. This top-of-the-line wool traps heat as well as efficiently regulates a person’s body temperature. One of the best stores in New Zealand to find Merino wool products is Untouched World, which has outlets in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Untouched World sells ethical and organic Merino wool clothing and accessories, such as fully lined coats, scarves, sweaters and much more.
New Zealand Wine
New Zealand is home to more than 10 wine regions, each of which has unique soil and ideal climatic conditions for growing grapes. In fact, New Zealand is one of the top wine-producing nations on Earth and is world-renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and more. Additionally, the country boasts approximately 500 wineries. According to Wine Direct, some of New Zealand’s finest wines include Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV, Clearview Estate Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2018, Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018, Tohu Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Prophet’s Rock Central Otago Pinot Gris 2018.
Kiwi Craft Beer
Do you prefer beer over wine? Have no fear, despite the fact that New Zealand is a world-class wine-making country, it also boasts a plethora of craft beers. In fact, beer is still the most popular alcoholic drink in the country, and New Zealand has more breweries per capita than Great Britain, Australia and the United States. Some of the best and most quaffed New Zealand craft beers include Panhead Supercharger, Garage Project Pernicious Weed, Deep Creek Misty Miyagi, Behemoth Lid Ripper, Tuatara Hazy Pale Ale and Funk Estate Jungle Boogie.
Manuka Honey is not only a tasty treat but has medicinal power as well. It is also believed that Manuka Honey can make one feel better both mentally and physically, as it promotes digestive health and is a great antioxidant. In fact, it is the first honey to be thoroughly researched and recognized by scientists and medical professionals for its outstanding natural wellbeing properties and historically has been used to heal wounds, soothe sore treats and even prevent tooth decay. Manuka Honey goes well with coffee, tea, cereal, yoghurt, smoothies, on a piece of toast or just right off the spoon. Because Manuka Honey is so wildly popular in New Zealand, you will have no trouble finding it wherever you go on the North or South Island.
This colourfully painted wooden bee won’t produce any Manuka Honey, but no man, woman or child can leave New Zealand without a Buzzy Bee. The Buzzy Bee has been one of New Zealand’s most beloved toys since the 1930s, and just about every Kiwi kid has one. They are made out of wood and even have wings that rotate and click when you pull it by its string. You can find these kitschy toys in just about any toy or souvenir store in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s national bird is the flightless Kiwi. You would have a tough time trying to take a live one home with you, but you can do the next best thing and take a toy Kiwi back home as a soft and plush souvenir from New Zealand. Furthermore, if you buy one from Kiwis for Kiwi, which is leading the mission to protect and save the endangered native Kiwi bird for future generations, you initiate a donation by their manufacturer and make a donation to the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre, where injured or sick kiwi are nursed back to health and where kiwi chicks are raised. When you press the stomach of these soft toys you will hear the authentic recorded sound of the Kiwi bird.
If Manuka Honey doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, try some Whittaker’s Chocolate, one of the most beloved brands in the country and one of the most popular souvenirs from New Zealand. This family-owned chocolatier has been making New Zealand’s favourite chocolate since 1896, using only the finest ingredients. Whittaker’s classics include Creamy Milk, Dark Ghana, Dark Block, Dark Cacao, Almond Gold, Dark Salted Caramel, Creamy Caramel, Coconut Block, Dark Almond, Peanut Butter, Ghana Peppermint, White Chocolate and Rum and Raisin. Whittaker’s Chocolate is so sacred to the Kiwis that you can find it in almost every store in the country.
New Zealand: The Real Middle Earth
This pictorial book by Andrew Fear features more than 100 awe-inspiring images of the country’s mind-blowing landscape in all its picturesque glory, which played an integral role in the mega award-winning Lord of the Rings film trilogy. New Zealand: The Real Middle Earth takes the reader on a photographic journey of the country’s most majestic locations that perfectly illustrate why it was the ideal place to film The Lord of the Rings. A copy of this book is the optimal New Zealand souvenir to help you remember your trip forever, one you will be constantly thumbing through in the comfort of your own home.