Better Than a Plastic Tiki
Hmmm, what to buy when you want a New Zealand souvenir that's not a tacky plastic tiki or kiwi-shaped ashtray? That’s when you head to Pauanesia (pron. Pah-wah-nesia). Named after the Maori word for abalone, this High St. Auckland store has unique and interesting gifts. From authentic pounamu (greenstone) pendants that you traditionally gift to friends (never buy one for yourself) through to tea towels with 1970s motifs on them, you can be sure no one else will have what you’ve brought when you get back home.
By Guy Needham, AFAR Local Expert
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If you only visit one store for a souvenir, make it this unique gift shop filled with a treasure trove of antipodean objects. Rather than hokey T-shirts and cheap magnets, you'll find colorful textiles and knitwear, modern jewelry with Maori motifs and retro-print tea towels—the staple souvenir and hostess gift of Kiwis. The shop's highlight is the exclusive collection of stuffed (but not real) native birds: kiwi, kakapo and other winged animals made from recycled New Zealand wool blankets and fabrics.
By Meg Nesterov, AFAR Local Expert