Australian Icons: Sydney Opera House and Gum Leafs

Carrying on from my last blog – here are some more unique New Zealand Paua Shell Jewellery pieces in our range which honours our “closest neighbour” Australia.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House Pendant


The iconic Sydney Opera house sits as a focal point in the middle of Sydney City Harbour.
It was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20th October, 1973.

Architecture of the Sydney Opera house

There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent. The highest point of the Sydney Opera House is a towering 67 metres above sea level – equivalent to a 22 story building and has a total of 6223 square metres of glass so it obviously forms a very impressive vision over the harbour.

Badu Gili

In recent times the famously recognisable Opera House “sails” have provided the backdrop for fantastic light shows.
Sydney’s annual vivid festival event takes place over the course of three weeks in May and June fills the harbour with barges equipped with powerful projectors that use the buildings ringing the harbour (especially the iconic Sydney Opera House) as geometrically complex screens for projection-mapped lightshows, synchronised to music.

From July 2017 one particular show was launched: Badu Gili – meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the traditional owners of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal people – is a daily experience that explores ancient First Nations stories in a spectacular seven-minute projection, illuminating the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sail year-round at sunset and 7pm.

A celebration of the rich history and contemporary vibrancy of Australia’s First Nations culture, Badu Gili continues the traditions of Bennelong Point, formerly known as Tubowgule (‘where the knowledge waters meet’), a gathering place for community, ceremony and storytelling for thousands of years.

The Sydney Opera House Souvenir pendant

What better way to honour this iconic building than create our own wee masterpiece pendant. The Paua Shell cabochon sits perfectly in one of the buildings “sails” and shimmers and shines just like the amazing light shows.

Paua Sydney Opera House Pendant - Ariki New Zealand Jewellery

Gum leaf Earrings


Our cute unique Gum Leaf earrings are stylised on the leaf of the Eucalyptus tree native to Australia.
The native Australian people – the Aboriginal traditionally used the gum-leaf as a musical instrument. As the name suggests, the tree leaf was held against the lips and blown. Originally intended to imitate bird-calls, the gum-leaf can also be used to play tunes.

Meaning of the eucalyptus tree

The eucalyptus tree on which the gum leaf grows is a holy tree for the Aboriginals. For them it represents the division of underworld, Earth and heaven. They believe that at a spiritual level the eucalyptus has a purifying effect. Negative energy disappears in the place where you burn a eucalyptus leaf.

Reassurance for Aussies

If there is one iconic symbol reassuring true-blue Aussies (Australian people) they have arrived home from their global travels, it is the Eucalyptus or Gum Tree. It is said that returning soldiers from the wars could smell the distinctively homely scent of the gum tree before hitting land. It has been a muse for many artistic people throughout history, painting picturesque scenes of Australiana using different mediums such as painting, song writing, and poetry. Towering over the Australian bush-land there are more than 700 hundred species with the majority being Australian native.

Gum leaf Paua earrings

Our striking Gum leaf earrings with their stunning Paua Shell Cabochons have a traditional timeless elegance all of their own.