The West Coast


Now on to my own home region – The West Coast of the South Island.

Reefton Broadway 003

This is the region I was born in – it is the place I will always call home regardless of where I live or travel. To me it is the most beautiful and precious part of the country – but I will admit to being biased!

The West Coast, or ‘The Coast’ as locals call it, is an untamed natural wilderness of rivers and native rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures.
It’s a great place to explore by either car or motorbike because this region is 600km long and there’s a lot to see. In fact, the Great Coast Road stretching from Westport to Greymouth was recently voted one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet.

Meet the ‘coasters’ as the locals are known and you’ll find a bunch of independent, self-reliant but hugely friendly and hospitable people. Sit down and have a beer with them and they’ll regale you with west coast stories.
I was born in the small West Coast town of Reefton. A character gold mining town that was the first to have electric lighting.
In August 1888 Reefton became the first place in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere to have a public supply of electricity, even before the fashionable suburbs of London and New York!

Reefton, the West Coast’s only inland town located among the spectacular Paparoa and Victoria ranges on the Lewis Pass road near Victoria Conservation Park (New Zealand’s largest), is a sleepy idyllic place to visit.

Now a curious mix of old and new, it’s still a preserve of historic charm as many of the heritage buildings have been restored and offer an insight to the past.
I love to relax as I stroll down the main street wandering in and out of shops that have purposely kept their early 1900’s feel, there are art galleries, antique stores, a whiskey distillery, and dining in Reefton too.

New Zealand Labour Day

Labour Day New Zealand
Image by gonta65 from Pixabay

In 66 countries, the contributions of workers are honoured on Labour Day. In New Zealand, Labour Day is marked on the fourth Monday of October.

Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.

Early Labour Day parades drew huge crowds in places such as Palmerston North and Napier as well as in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Unionists and supporters marched behind colourful banners and ornate floats, and the parades were followed by popular picnics and sports events.

However by the 1920s Labour Day had begun to decline as a public spectacle. For most New Zealanders it is now an opportunity to have an extra day of rest from work — and a three-day weekend for picnics and other activities.

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park
Image by Ricardo Helass from Pixabay

Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park – but it’s perfectly formed for relaxation and adventure.

Whilst summer is a popular time to visit, locals believe that the shoulder seasons are actually the best time to explore the park, as crisp mornings, calm waters and quiet beaches allow you to truly enjoy the peace and serenity.

Those who crave home comforts can stay in luxurious lodges, but for me personally sleeping under the stars in our small tent after riding around the region on our motorbike is the ultimate way to experience the spirit of the Abel Tasman.

Here, inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line. Crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean. Granite and marble formations fringe the headlands, which are cloaked in regenerating native forest.

Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest; shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner; fur seals lounge on the rocks.

And this is why it is the piece of Ariki New Zealand Jewellery which reminds me of this idyllic location and its beautiful birdlife is:

Hummingbird Pendant

GP579/PO579   Hummingbird Pendant This sweet little bird of joy is ever so dainty and beautiful. The hummingbird symbolises great courage and determination – to see one fly through the air and balance gracefully while it drinks from the nectar of a flower is truly captivating. Our dainty and sweet piece of fine jewellery captures this elegance and grace beautifully.

Nelson – South Island of New Zealand

As you will no doubt be aware now I am very passionate about the Island Nation I call home.

New Zealand or land of the long white cloud as it is affectionately known. Or Aotearoa the name our native New Zealand people the Māori call it.

I have been told that New Zealand has a small piece of other parts of the world – and to come to New Zealand means that you get to see all these vistas condensed into the North and South Island.

My “journey” of sharing these places with you now moves onto the South Island – of course I have already told you about our “home region” Marlborough and Picton.

Nelson

But “just over the hill” from us here in Marlborough one and a half hours drive will bring you to sunny Nelson.

The Nelson region is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, with diverse geography capturing everything from long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains. It has stunningly beautiful long hot summers so you always have the chance to experience these landscapes.

Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson Tasman has long been a magnet for creative people. With one of the largest numbers of working artists and galleries in the country, you’ll find an array of craftspeople living in the region; traditional, contemporary and Māori.

I love to spend time in Nelson, visiting their studios, exploring the weekend craft markets, or tasting the delicious locally made artisan products and find something extraordinary to take home with me.

Nelson is surrounded by mountains on three sides with Tasman Bay on the other and the region is the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, Kahurangi National Park, Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

And it is the Abel Tasman National park which I will tell you about next.

Turkey – Republic Day. Cumhuriyet Bayrami.

Bogazdacumhuriyet2007

Republic Day marks the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. After Turkey’s victory in the War of Independence (1919-1923), the Turkish parliament proclaimed the new Turkish state as a republic. A new constitution, which the parliament adopted on October 29, 1923,

Many people in Turkey celebrate Republic Day on October 29 by attending performances and participating in traditional processions with flags and musical bands. The Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk proclaimed Republic Day as Turkey’s most important holiday.

The largest celebrations take place on this day, with Turkish flags and photos of Atatürk becoming a ubiquitous sight all over the country as well as the famous fireworks over Istanbul reflecting off the surface of the Bosphorus.

Istanbul is a place for lovers. It has even been called ‘The City of Desire‘due to its mystique, its temper and even its climate. Or take Turkish poetry, which (much like Persian poetry) often revolves around the theme of love – sometimes mutual, at other times hopeless, but always passionate.

The Bosphorus, as waterways usually are, is considered one of the most romantic places in Istanbul. Lovers like to take walks along certain parts of it and gaze together over the water. Many proposals were made right there, on the shore.

Many people choose to propose to their loved one at the time these famous fireworks are set off.

I am sure that you would agree that there would be a particular piece of quality handcrafted Ariki New Zealand Jewellery which would be perfect to gift to someone in one of these countries to commemorate such a special occasion.

Each and every piece would be treasured forever. Iridescent abalone (or Paua as we call it in New Zealand) sea shell flatters warm and cool skin tones alike. They change colour every time they are viewed in a different light which is certainly part of their charm.

The rich cultural and spiritual significance of Paua Shell makes it a conversation starter all over the world.

Wellington

Wellington Cable Car
Image by Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay

Nestled between the fertile rural heartland of New Zealand’s North Island, and the bountiful waters of Cook Strait, this harbour city is the country’s capital.

Surrounded by nature and fuelled by creative energy, Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. It encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname “Windy Wellington.”

I love this city, it has an energy all of its own and the sometimes blustery windy days just add to this bustling energy!

I love to spend time down at the waterfront, – it is such an inspiring place to be. I often visit Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world. Or simply sitting in the sunshine and feeling the breeze on my face while I watch the world go by. There is often live entertainment, lovely cafés and always a stream of people making the most of the beautiful city.

Here I am reminded of:

SP1        Breeze Pendant – Sterling Silver              

Breeze Pendant - Sterling Silver SP1

The feel of a cool refreshing breeze on your face on a warm summer’s day is captured by our stunning Breeze pendant. The silver lines ebb and flow along the gorgeous Paua Shell cabochon smoothly and gently just as a light breeze moves the long grasses along the water’s edge.

Rotorua

Maori Paua Shell
Image by falco from Pixabay

Rotorua, a town set on its namesake lake on New Zealand’s North Island, is renowned for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs perfect for bathing and relaxing in, as well as showcasing our fascinating native New Zealand people the Māori culture.

Steeped in cultural history, Rotorua is the home of ‘Māoridom’ where you can experience all aspects of the amazing culture of our native New Zealand people. . Here my experiences have ranged from being fully immersed and mesmerised by cultural performances to eating a beautiful sumptuous hangi (traditional Māori meal) straight out of the steaming ground, there is always something to suit everyone

I am constantly amazed by famous geographical structures and buildings which have been in existence for hundreds of years.  And have enjoyed fast paced activities such as stunning informative walking tracks, to more relaxed spiritual journeys and cultural tours Rotorua has it all.

To honour this unique and spiritual city I have chosen a very unique and special piece of Ariki New Zealand Jewellery.

Triple Twist Greenstone Jade - Freeform Pendant - New Zealand Jewellery

The ZGP06 Triple Twist Greenstone Jade – Freeform Pendant for Māori, the native New Zealand people this triple twist symbol is also an eternity symbol. The triple twist refers to the bond between peoples, communities, or cultures rather than individuals. Traditionally given as an offering of friendship between different tribes. The shape represents loyalty and friendship that stays strong through the many challenges of life. It is inspired by the symbols of life and growth

Lake Taupō

The beautiful Lake Taupō is about the size of Singapore – more of an inland sea really.

Taupō is centrally located in the middle of the North Island, approximately 3 1/2 hours’ drive from Auckland and 4 1/2 hours’ drive from Wellington.

According to Māori legend, the lake is the pulsating heart of Maui’s fish (New Zealand’s North Island).

As you travel around the lake, you will find every landscape you can imagine. Snow-blanketed winter ski fields and alpine deserts. Ancient forests alive with birdsong. Trout-filled rivers and the thundering Huka Falls. Steaming geothermal valleys with rejuvenating hot springs. Three towering volcanoes in the awesome and otherworldly landscape of Tongariro National Park.

It certainly is an absolutely amazing place to visit and one of my favourite areas in the North Island.

It reminds me of GP719/PO719 Reflection Brooch

Paua Reflection Brooch - Ariki New Zealand Jewellery

The mirror image panels on our reflection brooch symbolises lakes, ponds and waterways within New Zealand, which provide awe-inspiring places of personal reflection. They are often still enough to perfectly reflect the stunning surrounding mountain ranges, endless blue skies and lush, green native bush. These colours are echoed in the beautiful Paua Shell Cabochon which adorns it.

Waitomo Caves

*Cave entrance, en:Waitomo District (6 February 2005), The North Island, New Zealand. *Photograph by James Shook.

Next on my whirlwind “trip” around the North Island of New Zealand is Waitomo Caves.

Discover a place where time and space stand still.

A true measure and timeless secret of Aotearoa, 30 million years in the making.

Here in the heart of New Zealand, moments of real magic, wonder and adventure exist both above and below ground.

Here you can marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glow-worm Grotto. Experience the serene ambience as you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights. The glow-worm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) is unique to New Zealand, making the Waitomo Glow-worm Caves an absolutely awesome place to visit. Here we can see thousands of these tiny creatures as they radiate their unmistakable luminescent light in a subterranean world.

They remind me of stars twinkling in the blackest of night skies and this is the best way to describe them – just like our

Paua Star Stud Earrings - Ariki New Zealand Jewellery

Star Stud Earrings

Like the twinkling stars of the night sky these wee star stud earrings are sure to sparkle and shimmer when worn. A treasure to behold.

Tane Mahuta

Tāne Mahuta: separator of heaven and earth

Tane Mahuta
By W. Bulach – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64587917

Tāne Mahuta, one of the oldest and largest trees in the world at 51m high and with a girth of 13.8 metres, stands in the great Waipoua kauri forest that is home to 75% of New Zealand’s mighty kauri trees.

Waipoua forest is in the Hokianga region on Northland’s west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years. It is the largest kauri known to stand today and is named by the native New Zealand people the Māori god of forests and of birds, Tāne.

I have a special affinity with trees I see them as a beautiful living breathing element of our earth which provide so much for us.
And being up close to ‘The lord of the forest’, a sacred Māori site, is a powerful experience, you can’t help but feel moved – and incredibly small.

This unique and precious taonga or treasure is just so much like our beloved Paua Shell but one special piece of Ariki New Zealand jewellery in particular reminds me of all trees and Tāne Mahuta in particular.

Leaf Earrings

Trees with their whispering leaves are at the heart of Mother Nature…they remind us of all that is simple and pure in the world. Our beautiful Leaf jewellery symbolises this special bond we have with these trees.

Paua Leaf Earrings - Ariki New Zealand Jewellery