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.


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.


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.