Pounamu/Greenstone

Image by Maraea from Pixabay

Pounamu is found in many places on the West Coast and is prized for its strength, durability and beauty. Used by the Māori for generations, it denotes great status. Its beauty is still well appreciated as it is found in many West Coast shops and galleries.

Please see my previous blogs regarding this precious Taonga or treasure and I am sure you will agree that it is surely something that would be treasured for a lifetime and beyond.

To me personally it is the quintessential symbol of the West Coast – the myriad of greens of the native rain forests – the swirling patterns of the cool clear rivers and the even coolness of the inclement climate experienced on “The Coast”.

Therefore the piece of Ariki New Zealand Jewellery which reminds me the most of my beloved West Coast is:

TRIPLE TWIST POLISHED PENDANT – POUNAMU GREENSTONE

“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.

Buy Jade Jewellery New Zealand

This unique and beautiful piece of genuine New Zealand Greenstone or Pounamu as the Māori people have named it, has been hand carved and then polished to a high shine finish and would most definitely be a prized treasure for anyone who may receive it.

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.