I had been searching during my NZ trip to find the best price on a jade twist pendant. I found a pretty good price for it here in Hokitika at the Jade Factory. And the factory definitely had one of the best selections of different pieces that I saw. If you are in Hokitika and need to do some shopping, make sure you stop by. You can't miss it because the entire building is painted green. There are many pendants of traditional Maori symbols, like the twist I got that symbolizes and bond of friendship and two lives becoming one for all eternity.
I was also just checking out their website and they have a nice selection of pieces there, if you get home from your trip and realize you've forgotten a souvenir for someone!
It was also an interesting place because you could see into the workroom where there was a guy carving the jade. If you are an artist, you could also carve your own jade, but I knew I wouldn't come out with anything pretty if I tried to carve my own!
What to buy: The shop has jade, bone and paua shell carved and made in to a variery of beautiful pieces.
What to pay: There are things less than $10 up to thousands... I spent NZ$70 (about US$45) for my small jade pendant.
I found this shop rather interesting, because for a small town, I wasn't expecting such high quality (but this would be the case with so many artisan galleries/shops in town, as the artists have come here to live). Also, blue pearls are very rare indeed, and I didn't see them many places apart from here. The carved jade jewellery was also of very good quality.
What to buy: Jade carvings, local crafts - vessels made of wood, ceramic and many other crafts I rarely found (if at all) elsewhere in NZ.
What to pay: For a jade necklace on string, about 2.5-3 cms long without too much detail, you should be able to get something for between $60 and $85. The more detail the work, the greater the price increases.
There are many jade shops in hokitika and we found some of the nicest designs and good quality here. Be sure to shop around a little bit before making a purchase. Throughout all of our travels on the south and north island jade was the cheapest here. The story with Jade in New Zealand is that it has to be bought for you from someone else and you can never take it off. Candace splashed out on a beautiful design for me that means new beginnings. Not sure what I will be newly beginning but wish me luck.
What to buy: jade and bone necklaces
What to pay: Jade is pricey--a small pendant can be about 70-100 nz buckaroos.
This place is a must visit in Hokitika. Unlike many craft shops this place has an eclectic mix of beautiful items - many of which could take place in a mdern art gallery. The shop is located not too far from the Clock Tower - around the corner in Tancred St.
What to buy: The works using local native wood are excellent (not sure about getting some of these things through your own country's Ag & Fish) as are the pottery items.
What to pay: As much as you want. Some of the fancier items have hefty price tags!
I didn't buy my Pounamu in Hokitika but it was made by a Hokitika carver.
There are a few shops in the town but I bought some earrings for my sister from the Mâori Heritage Centre.
What to buy: Nephrite Jade, New Zealand Greenstone or Pounamu - all names for a beautiful stone; mainly shades of green but it also is found in other colours from almost black, pearly grey, reddish brown through to speckles of yellow.
Pounamu is carved into many different shapes the most popular being traditional Mâori designs.
This link shows some of the range of pieces, meanings of the shapes and prices.
What to pay: I chose a triple twist which is obviously more expensive than a double ~ $250 NZ
The shop features an area where the art of glass blowing/design is displayed.
What to buy: This is a local craft and beautiful pieces range from souvenir nick nacks to large home design items.
I bought a little hand crafted Penguin.
Check the link below for a list of items available and their prices.
What to pay: My little penguin cost me ~ $45 NZ
New World Supermarket can be found in this little town of Hokitika.
You could buy all your food supplies before heading to Franz Joesf or Fox Glacier.
This is a huge supermarket and you could find almost everything here.
Look out for their weekly discounts.