Gregory Bodnar© Gregory Bodnar
Gregory Bodnar

100 New Zealand Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family

© Gregory Bodnar

It’s Time to Redeem Yourself!

If you’ve left your friends and family for several months to do a working holiday in New Zealand then you can’t go home empty-handed, can you? Here is a mix of thoughtful gifts and fun stuff to bring home for your loved ones. Whether you’re looking for something ridiculously touristy or something that Kiwis consume regularly, then these New Zealand souvenirs are bound to put a smile on your friends’ and family’s faces. What’s more, these gifts encapsulate the essence of New Zealand, offering something special for everyone, from traditional and cultural treasures to innovative and eco-friendly finds. Whether it’s the tangible beauty of handcrafted items, the indulgence of local flavours, or the promise of adventure, each gift carries a piece of New Zealand’s heart and heritage.

Don’t get the right inspiration, then check out the 10 Fun Gifts to Bring Back from New Zealand or just go ahead and treat yourself instead with these 28 Travel Gifts for Any Backpacker.

1-10. Traditional Maori Artifacts and Crafts

Maori artisans draw inspiration from their natural surroundings and ancestral tales, infusing each creation with mana (spiritual power) and whakapapa (genealogy). The items listed in this section range from personal adornments to functional artworks, each embodying the values, traditions, and artistic excellence that have been passed down through generations. Owning or gifting one of these artefacts not only allows you to carry a piece of New Zealand’s heart but also helps preserve and celebrate the rich heritage of the Maori culture.

  1. Pounamu (Greenstone/Jade) Jewelry – Wear the essence of New Zealand with necklaces, pendants, and earrings made from greenstone.
  2. Bone Carvings – Adorn yourself with traditional Maori designs crafted into stunning bone jewellery.
  3. Wood Carvings – Decorate your space with Maori-inspired wall hangings and sculptures. (We’ve got much more on this below for you)
  4. Maori Patu (Weapon) – Own a piece of history with a replica of a traditional hand weapon, a symbol of strength and leadership.
  5. Tiki Ornaments – Bring home symbolic Tiki carvings that embody Maori mythology and protection.
  6. Koru Designs – Choose Koru jewelry or artwork, representing new beginnings and growth.
  7. Maori Woven Baskets – Carry a piece of Maori tradition with intricately woven flax kete bags.
  8. Maori Cloaks (Korowai) – Celebrate special occasions with a traditional Maori cloak, a masterpiece of craftsmanship.
  9. Harakeke (Flax) Products – Opt for practical beauty with mats and bookmarks made from New Zealand flax..
  10. Piupiu – Showcase Maori culture with a traditional skirt, an emblem of identity and dance.

Our favourite: Jade, otherwise known as greenstone or pounamu, necklaces are everywhere, EVERYWHERE! There is sure to be a Maori symbol carved from jade to match your special bond with the gift receiver. Traditionally, you are only supposed to buy a jade necklace with the intention of giving it as a gift. Not for yourself. For more information on picking the perfect jade necklace, check out The Greenstone Pendant Meanings. Did you know you can also find your own greenstone and carve it? See 10 Tips to Find Greenstone in Hokitika.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

11-20. Local Food and Beverages

Delve into the heart of New Zealand’s culinary landscape with a selection of local food and beverages that capture the unique flavours and traditions of this captivating country. From the world-renowned Manuka honey, known for its health benefits and distinctive taste, to the exquisite notes of New Zealand wine, each item offers a taste of New Zealand’s rich gastronomic heritage.

  1. Manuka Honey – It’s the ultimate New Zealand power food! Manuka honey is famous all over the world so no doubt your friends and family will have heard of it. Manuka honey is readily available all over New Zealand, even in supermarkets, whereas it’s quite hard to find in other countries. Therefore, this is an easy New Zealand souvenir for you to pick up.
  2. Pavlova Kit – Bring the joy of creating New Zealand’s beloved Pavlova dessert to your kitchen with a convenient kit form.
  3. New Zealand Wine – New Zealand is one of the world’s leading wine-producing countries, particularly famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. Bring your family a bottle or two of New Zealand’s finest wines. Popular wine regions are Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa.
  4. Kiwi Fruit Products – Enjoy the tangy sweetness of kiwi fruit through a delightful range of jams and chocolates.
  5. Whittaker’s Chocolate – Indulge in the premium quality and rich taste of Whittaker’s, a chocolate brand cherished across New Zealand.
  6. Marmite – Embark on a flavour adventure with Marmite, a yeast spread that divides taste buds and sparks conversation. We’re kidding, it tastes horrible! Make this your one Gag gift.
  7. Cheese – Savour the exquisite variety of cheeses, handcrafted with care from the freshest milk in local dairies.
  8. Craft Beer – On the subject of alcohol, New Zealand also produces a ton of craft beers. If you have a beer-drinker in your life – which, let’s be honest, who doesn’t? – then you need to get them some! Find out more in the 14 Drinks You Have to Try in New Zealand and 25 Awesome New Zealand Beers
  9. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Flavoring – Add a crunch to your desserts with Hokey Pokey, a beloved honeycomb toffee that’s a staple in New Zealand ice cream.
  10. Green-lipped Mussel Products – Explore the health benefits and distinctive taste of green-lipped mussel products, available in supplements and canned for your convenience.

Our favourite: Whittaker’s Chocolate is a brand from New Zealand, which you can tell your friends and family is a classic Kiwi item. Because it is chocolate, then who can complain?! The only problem here is choosing a flavour! For more food products in New Zealand, check out the 10 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand.

Gregory Bodnar© Gregory Bodnar

21-30.Apparel and Accessories

Discover a world of style and comfort with New Zealand’s unique selection of apparel and accessories, where traditional meets contemporary in the most exquisite way. From the iconic All Blacks rugby merchandise that captures the spirit of New Zealand’s beloved sport, to the unparalleled softness and warmth of Merino wool clothing, each item tells a story of innovation, tradition, and natural beauty. Embrace the outdoors with durable Swanndri bush shirts, step into the laid-back Kiwi lifestyle with classic Jandals, or adorn yourself with the iridescent allure of Paua shell jewellery. Whether you’re looking for a piece of New Zealand to wear or to share, you’ll find it in this diverse collection of apparel and accessories.

  1. All Blacks Rugby Merchandise – Show your support for the legendary All Blacks with official jerseys and balls, a must-have for rugby fans.
  2. Merino Wool Clothing – Experience the unparalleled comfort and warmth of Merino wool clothing, perfect for any climate.
  3. Swanndri Bush Shirts – Embrace the outdoors in style with Swanndri bush shirts, renowned for their durability and comfort.
  4. Jandals (NZ Sandals) – Step into the laid-back Kiwi lifestyle with Jandals, the quintessential New Zealand footwear.
  5. Paua Shell Jewellery – Adorn yourself with the iridescent beauty of Paua shell jewellery, capturing the ocean’s essence.
  6. Kiwi Bird T-Shirts – Wear a piece of New Zealand’s wildlife with fun and creative Kiwi bird t-shirt designs.
  7. Possum Wool Products – Enjoy the luxurious warmth of possum wool products, from gloves to hats, blending comfort with sustainability.
  8. Maori Patterned Clothing – Celebrate New Zealand’s rich cultural heritage with clothing featuring traditional Maori patterns.
  9. Sheepskin Rugs – Add a touch of cosy warmth to your home with soft and inviting sheepskin rugs.
  10. Kiwiana Hats or T-Shirt – So they didn’t get to go to New Zealand but your friends can feel like they have through wearing this T-shirt. Or get yourself a hat to shield your head from the sun in style with Kiwiana hats, adorned with iconic New Zealand symbols.

Our favourite: Give your granny some merino wool clothing to symbolise the obscene amount of sheep there are in New Zealand. On a more serious note, merino wool is notoriously soft and warm, used in all kinds of clothing from fashionable scarves to underlayers for outdoors enthusiasts. You can find merino wool garments in souvenir shops and most New Zealand-brand clothing stores.

Pixabay© Pixabay

31-40. Home Decor

Enhance your living space with a touch of New Zealand’s natural beauty and cultural richness through our curated selection of home decor. From striking Maori-inspired wood carvings to the serene landscapes captured in local artwork, each piece brings a piece of New Zealand’s soul into your home. Whether it’s the iridescent shimmer of Paua shell ornaments or the cozy warmth of sheepskin rugs, these items blend aesthetic appeal with the distinctive Kiwi spirit, making them perfect for those looking to infuse their surroundings with a unique and meaningful ambience.

  1. New Zealand Landscape Paintings – Immerse yourself in the breathtaking vistas of New Zealand with these stunning pieces of artwork, capturing the country’s diverse landscapes.
  2. Paua Shell Ornaments – Add a touch of the ocean’s magic to your home with ornaments made from the vibrant and iridescent Paua shell.
  3. Kiwi Bird Figurines – Celebrate New Zealand’s iconic bird with these charming figurines, available in various sizes to fit any space.
  4. Map of New Zealand Wall Art – Display your love for the country with decorative wall art featuring a detailed map of New Zealand, a stylish addition to any room.
  5. Maori Patterned Cushions – Infuse your living area with the rich cultural heritage of the Maori through these beautifully patterned cushions, offering both comfort and style.
  6. Kauri Wood Clocks – Keep time with these unique clocks made from Kauri wood, showcasing the distinct wood grain of one of New Zealand’s native trees.
  7. Glowworm Art – Bring the magical glow of Waitomo Caves into your home with art inspired by the enchanting light of glowworms.
  8. Weta Workshop Collectibles – Own a piece of cinematic history with collectibles from Weta Workshop, known for their work on blockbuster movies.
  9. Lord of the Rings Souvenirs – Relive the epic journeys of Middle-earth with souvenirs from the beloved Lord of the Rings film series, a must-have for fans.
  10. Hobbiton Keepsakes – Capture the whimsy and charm of Hobbiton with miniature hobbit home keepsakes, perfect for fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Our favourite: Paua shell ornaments captivate us with their mesmerising blend of colours, mirroring the vibrant beauty of New Zealand’s seas. Each piece is a unique testament to nature’s artistry, making them an all-time favourite.

 

100 New Zealand Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family© ATEED

41-50. Books, Music, and Media

Dive into the rich cultural tapestry of New Zealand through our selection of books, music, and media. This curated collection offers a unique blend of traditional Maori tunes, captivating local cinema, and literary treasures that provide deep insights into the nation’s heritage, landscapes, and contemporary creativity. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the sounds of Aotearoa, explore its cinematic wonders, or lose yourself in compelling narratives, this section brings the essence of New Zealand to you.

  1. Children’s Books – Share the magic of New Zealand with the younger generation through enchanting stories by NZ authors.
  2. NZ History Books – Delve into New Zealand’s past and understand the events that shaped this nation, from its Maori roots to modern day.
  3. Cookbooks – Bring the flavours of New Zealand into your kitchen with cookbooks featuring local recipes and culinary secrets.
  4. Maori Language Books – Embrace the Maori culture by learning Te Reo, an essential part of New Zealand’s heritage.
  5. Photography Books – Admire New Zealand’s stunning landscapes through photography books, capturing the country’s unparalleled natural beauty.
  6. Local Artist Albums – Support New Zealand music and discover the diverse sounds of local artists, from pop to traditional.
  7. Documentaries – Explore the rich wildlife and breathtaking nature of New Zealand through documentaries that bring its environmental wonders to life.
  8. Maori Music CDs – Experience the heart and soul of New Zealand through traditional Maori songs, a must-have for cultural enthusiasts.
  9. New Zealand Film DVDs – Dive into the rich storytelling of local cinema with a selection of New Zealand films, showcasing the country’s talent and landscapes.
  10. Travel Guides – Remember New Zealand’s hidden gems with travel guides that offer insider insights about the locations you have visited.

Our favourite: Cookbooks open a window to New Zealand’s culinary soul, offering a taste of the local cuisine right in your own kitchen. They’re our favourite because they not only teach us how to recreate the flavours of Aotearoa but also share the stories behind each dish, connecting us to the land and its culture.

100 New Zealand Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family© NZPocketGuide.com

51-60. Collectables and Miscellaneous

From limited edition stamps and coin sets celebrating Kiwi achievements to the soft embrace of Kiwi bird plush toys, each item in this eclectic mix offers a unique keepsake or gift idea. Whether you’re a collector, looking for a memento, or searching for that perfect, quirky gift, this section captures the spirit and diversity of New Zealand in a myriad of small, yet meaningful ways.

  1. New Zealand Stamps – Celebrate the rich history and natural beauty of New Zealand with a collection of stamps, a philatelist’s delight.
  2. Coin Sets – Own a piece of New Zealand’s heritage with commemorative coin sets, marking significant events and figures.
  3. Kiwi Bird Plush Toys – Cuddle up with a soft and adorable Kiwi bird plush toy, bringing a touch of New Zealand wildlife into your home.
  4. Lord of the Rings Memorabilia – Immerse yourself in the fantasy world of Middle-earth with collectibles from the iconic Lord of the Rings series, filmed across New Zealand’s breathtaking landscapes.
  5. Local Craft Beer Cans/Bottles – Sample the innovation of New Zealand’s craft beer scene with uniquely designed cans and bottles, perfect for collectors and enthusiasts.
  6. NZ-themed Keychains – Carry a little piece of New Zealand with you every day with keychains featuring iconic symbols and imagery.
  7. Postcards – Send or keep postcards adorned with beautiful landscapes, capturing the serene and majestic beauty of New Zealand.
  8. New Zealand Calendars – Plan your year alongside stunning scenic views of New Zealand, a monthly reminder of its diverse beauty.
  9. Tea Towels – Add a touch of Kiwiana to your kitchen with tea towels showcasing New Zealand’s unique designs and cultural icons.
  10. Fridge Magnets – Decorate your fridge with magnets bearing iconic New Zealand images, from majestic landscapes to cultural symbols, keeping memories of your travels alive.

Our favourite: Maybe you are never going home? Just send your family a scenic New Zealand postcard then they will understand why you have stayed. To make it extra special, send the postcard from Cape Reinga, the very north of the North Island, where the stamp used makes it a collectable.

100 New Zealand Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family© NZPocketGuide.com

61-80. Wellness, Personal Care and Beauty

From the healing properties of Manuka honey and the rejuvenating essence of thermal mud to eco-friendly skincare and innovative beauty solutions, this collection combines the best of New Zealand’s natural resources with traditional Maori knowledge and modern science. Whether you’re seeking holistic health remedies, indulgent skincare, or natural beauty enhancements, find your balance and revitalisation with products that embody New Zealand’s commitment to purity and sustainability.

  1. Natural Skincare Products – Indulge in Manuka honey-based skincare, renowned for its antibacterial and healing benefits, perfect for all skin types.
  2. Thermal Mud Products – Experience the detoxifying and rejuvenating properties of Rotorua’s famous thermal mud, a spa treatment staple.
  3. Essential Oils – Elevate your wellness routine with essential oils extracted from native New Zealand plants, offering therapeutic benefits.
  4. Herbal Supplements – Boost your health with supplements made from local ingredients, harnessing the power of New Zealand’s native flora.
  5. Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats – Practice yoga on mats adorned with Maori designs, combining sustainability with cultural appreciation.
  6. Active Wear – Stay comfortable and stylish in active wear made from Merino wool, offering natural breathability and temperature regulation.
  7. Massage Oils – Relax and rejuvenate with massage oils infused with native New Zealand scents, ideal for therapeutic and aromatherapy uses.
  8. Organic Teas – Sip on organic teas blended with native New Zealand ingredients, offering a unique taste and wellness benefits.
  9. Aromatherapy Products – Calm your mind with aromatherapy products featuring the soothing scent of New Zealand lavender.
  10. Spa and Wellness Kits – Treat yourself or a loved one to the healing waters of New Zealand’s natural hot springs with a spa kit.
  11. Kawakawa Balm – Benefit from the healing properties of Kawakawa balm, a traditional Maori remedy for a variety of skin conditions.
  12. Lanolin Cream – Moisturise and protect your skin with lanolin cream, a natural byproduct of New Zealand’s wool industry.
  13. Sea Salt Scrub – Exfoliate and revitalise your skin with a sea salt scrub, enriched with mineral-rich salts sourced from New Zealand waters.
  14. Rimu Oil – Nourish your skin with Rimu oil, known for its hydrating and rejuvenating properties, a secret from the New Zealand forests.
  15. Bee Venom Products – Discover the anti-aging secrets of bee venom products, utilising New Zealand’s pure bee venom to promote skin renewal.
  16. Thermal Water Spray – Hydrate and refresh your skin throughout the day with thermal water spray, sourced from New Zealand’s geothermal reserves.
  17. Natural Lip Balm – Keep your lips soft and moisturised with Manuka honey-infused lip balm, combining natural ingredients for superior care.
  18. Hair Care Products – Enhance your hair’s natural beauty with products containing native New Zealand ingredients, for healthy, vibrant locks.
  19. Facial Masks – Purify and nourish your skin with facial masks made from geothermal clay, drawing out impurities for a clearer complexion.
  20. Handmade Soaps – Cleanse and moisturise with handmade soaps, crafted using local botanicals that imbue your skin with nature’s best.

Our favourite: Kawakawa balm is our favourite for its incredible versatility and natural healing properties, derived from the Kawakawa plant, a traditional Maori herbal remedy. Its soothing effect on the skin makes it perfect for addressing a wide range of conditions, from dry skin and chapped lips to minor cuts and insect bites, embodying the essence of New Zealand’s native botanical wisdom.

100 New Zealand Souvenirs for Your Friends and Family© NZPocketGuide.com

81-90. The One Ring

Embark on a journey back to Middle-earth with our enchanting collection of Lord of the Rings souvenirs. Each item is a gateway to the epic landscapes and unforgettable adventures of Tolkien’s world, brought to life in the iconic film series filmed across New Zealand’s breathtaking vistas. From detailed collectibles to wearable art, these souvenirs are perfect for fans wishing to keep a piece of this cinematic masterpiece close to their hearts.

  1. LOTR One Ring Replica – Hold the power of Middle-earth with this exquisite replica of the One Ring, the centerpiece of the Lord of the Rings saga.
  2. Middle-earth Map – Explore the realms of Middle-earth with a beautifully detailed map, ideal for framing and display.
  3. Hobbit Feet Slippers – Step into the comfort of the Shire with these cozy Hobbit feet slippers, a whimsical addition to any wardrobe.
  4. Elven Leaf Brooch – Wear a piece of Elven magic with a replica of the leaf brooch worn by the members of the Fellowship.
  5. Gandalf’s Staff Replica – Command the wisdom and power of Gandalf with a meticulously crafted replica of his staff.
  6. Helm’s Deep Battle Set – Relive the epic Battle of Helm’s Deep with a detailed collectible set, featuring figures and scenery.
  7. Arwen’s Evenstar Pendant – Capture the eternal beauty of Arwen with the Evenstar pendant, a symbol of love and hope.
  8. Gollum Figurine – Bring home Gollum, one of Middle-earth’s most complex characters, with a lifelike figurine.
  9. Ent Treebeard Figurine – Stand tall with Treebeard, the ancient Ent, through a detailed figurine capturing his majestic presence.
  10. Fellowship Cloak – Cloak yourself in the mystery and adventure of the Fellowship with a replica of their iconic cloaks.

Our favourite: This is Middle-earth, right? Get your nerdy friend something made by the team who produced props for The Lord of the Rings. Weta Cave in Wellington has a whole bunch of cool and quirky stuff, which Jens Hansen Ringmakers in Nelson make the official One Rings!

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

91-100. New Zealand Gag Souvenirs

Dive into the playful side of Aotearoa with our collection of New Zealand gag souvenirs, perfect for sharing laughs and creating memories. From the quirky to the downright hilarious, these items capture New Zealand’s unique sense of humour and love for the whimsical. Whether you’re looking for a light-hearted gift or a fun way to remember your travels, these souvenirs promise to bring a smile to your face.

  1. Possum Nipple Warmers – Keep the chill at bay in the most unexpected way with these cheeky possum nipple warmers, a nod to New Zealand’s inventive spirit.
  2. Marmite – Love it or hate it, a jar of New Zealand’s Marmite is a must-have, perfect for daring your friends to try.
  3. Sheep’s Droppings Chocolate – Delight in the shock and laughter these realistically shaped chocolates bring, a sweet nod to New Zealand’s farming culture.
  4. “I Survived the Skywalk” T-Shirt – Commemorate your bravery with a T-shirt boasting your survival of Auckland’s famous Sky Tower walk.
  5. Kiwi Bird Poop Soap – Clean up with a laugh using Kiwi bird poop-shaped soap, surprisingly pleasant and a great conversation starter.
  6. Faux Sheepskin Flip-Flops – Experience the comfort and hilarity of walking on faux sheepskin with these unique flip-flops, a playful take on New Zealand’s sheep industry.
  7. Jandal Bottle Opener – Open your beverages in true Kiwi fashion with a bottle opener shaped like New Zealand’s beloved jandals.
  8. Haka Dance Instruction Kit – Bring the power and passion of the Maori haka dance into your home with this fun instruction kit, complete with a DVD and booklet.
  9. Giant Kiwi Bird Costume – Stand out in any crowd with a giant Kiwi bird costume, celebrating New Zealand’s iconic flightless bird.
  10. Bungy Jumping Certificate of Insanity – Prove your adventurous spirit (or question it) with a humorous certificate declaring your “insanity” for taking the leap.

Our favourite: Among these, the Possum Nipple Warmers take the prize for our favourite gag souvenir. They embody the quintessential Kiwi humour and offer a light-hearted take on New Zealand’s battle with the possum population. It’s a quirky, memorable gift that’s sure to spark laughter and conversations about your travels in New Zealand.

© New Zealand Souvenirs

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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