So you’re looking for a unique, memorable relic that aptly represents your travel experience. If Queenstown is your shopping destination of choice, you’re going to be in for a treat. Whether you’ve got money to splurge on New Zealand artworks, or you’re looking for a modest, locally-made souvenir, here are 8 places to put on your radar.
Vesta Design Store is a historic institution in every sense. Established in 1999, the gift shop is set on Queenstown’s oldest house, known as Williams Cottage, right on the edge of the glorious Lake Wakatipu. Everything in store is proudly 100% New Zealand made, including its remarkable collection of artworks, photography, jewellery, ceramics and interior design pieces.
Kapa Design Gallery is situated inside Queenstown Airport, ideal for those who want to find a unique souvenir but are lacking in time for a proper look around. This is a an independent store that fully supports and promotes established and emerging New Zealand artists, photographers, and designers. They also stock a small handful of brands from overseas, but it’s the unique Kiwi flavour that stands out from the rest. Locally-made beauty products, fashion accessories, homewares, art, jewellery and kids’ crafts are some of the different things to set your sights on.
Technically not in Queenstown, but definitely worth visiting if you’re making a quick stopover at Arrowtown. The Korora Trading Company specialises in gift boxes, hampers and baskets that are filled exclusively with Kiwi-made products. They are able to be customised to suit every occasion too: items you can add to your gift basket include a selection of wines from the area’s best vineyards, artisan chocolates, boutique candles, beauty products and famous New Zealand coffee brands, as well as delightful crafted details that will give your souvenir a lovely finish.
Since we’ve mentioned Arrowtown, it’s only fair to include Glenorchy (another day trip favourite) on our listings too. Mrs Woolly’s General Store does more than sell souvenirs and giftware, this cool outlet also consists of a grocery store and healthy takeaway food shops. Located next to a glamping and camp site with the same name, Mrs Woolly’s General Store is filled with interesting items, like books, gourmet chocolates, honey, knitwear, woolen blankets, kids’ toys and lovely decorative pieces, all of which are proudly made in New Zealand.
Something for the Tolkien geeks and movie nerds among us. As its name suggests, Reel Collectibles is a Queenstown-native online store that specialises in pop culture trinkets. If you want something inspired by the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, they have a selection of maps, coins, stamps, apparel, jewellery, figurines and replicas for you to gleefully browse through. They also offer Weta Collectibles, POP Vinyls, Doctor Who products and a cool selection of Star Wars merchandise.
A commercial art gallery right at the heart of the town centre that is well-known for its extensive collection of traditional Maori art and New Zealand made items. The Silver Fern Gallery was originally based in Arrowtown under a different name, relocating to Queenstown after 15 years in the industry. If art is not quite the souvenir you are looking for, the shop stocks a large assortment of decently-priced gifts that are bound to please all budgets and interests.
With various locations country-wide, Aotea Gifts is a traditional souvenir shop that stocks all the essential Kiwi relics. The Queenstown store, which has been operating since 1988, is located within walking distance from Earnslaw Park and enjoys plentiful views of Lake Wakatipu. Their diverse product inventory includes merino clothing, manuka honey, an array of household items, postcards, all kinds of gifts and a large assortment natural health and beauty products.
From rugby apparel to sheepskin footwear, DF Souvenirs is a must-visit for those looking for quality, quintessentially Kiwi pieces at reasonable prices. With stores in Queenstown and Christchurch, as well as an online shop that keeps an inventory that goes above and beyond the physical retail shelves, this is a great place to stock up on some locally crafted jewellery, natural beauty products and New Zealand fashion.