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Pounamu Necklace | © Matt Biddulph/Flickr
Pounamu Necklace | © Matt Biddulph/Flickr
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9 Places to Buy Unique Souvenirs in Wellington

Picture of Thalita Alves
Updated: 12 June 2017
Wellington proves that souvenir shops can be elegant and poised, not tacky or cheap as the stereotype dictates. To find a unique gift for your loved ones, or simply to take a piece of the capital home, you just need to get creative with your browsing. Take a look at nine of the best places to snag some exquisite New Zealand made memorabilia.
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Te Papa Store

Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum. Renowned for its innovative and at times unusual exhibitions, Te Papa also consists of a gift shop that has been operating ever since the museum opened its doors. Products you’ll find in this creative shop includes fine art reproduction prints, native bird plush toys, New Zealand books, assorted collectibles and pounamu (greenstone jade) jewellery.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. +64 4-381 7000

Te Papa Museum | © Andrew Turner/Flickr

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Kura Gallery

The Kura Gallery exhibits and sells contemporary Maori and New Zealand art. The word Kura is best translated as ‘something precious’ and the gallery works hard to showcase and source an incredible range of authentically, beautifully composed pieces. Paintings, woven flax artworks, traditional Maori garments, as well as various sculptures, photography and prints are some of the souvenirs you’ll be able to purchase from this gallery.

Kura Gallery, 19 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. +64 4-802 4934

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Iko Iko

Iko Iko is known for its fun, quirky, all-inclusive approach to giftwares. From lighthearted nick-knacks to beautiful home decor, this is a great place to visit if you need to find that perfect present. You might even find a few nostalgic pieces of Kiwiana lingering around its shelves, as well as a trove of interesting books, funky stationery and arts and crafts tidbits.

Iko Iko, 118 Cuba Mall, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. +64 4-385 0977

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NZique

As you can probably infer by its name, NZique’s number one mission is to stock unique gifts made by local artists, designers and craftspeople. The Petone store, which had been making its mark in Porirua from the late 1990s until its relocation in 2008, offers thousands of artistic items in its intimate booths and aisles. Along with fostering Wellington’s creativity, NZique owners Marianne and Carl Dysthe are also in charge of Auckland’s Elephant House gallery.

NZique, 54-164 Jackson St, Lower Hutt, Petone 5012, New Zealand. +64 4-589 2091

Arts & Crafts – New Zealand Native Birds | © Newsbie Pix/Flickr

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Zealandia Store

If you’re looking for something special for the nature and wildlife lover in the family, the Zealandia Store is the place to go. Zealandia’s gifts are as educational as its animal reserve, as you can grab a pack of wildlife-themed trading cards, a history book about the Karori Sanctuary Trust (which is in charge of running Zealandia), as well as original souvenir items sourced from local artisans.

Zealandia, 53 Waiapu Rd, Karori, Wellington 6012, New Zealand. +64 4-920 9213

Zealandia Boat House | © Sarah-Rose/Flickr

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Made.It

Made.It owners Anika Bingham and Melina Martin had been selling their arts and crafts under their own labels before coming together to open their own shop in 2011. As such, this retail space, located on Victoria Street, takes great care in being as representative of national talent as possible. Made.It is home to a remarkable range of art, stationery, jewellery, homewares and clothing, all have been exclusively sourced from small businesses in New Zealand.

Made.It, 103 Victoria St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. +64 4-472 7442

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REAL Aotearoa

REAL Aotearoa is a gallery store that specialises in quality creations from all kinds of New Zealand artists. The shop’s fabulous inventory includes glass works, ceramics, custom jewellery, wood carvings and one-of-a-kind modern art pieces. All items strive to capture the country’s land, people and practices, with the overall pursuit of venturing beyond what is seen and heard.

REAL Aotearoa Gallery Store 64 Kingsford Smith St, Rongotai, Wellington 6022, New Zealand. +64 4-387 2771

New Zealand Box | © Robbie Sproule/Flickr

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The Vault

With shops in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, The Vault has spent more than two decades putting New Zealand creativity at the forefront. The store offers a range of beautiful gifts, sourced straight from the creative community and occasionally from abroad. Products to look out for include traditional Kiwiana gifts, contemporary jewellery items and handcrafted home adornments.

The Vault, 2 Plimmers Steps, Wellington 4821, New Zealand. +64 4-471 1404

Pounamu Necklace | © Matt Biddulph/Flickr

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Souvenir Factory Shop

If you’re on a tight budget or looking for some nick-knacks to add to your haul, the Souvenir Factory Shop is likely tick all the right boxes. Located just five minutes from the airport, this spacious Miramar shop has been sourcing New Zealand souvenirs of all sorts since the 1990s. They stock discontinued factory line products for a reduced price, often around 50% less than what you’d normally spend on your average retail store. From Maori art to possum fur and everything else in between, this is definitely a place to consider if you’ve got your sights set on a quintessentially Kiwi relic.

Souvenir Factory Shop, 32 Tauhinu Rd, Miramar, Wellington 6022, New Zealand. +64 4-380 9689

Woven Flax Kete (Baskets) | © Kristina D.C. Hoeppner/Flickr