Upper South Island and the West Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Upper South Island and the West Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Jens Hansen Contemporary Gold & Silversmith

    Jens Hansen craftspeople have long been known for their skilled gold and silver jewelry creations. Contemporary pieces are handmade at the workshop/showroom, and many are set with precious stones or local pounamu (jade). The focus here changed when Jens crafted the precious "One Ring" of Lord of the Rings film trilogy fame. The original prototype is on display, and this is now the only place where an officially authorized replica ring can be purchased.

    320 Trafalgar Sq., Nelson, Nelson, 7010, New Zealand
  • 2. Cool Store Gallery

    In an old apple cool store (where apples were stored at cool temperatures after being picked), this gallery is filled with well-priced, New Zealand–made art and craft work. The work, produced by artists from the Nelson and West Coast regions, includes paintings, sculpture, textiles, paua-shell items, ceramics, glasswork, and jewelry. They can arrange to ship your hard-to-travel-with purchases home in one piece.

    10 Aranui Rd., Mapua, Tasman, 7005, New Zealand
  • 3. Left Bank Art Gallery

    This is a top spot to see and purchase a range of artworks, including contemporary pounamu (greenstone or jade) carvings. Housed in the old Greymouth branch of the Bank of New Zealand, this progressive little gallery supports local artists and holds regularly changing exhibitions. Displays in the old vault include a collection of older pounamu artworks.

    1 Tainui St., Greymouth, West Coast, 7805, New Zealand
  • 4. Nelson Markets

    Nelson is a market town, and Saturday morning’s Nelson Market, in Montgomery Square, is one of the oldest in the country. It showcases the region’s wealth of artists, craftspeople, and artisan food producers. Vintage items, recyclables, and collectibles feature at Monty's Sunday Market, also in Montgomery Square. On Wednesday it’s the local foodies’ turn, selling their produce at the Nelson Farmers' Market in Morrison Square ( www.nelsonfarmersmarket.org.nz).

    Montgomery Sq., Nelson, Nelson, 7010, New Zealand
  • 5. Shades of Jade

    Come here to find quality greenstone sourced from West Coast rivers from Punakaiki to Haast. Be sure to check out the unique flower jade, with gold or white markings found in rivers close to Greymouth. Pendants, sculptures, and a variety of jade types are on display. The gallery's principal carver, Jeremy Dalzell, can often be seen at work here.

    22 Tainui St., Greymouth, West Coast, 7805, New Zealand
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  • 6. Traditional Jade

    This small family business creates carvings and sculptures and has a collection of raw jade for you to admire. Visit in the mornings for the best chance of seeing one of the family artists at work.

    2 Tancred St., Hokitika, West Coast, 7810, New Zealand

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