By Mark Andrews
South China Morning Post. 05/07/2006
Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. In fact I’ve got a whole wardrobe of T-shirts. Unfortunately, souvenirs consist of the same old things. How many key rings does a person need? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have something that’s not just going to gather dust? Even better, what if it were actually made in the country you visited? And what if you made it yourself? That’s possible with the Just Jade Experience in Hokitika, in New Zealand’s South Island.
Hokitika is a small town (population 3,500) situated on the west coast. Settled in the 1860s, it became one of the busiest ports in New Zealand. These days, Hoki, as the residents call it, ticks along with tourism, farming, fishing and forestry. Tourism is largely centred on crafts and the countryside. Craft shops are found in Tancred Street in the centre of town. You can get anything from possum fur to gold crafted by artisans. But two businesses, Bonz ’n’ Stonz and the Just Jade Experience, allow a more hands on approach.
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