Posted by & filed under Travel Country: New Zealand.


I had a great sleep last night as the bed was really comfortable. After breakfast I went into the Maori Heritage shop because the guy behind the counter said, that if you find any greenstone on the beach, which is quite a regular thing, to bring it in and the Jade carving shop next door would check it and see if it’s greenstone or not. You could then make a piece of art from one of your stones. So I found two stones on the beach yesterday evening and brought them in. They weren’t jade though, unfortunately. It is hard to recognise jade stones amongst all the other thousands of other stones on the beach. I also went into the glass blowing studio on Weld Street.

They have a studio there where you can watch the welders at work. It was interesting to see them moulding the glass. I love their coloured glass pieces. They’re amazing some of them. They have really cute little spinning tops on a stand for 30NZD. I also really wanted to see Ianz Art shop on Revell Street. Ian Phillips works with copper and he colours it with a specially controlled heat patina. He used to work a lot in construction but twelve years ago started making handmade copper art pieces for a living. He focuses on creating pieces of art using New Zealand’s sealife, landscapes, birds, plants etc for inspiration but my favourite is his Aniwaniwa Tree. Aniwanina in Maori means rainbow.

This piece of art is shaped in the form of a tree but the leaves and branches move to the left, like seaweed in water. The colours of it are gorgeous: the leaves are bluey/green, with a bit of yellow in it and that, in combination with the colour of the polished copper on the trunk and roots is beautiful. I love the movement in its form. A small tree costs 575NZD, a medium one is 650NZD and the large one will set you back 850NZD. I got talking to his partner Jen, who was there. She’s very nice and their dog Ruby was there too, lying asleep on the floor.

The sun had come out and it was a glorious day, so after I’d been to Ianz Art shop, I headed over to the beach for an hour or two. That evening I decided to go the Glow Worm Dell at the end of Featherstone Street, a fifteen minute walk from the hostel. I didn’t have a torch but John, the hostel owner, let me borrow one from him. So at about 8.45pm I headed off up there. The road was well lit and there was about eight people there, waiting to go up to the dell. The glowworms are the lava stage of a two winged insect called the fungus fly and the bottom third part glows bluey/green in the dark. They drop down silvery threads, which can only be seen with a torch. They attract their prey with their bioluminescent light and the prey is then caught in the fine threads.

It only takes a minute or two to walk up the track and you come to a dead end on the path. And there, in front of you are thousands of glow worms that look like bluey/green fairy lights. It was beautiful to see their lights glow in the dark and sway in the breeze. I’d seen glow worms before in the Waitomo caves and in the bushes at the Maori village in Rotorua. They like damp, dark bush areas and caves. Entrance to this dell is free and it’s a lovely thing to go and see nature at its best in environments like this.