The West Coast is a haven for artisans who gain inspiration from the landscape and enjoy
the relaxed lifestyle that exists here. An extensive range of galleries and craft shops
showcase locally made pieces.
As well as the traditional mediums used in arts and crafts, the West Coast is home to
some unique New Zealand resources.
Jade (Pounamu or Greenstone, as it is also known) has its only significant source on
the South Island's West Coast. Treasured by the Maori for its incredible strength and
beauty, it plays a significant part in Maori culture as a much sought after and sacred
resource. Today it is carved into magnificent sculptures and jewellery pieces, which
are exhibited in galleries throughout the region.
The geological forces that combined to create Jade deposits also produced another unique
gemstone - Ruby Rock. Found nowhere else in the world, beautiful jewellery pieces are
created from this stone.