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  • Writer's pictureTwo Skies

The Great McIntosh Family Adventure (Part 2: New Zealand to Australia)

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

The next intriguing part of our journey took us to the picturesque west coast of the North Island, near the cool little town of Hokitika.

Hokitika is a captivating town where a beach stroll reveals stunning views of snow-capped peaks, an abundance of cafes, a vibrant arts scene, and friendly local characters eager to share stories.

Can you guess what we were hoping to find there? It was the renowned nephrite jade of New Zealand, known as pounamu to the Māori people. Pounamu is considered sacred and has protections in New Zealand - in order to legally gather the precious stone, you must be a direct descendant of the local “Iwi” or tribe.


Fortunately, in nearby Arahura, Jasper and I were lucky to meet and receive a very warm welcome from Rory and Willow - the Tauwhares are a local family who are traditional custodians of the stone in this area. The Tauwhare family offered to take us out on an exploration along the Arahura river to look for our own pounamu with their blessing. Peter Jnr is well-known for his incredible eagle eye and effortlessly spotting pounamu hiding amongst ordinary rocks in the waters!