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Souvenirs from New Zealand
Originally settled by the Maori tribes, New Zealand is enchanting landscapes, outdoor adventures and British influences from colonization. Visitors searching for unique mementos can find body care products made from lanolin and local minerals, or delicate jewelry made from abalone shells inset into silver. More aggressive souvenirs from New Zealand include traditional battle axes and clubs from the Maori, created out of stone and wood. You can also purchase tribal protective statues, decorative masks and wall carvings, or miniature war canoes called waka tauas. The popular Ugg brand of boots originated here, and might make a treasured New Zealand souvenir for a young girl. For boys, the All Blacks Rugby team are internationally famous, and have varied memorabilia to commemorate their victories. No trip to New Zealand would be complete without picking up fridge magnets, postcards and t shirts with a kiwi on it. This flightless bird is the national symbol of the country.
New Zealand: Unique Land, Unique Animals
New Zealand is home to one of the most distinct biological areas. The majority of its species evolved in isolation over the course of millions of years, and resulted in many unique plants and animals. One type of bird, the Rifleman, is considered to be a living fossil, meaning that they have no close relative currently in existence. The tuatara is another such example, being a reptile with characteristics of crocodiles, lizards and birds. Sadly, the arrival of humans in New Zealand, beginning with the Maori in the 13th century, have threatened the native animals, as evidenced by the extinction of over half of the vertebrates. Deforestation and overfishing are ongoing issues, but recent conservation actions have been put in place to recover lost lands and protect animals from encroachment by human development. Responsible ecotourism is encouraged, to continue drawing attention to the plight of the land.