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Location: The Beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
I didn't feel as though there were any "bargains" last month though I did get some fun souvenirs at Paddy's Market in Chinatown (boomerangs for about $3-$10) and in Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne I got my didgeredoo for about $30. Since it was cooler than I had expected, I got my navy blue AUSTRALIA zip front sweatshirt for $9 at the market as well. Picked up some possum/merino wool yarn at a yarn shop in Dunedin for about $10 skein and a wool sweater in Akaroa for much more than I wanted to spend.
Sailed HAL Oosterdam, Feb. 2013
Sailed HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, Feb. 2012
Sailed Celebrity Equinox Eastern Med. 9/2011
Sailed HAL Zuideram Panama Sunfarer 2/2011
Sailed Celebrity Century 1/2011
Sailed Avalon Felicity - Rhine River 10/2010
Sailed HAL Noordam Southern Caribbean 2/2010
Sailed Carnival Ectasy 4/2007
Sailed Princess - Alaska 6/2002
The FLATOUTbea is a nice gift to buy from Australia
Soft, cuddly and flat, the FLATOUTbear is made of 100% pure Australian sheepskin shaped like a teddy bear. They are just gorgeous. They're natural, plush and luxurious - perfect for babies, kids, grannies... What can we say, everyone loves FLATOUTbears.
It is no wonder the FLATOUTbear has a star studded fan base including Princess Mary of Denmark, Brooke Shields and Hugh Jackman. Sarah Jessica Parker termed the FLATOUTbear "charming and adorable", Tom Cruise had it on his baby wish-list, Jennifer Garner "loves it". The FLATOUTbear is now seen around the world.
Hand made from 100% Australian sheepskin 30cm x 25cm or 12" x 10" (this may vary slightly as each bear is hand cut)
5cm or 2" flat Easy care - warm hand wash and dry in shade
Baby Safe Eyes and Nose - meets Australian and International toy safety Standards.
Colours available - milk, honey, latte, licorice, chocolate, koala grey, rosie and bluey.
A "please phone home" stitched in label with room for your phone number.
Norwegian Capricorn ... 3
Star Cruises ... 2
Regent Seven Seas ...2
Don't be afraid to go out on a limb ... Thats where the fruit is.
If you're hoping to score a great deal via the exchange rate I'm afraid you're about 10 years too late. The Aussie $ is strong these days (A$1 = US$1.05) so there probably aren't any real "bargains" in that sense.
MMDown Under: I go to the US and SEAsia to do my bargain shopping. However, quality purchases here include sheepskin products, such as rugs, steering wheel covers, ugg boots, lightweight fine merino wool clothing, socks etc. Some of our best hand made products are sold at weekend markets, such as Salamanca Markets in Hobart, Tasmania. I have bought sheepskin rugs, car seat covers and steering wheel covers in NZ. The last time in Napier from memory, with a company which picked cruisers up at the tourist information on the waterfront and took them to their factory, with a guided tour en route.
The_Big_M: Opals are one of the traditional things we're known for, and a good price, if you are after jewellery.
Wastegirl: One thing to watch out for is the 'tourist jewellery'. In Australia it is Opal, the good stuff is not cheap, you need to know where it was mined and make sure it is not a triplet (which is a thin shaving of opal with a black back to make it colourful). In NZ it is the jade, when holidaying there over the last couple of years I was determined to buy NZ Jade as it turns out a lot of the stuff in the tourist outlets comes from China etc, even Aus. NZ jade is much more interesting to look at (not just the solid green colour) but also more expensive but not ridiculously so. I got a very nice piece for $180 Aus, Maori carved by a local artisan, with a meaning behind the carving and blessed by the Maori lady that sold it to me (it was a reputable business not a market stall), but it took quite a lot of investigation to find authentic NZ jade. It comes down to the fact that tourist demand outstrips local supply so they supplement it with imported product. It is still a good product but I wanted a memory of my holiday not just a piece of jewellery. Also in Akoroa there is this pearl manufacturing company that has developed the most beautiful looking blue pearl but way out of my league, very expensive. The shop is on the wharf if I remember correctly, worth a look even if you don't buy. Sorry to waffle on about jewellery (my obsession) but as the other posters say, possum products and Ugg Boots are always a good buy, also don't forget local food products (the sort that can go through customs).
Waihekean: NZ Jade, bone and Kauri wood carvings and Sheepwool items are among the nicest NZ souvenirs. Woolen jumpers are also very beautiful, but are pricey.
For light and cheaper items which make great presents you can not go wrong with the Paua shell jewellery (just check it is from NZ!). A unique thing I have brought over to Europe to give as presents were localy made paintings of a Maori basket with gold touches and feathers attached. Bought five, they were all different. Just used lot of bubble wrap, bit cumbersome but light. You could do something similar in Australia with the beautiful and original Aboriginal art.
cjm66: In New Zealand, definitely Green Stone. It is rarely set in precious metal, unlike Paua shell so you are paying for the quality of the stone and the carving. There are several reputable shops close to the terminal in Auckland (shop around as I did) and local artisans do sell at markets. There is a brilliant display of Green Stone at the Te Papa museum in Wellington but the prices in the museum shop are inflated. If you are a maker of your own jewellery, you will find bead shops in both Dunedin ( near the Octagon) and in Napier. Google them. Both sell Paua Shell beads.
Valley Girl of VA: I didn't feel as though there were any "bargains" last month though I did get some fun souvenirs at Paddy's Market in Chinatown (boomerangs for about $3-$10) and in Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne I got my didgeredoo for about $30. Since it was cooler than I had expected, I got my navy blue AUSTRALIA zip front sweatshirt for $9 at the market as well. Picked up some possum/merino wool yarn at a yarn shop in Dunedin for about $10 skein and a wool sweater in Akaroa for much more than I wanted to spend.
In order to share on the roll call for our first “down under” visit, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Celebrity Solstice sailing, departing Sydney, going from Australia to Auckland/NZ doing 14 days, I pulled together some of the excellent ideas and posts on this subject shown above. Appreciate these and all of the other ideas. Keep them coming!! We have a nice and active roll call going at: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1614754
Welcome to any who want to join us for this trip and/or travel along via the web as we get prepared for that "adventure". Or, if you have any key suggestions for us to consider while in your areas, drop by and let us know.
THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio
Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 124,098 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at: http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1426474