The story of Arapawa Blue Pearls & Homestead is a love story intricately woven across two hemispheres. Mike and Antonia Radon combine a love of the sea with dedication to conservation, and a passion for the Abalone-Paua found only in New Zealand waters.
The alluring Abalone-Paua pearls are a symbol of all that is extraordinary and beautiful in nature, a metaphor for our vulnerable planet and an expression of love and resilience throughout the world.
Arapawa Island, in the breath-taking Marlborough Sounds, top of South Island of New Zealand, has perfect conditions for sustainable farming of this exotic abalone.
We invite you to visit us and learn more about our journey with the Haliotis iris cultured blue pearls and how our family-run activities deeply steeped in the conservation of the delicate New Zealand abalone, the paua.
Surrounded by the energy, rich history of our Arapawa Blue Pearls and Homestead, we will unveil for you one of the best kept secrets in the jewellery world: New Zealand produces Abalone-Paua pearls, some of the finest, rarest, and most captivating pearls in the world.
Our story is a simple one. We are two divers who fell in love with the abalone known to New Zealand Maori as paua. We found the perfect place at Arapawa Island to create a paradise to grow and protect them and raise our family. Now we share our passion and the exquisite cultured blue pearls with the world.
I started diving with my Dad at 13. I was diving with family in the abalone business off the Californian coast, never thinking that diving would bring me to the beautiful New Zealand Marlborough Sounds or this passion for blue pearls. It was on a diving trip to New Zealand, diving for the New Zealand wild abalone off the remote and beautiful Chatham islands, that I learnt about this exceptional type of abalone, the Haliotis iris species, paua shell, also known as a rainbow abalone. I fell in love with New Zealand, and later, finished buying a farm on Arapawa Island with a woman that will become my best friend, wife, and partner in dreams and adventure.
After travelling around the world, I settled in the USA and worked as a diver off the coast of Northern California. That was how I met Mike, through our shared love of diving. Working together, we found we had much in common, and friendship was soon much more. Our dream is to create a secure future for the paua, our children, future generations and to share with you our love for this picture-postcard land.
It has been 28 years of hard work, and in that time we have learnt so much along the way. Not only did we raise our family, home school the children, and build the paua farm here, but we also set out to honour the unique history of the island. We have preserved the existing structures on our farm, so you can step back in time with a choice of historic accommodation options we have on the island. Our Pearl Tours came later, and now we share our knowledge to help sustain this wonderful sea creature that grows only on the wild New Zealand coast.
As a family business we are dedicated to bringing you beautiful blue pearls and sharing our passion with you. As custodians of the unique New Zealand paua we focus on sustainability and what is best for the regeneration of this very special sea creature. Our dream is to create a secure future for the paua, and for our children and grandchildren, and to share with you our love for this picture-postcard land.