The homestead’s owners and hosts, Mike and Antonia Radon, began their journey as Arapawa
Seafarms in 2001. Starting with just four tanks in total, today they have over 200. Arapawa Seafarms was
originally geared toward the cocktail-size paua meat industry, claiming their first sale in 2003.
Since then, Arapawa Seafarms has shifted their focus and expanded their market to include growing paua for commercial re-seeding and Paua Pearls, also known as “Blue” or “Abalone” pearls.
These pearls are considered as the most lustrous and some of the rarest cultured pearls in the world due to New Zealand’s Paua species (Haliotis Iris) being endemic, fragile and also slow growing. Haliotis Iris translated from Latin means 'Raindow sea ear' Haliotis is the most parimative group of molicus in the world and have remained nearly unchanged for 500 million years.' The surivaval rate from an egg to an adult Paua is 1 in 20 million.
We use Mabe pearl inserts to grow the pearls and are constantly experimenting with new ideas, techniques and materials for improved growth, harvests and colour retention.
Paua eat up to half its own body weight per week and requires constant supervision in a clean and spacious environment to ensure their wellbeing and survival. On top of this, each pearl takes at least 3 years to grow with only 5-10 pearls out of 50 (depending on the harvest) making it to pearl processing and then
to final grading.
Paua Farm Tours
Extensive paua farm tours are available upon request. The cost is $60 per person, with a short video and a walk around the farm. Tour includes a sample of cooked Paua as well as home baking. Depending on the time of year, it’s possible to see paua of all sizes, from dust-specs in a larval rearing tank to size paua with pearl inserts. Don’t miss this opportunity to glimpse a unique part of New Zealand marine life and spend time with experts in the paua industry. Tours take approximately 90 minutes. Pearls are available to purchase.
Arapawa Seafarms offers live Paua or fresh Paua meat out of the shell, shipped to most places in New Zealand via
Contact us by EMAIL
or phone on: 021 943395