Tourism Australia has put together the ultimate Christmas Gift Guide to encourage Aussies to give the gift of travel this festive season. In many ways, travel is a priceless gift to give. Travel allows us to step outside of our everyday routines and reconnect with the people and world around us. This year in particular – the gift of travel is not only giving loved ones the opportunity to make new memories, but by booking an experience or a trip you’ll be supporting the tourism operators and communities who were among the hardest hit by the bushfires and Covid-19 pandemic.
With an incredible range of experiences across the country to suit all interests, travel styles and budgets, head to Australia.com to explore Tourism Australia’s 12 Days of Christmas Gift Guide and be inspired for your next trip.
Twelve Rooms for Sleeping
All is calm, and all is bright at these 12 boutique hotels that are as incredible as the destinations in which they’re found. Give the gift of a night’s stay – for example, a getaway to the intimate French-inspired villa that is Villa Howden (North West Bay, TAS). Then there is stunning Longitude 131° which ensures spectacular views of Uluru.
Eleven Paths for Hiking
Let them rock around the Christmas tree and onto one of these multi-day walks this holiday season. A great way to connect with nature and feel re-energised, this is a gift they won’t soon forget – for example crossing over 600 million years of geological history on the four-day Arkaba Walk (Flinders Ranges, SA). Another gem is the Larapinta Trek, where you can follow in the footsteps of the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land on a six-day walk through the West MacDonnell Ranges with Classic Larapinta Trek in Comfort. Then there is the timeless and rugged beauty of the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk in Tasmania.
Ten Meals Worth Booking
It’s more than just pavlovas and Christmas ham this silly season for Aussie food lovers. Give the gift of an unforgettable meal from one of these modern Australian restaurants. While foodies are sure to love the ultra-fresh seasonal produce and dishes served up at these restaurants, this gift is also perfect for anyone who deserves a night off. Heading to the Gold Coast this summer? Please your palate with Pan-Asian flavours and book a table at the iconic Rick Shores (Gold Coast, QLD).
Nine Wines for Tasting
Australia has more than 2,400 wineries in 65 wine regions around the country, with 100 grape varieties that end up in more than 30 million wine glasses around the world every day. These ultimate winery experiences are perfect for anyone that loves to hear the story behind a good drop, with everything from behind-the-scenes wine, food and adventure experiences. A gift for someone that has everything? Book them into a barrel room masterclass at The Lane (Adelaide Hills, SA).
Eight Tours with Purpose
Give them a chance to play a positive impact on Australian communities, land and wildlife by booking them an experience that will give back. From learning about Australia’s rich cultural history with an Aboriginal experience, to getting hands-on with Australia’s bushfire recovery, these gift ideas are guaranteed to put them in a good place. An activity for the family: plant seeds for the future at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley (Blue Mountains, NSW).
Seven Swims with Sea Life
Any animal lovers on your Christmas list? Give them the unforgettable experience of getting up-close and swimming with Australia’s marine life. Whether it’s snorkelling with whale sharks with Coral Bay Encounters (Port Phillip Bay, WA; Bunbury, WA), swimming with seals at Montague Island on the Sapphire Coast of NSW or mingling with manta rays with Scuba Shane Diving (QLD), there are plenty of “pinch me” moments awaiting in Australia’s waters.
Six Skies for Soaring
Avoid traffic this holiday season and give the gift of the skies. The ultimate gift for adventurers, whether it’s a seaplane to lunch, or the Australian Rock-Star Experience with Bekka Air Helicopter Pub Crawl (Brisbane, QLD), these experiences in Australia’s skies will have them soaring like Santa on a sleigh ride.
Five Days of Bliss
Help your loved ones revive, refresh, detox by giving them the gift of a chilled out experience this holiday season. A stay at any of these beautiful wellness retreats, or a rejuvenation session at Samadhi Retreat, nestled in Daylesford Victoria (Daylesford, VIC) will have their worries drifting away in no time. No one would be disappointed with a stay at Gaia Retreat & Spa near Byron Bay, co-founded by local icon Olivia Newton-John.
Four Secluded Stays
Taking only the bare essentials, unplug and spend time reconnecting with loved ones, discovering nature and staring at the stars at these secluded stays. Head to East Arnhem Land’s Bremer Island Banubanu Beach Retreat for tranquillity (Bremer Island, NT), stay in an exclusive bush retreat at Pebble Point Glamping (Great Ocean Road, VIC) or if you’re looking for other ways to get off-grid, these destinations will have them saying: No WiFi, no worries.
Three Aussie Gems
The Sydney, Rock and Reef combination is a classic Australian whistle-stop itinerary for many travellers – and for good reason. Let your loved ones explore the icons that are the Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, by giving them epic experiences in one of these bucket-list destinations.
Two Family Trips
Roll into the happiest season of all with a gift for the whole family. Celebrate this Christmas season with a family-friendly getaway to reconnect and make lasting memories. Whether it is waking up to nature in the Northern Territory’s Mary River Wilderness Retreat or soaring above Canberra in a hot air balloon, every member of the family will be feeling jolly and bright.
A Koala in a Gum Tree
Give a uniquely Australian gift this holiday season. Cuddling a koala is a rare wildlife experience only available in select sanctuaries and wildlife parks. Whether you give the gift of holding, hugging or even eating breakfast with a koala, it’s a gift that will never be forgotten. Visits are carefully monitored to protect the health and safety of the koalas. So go ahead and snap selfies in the East at Ballarat Wildlife Park, or even sit down for brekky with a Koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park or WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo (Ballarat, VIC; Sydney, NSW).