Tourism Australia encourages Aussies to give the gift of travel this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time to start planning what you’re getting your mum, gran, partner, and so on.

Fortunately, this year you won’t have to ooh and ahh over which pair of socks to buy your old man. Just in time for the festive season, Tourism Australia has released a handy wrap-up of the best experiences around the country – and has guaranteed you the MVP on Christmas Day.

From skydiving in New South Wales to air boating in the Northern Territory, the mega list has something for everyone in the best gift shop in the world – our glorious backyard of Australia.

Besides being the best gift-giver in the family, you’ll also be scoring major kudos points with each purchase supporting the hard-hit tourism industry.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said the campaign, The Gift of Travel is sure to get people excited and thinking about visiting new places, trying new things, and visiting friends and family.

Hamish at the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: Tourism Australia
Hamish at the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: Tourism Australia

“The pandemic has left people wanting to make up for lost time and giving a travel experience will help people do just that,” Ms Harrison said.

Tourism Australia Ambassadors Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster Blake are featured in the fun new television campaign centered around the couple reaching out to well-known Australians for holiday gift ideas for their close friend, comedian Andy Lee.

“You’re obviously giving someone that you love an incredible experience that they are never going to forget, and that is better than just another thing that you have bought off the internet which we have all done heaps of this year,” Hamish and Zoe explain. 

“Also, it’s a great way to help tourism operators and businesses.”

Find inspiration for an unforgettable gift below, or at

The opportunity to be their own captain with GoBoat Australia – Canberra, ACT

Elevate a picnic by moving it onto a boat! Head out on the water and see the cities and landmarks from a different angle, while boating with zero emissions. With no boat license required, the most planning you’ll have to do is for the onboard wine and cheese spread. GoBoat also operates in Melbourne, VIC, and Brisbane, QLD.

Buy: Gift vouchers are available on their website.

Cost: $189 for two hours.

The ultimate high with Skydive Australia – Wollongong, New South Wales 

Nothing can prepare you for the thrill of a skydiving experience, let alone one over the majestic New South Wales coastline in Wollongong 15,000 feet above sea level. This gift is perfect for those wanting to give a once-in-a-lifetime, adrenaline-filled experience they’ll never forget. Skydive Australia has 14 locations across Australia in Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

Buy: Gift vouchers are available on their website.

Cost: $379 for a tandem skydive.

A bucket list outback adventure with Top End Safari Camp Day Tour – Peninsular Way, Northern Territory

Calling all thrill-seekers! The Top End Safari Camp – Day Tour will take visitors on a helicopter, airboat, and cruise boat to see the landscapes of the Litchfield region and spot animals in the wild. The tour is all-inclusive, ending with an exciting feeding and encounter with a monster rescue crocodile caught by the Outback Wrangler Matt Wright himself!

Buy: Gift cards are available on their website.

Cost: Minimum spend of $50. The Top End Safari Camp Day Tour starts from $395.

A What’SUP Cairns kayaking experience around Fitzroy Island – Fitzroy Island, Queensland

Queensland’s Fitzroy Island is renowned for its wonderful wildlife, tropical beaches, and bright blue water. Gift an experience that deepens the exploration of the island, via paddle boarding and snorkeling. Guests will receive safety, board, and paddle briefs before paddling out for their first lesson on the bay while looking for turtles and snorkeling along the way. The island is also home to a turtle rehabilitation center where you can get up close and personal with them. Finish the day by exploring the island’s tropical beaches.

Buy: Bookings can be made on their website

Cost: $79 Adult, $59 Child

A cooking class they really knead from the The Farm Eatery and Experience Centre – Barossa Valley, South Australia

South Australia’s food scene is some of the world’s best. Gift a hands-on experience learning from some of the best food talent in the country, with a group cooking class. Learn anything from pasta basics and cocktails, to pizza and handmade cheese. This gift is perfect for the foodie in your life.

Buy: Gift cards are available on their website.

Cost: Minimum spend of $50.

A totes rugged Pumphouse Point Hotel experience – Lake St Clair, Tasmania

Book a stay at Tasmania’s newest wilderness retreat, The Pumphouse Point Hotel. Surrounded by natural landscapes, this is a unique, adults-only accommodation experience inside the Tasmanian World-Heritage Area. The retreat sits on top of a glacial lake and is surrounded my forest for ultimate calm and relaxation. This is a perfect gift for those who simply want to get away from it all while staying in luxury.

Buy: Gift cards are available on their website

Cost: Gift cards are for any value.

A chance to soar the skies with Global Ballooning – Melbourne, Victoria

Australia’s landscapes are beautiful – and even more so from the air. A hot air balloon experience is an unforgettable way to watch the sunrise – choose from three different flight locations with Global Ballooning, including Melbourne for 365 views of the city, Yarra Valley to soar above the beautiful countryside and wineries, or Mansfield for the best seat in the house to see Mount Buller.

Buy: Gift cards are available on their website.

Cost: Prices from $395, dependent on location.

An experience they won’t forget with Nyungar Tours – Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia

Choose from a range of incredible tours led by local Noongar people, who have a strong family connection to the country. Nyungar Tours in Western Australia can be private and customised, and offer immersions through significant cultural sites and traditional stories. View Aboriginal artefacts, discover significant cultural sites, and learn about medicinal plants from Traditional Owners.

Buy: Bookings can be made on their website.

Cost: Prices from $45, dependent on the tour.

This article originally appeared on Escape


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