With 2020 looking the way it does, gift-giving can feel like an odd experience right now. What is it that we need when our lives look so different from the way we’ve always known them to be?
There’s no real right answer to that, but Tourism Australia is asking people to consider giving the gift of seeing our own backyard this year. And honestly, it’s kind of touching – especially when you think about how long many of us have been separated from our neighbouring states.
The tourism board has released their own take on the 12 Days of Christmas, each with a different travel-focused gift. And, well… I think some of you may find some gems in the mix.
Here they are:
Oh, wait. Let me introduce it correctly. On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me!
Twelve Rooms for Sleeping:
Tourism Australia writes: “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).”
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).”
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), 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 skieswill 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.”
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), 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 Retreator soaring above Canberra in a hot air balloon, every member of the family will be feeling jolly and bright.“
[And] 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 atBallarat Wildlife Park, or even sit down for brekky with a Koala at Featherdale Wildlife Park or WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo (Ballarat, VIC; Sydney, NSW).“
Tell me that wasn’t just a little bit cute. Happy holidays, ‘Straya.