While it brings us all joy to unwrap presents, sometimes nothing can beat experience gifts. They give us something to look forward, a chance to spend time with our loved ones, and many memories to last for years to come.
What are some experience gifts?
Gift experiences can mean different things for different people. There are the adrenaline junkies who will literally jump at the opportunity to skydive, or there are the tranquillity seekers who would rather spend their days in a spa rather than the sky.
No matter the type of experience, there is a memory to be made out there for everyone. And we have found 13 of the best experiences around the nation to share with your nearest and dearest.
The best experience gifts in Australia
Oil Massage and Hot Springs Bathing Pass, Mornington Peninsula VIC, $185 (usually $205), RedBalloon
Wind down with a relaxing and nourishing hydrating massage at Timeless Day Spa. Once you receive a back scrub, head to the award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs with your bathing pass for even more rejuvenation.
Bei Bar and Bistro, Sydney NSW
Indulge in Mediterranean cuisine – Italian and a touch of Greek – at Bei Bar and Bistro, located in Sydney’s Darlinghurst. Using the best Australian ingredients and a few imported specialities, chef Felix Rutz and his wife Leigh Cholakos place a strong emphasis on seafood, as well as Italian and Australian wines. Felix’s hand-rolled pasta is also a stand out, and sweet tooths won’t be disappointed with the dessert menu, featuring favourites such as tiramisu and meringue.
Rustic Italian Cooking Class, QLD, $155, Thrill Experiences
In this hands-on experience, learn how to make your favourite Italian dishes – like gnocchi – from an experienced chef. Those who join can taste freshly made bread, focaccia or pizza.
Picnic Among the Vines Winery Tour, Hunter Valley NSW, $85, Experience Oz
As the birthplace of Australian wines, Hunter Valley is the ultimate experience for you and another wine lover in your life. You will spend a few hours exploring the Audrey Wilkinson winery on a self-guided tour of the vineyards. This will be followed by a wine master class and a premium wine tasting. Leave the experience with a bottle of handpicked wine and a hamper for a picturesque picnic.
Tandem Skydive St Kilda Beach, Melbourne VIC, $459 (usually $509), Adrenaline
If you and a friend are seeking some thrill, this 15000 feet sky jump will serve you well. Soar above St Kilda beach with a qualified instructor for a free fall of up to 60 seconds at about 200km/hour. Right near Melbourne CBD, the beach offers spectacular views of the city and Port Phillip Bay.
Jet Boat on Sydney Harbour, NSW, $59 (usually $80), RedBalloon
Experience the beauty of Sydney as you zip around the harbour at 75km/h on a jet boat. At lightning speed, you will race past the city’s landmarks as an expert-guide gets your heart rate up while providing light-hearted commentary. Plus, enjoy music along the way.
Cocktail Masterclass, Kangaroo Island SA, $117 (usually $130), RedBalloon
Master mixology with this two-hour cocktail-making class. Using award-winning spirits, you will learn how to make three classic cocktails, and even craft your own signature creation. Throughout, indulge in light refreshments of local produce. And don’t forget to sip along the way!
Whale Watching, Sydney NSW, $75, Adrenaline
This adventure will see you venture out onto Sydney Harbour to see some incredible humpback whales in action. Watch in awe as they majestically splash around in their natural habitat.
Avon Hot Air Balloon Flight, Perth WA, $345, Adrenaline
If skydiving is too adrenaline-pumping for your liking, hot air ballooning is a tamer way to soak in unmissable views. During this hour-long experience, soar in the wind of the Avon Valley countryside and watch as the sun rises over the national park below.
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Hobart TAS, $39.59, Experience Oz
If you’re a Wildlife Warrior like the late Steve Irwin, this one’s for you. Get up close to koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, and more at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, which recovers orphaned animals in the region. A perfect activity for the whole family.
Traditional High Tea at the Marion, Lake Burley Griffin ACT, $150, RedBalloon
Indulge in tea, finger sandwiches, scones, and more sweet and savoury pastries all while at the Marion’s exclusive position on the lake. This is an unmissable dining experience for you and a loved one.
Darwin Sunset Cruise, NT, $95, Thrill Experiences
Beginning at 5.30pm with a complimentary drink, this scenic cruise around the Darwin harbour provides a mix of gourmet platters, all made from local produce. Bask in the magical sunset as you feed the batfish from the bow. You may even spot a queenfish, trevally, barramundi, and shark.
A getaway in Australia via Airbnb
Choose your own ideal getaway with Airbnb. Whether you’re after a secluded cottage to read and stroll in the gardens like Elizabeth Bennett, or a beachside home with sand greeting you at the front door, your next adventure awaits with these holiday homes.