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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Ten Cultural Experiences to Get for the Person in Your Life Who Already Has Everything

Because people who say they don't want any gifts, actually do.
By Dominic Gruenewald
November 19, 2021
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By Dominic Gruenewald
November 19, 2021
  shares

TEN CULTURAL EXPERIENCES TO GET FOR THE PERSON IN YOUR LIFE WHO ALREADY HAS EVERYTHING

in partnership with

Because people who say they don't want any gifts, actually do.

After another helluva year, we find ourselves once again entering the festive season. This time maybe a little more wearily, but still aching to hug our loved ones, and, in many cases, shower them with gifts.

We all have that one person we have trouble buying a present for. Maybe it's your stubborn old man? Perhaps a wealthy aunt? Or it could be your partner (who you know got you something awesome and, even though it's not at all a competition, you still want to make sure you got them the better gift). Whatever your motivation, there's never a better gift option than to give someone an experience. If you add travel into the mix, you're also supporting some great regional areas around the country that are home to unique cultural experiences. It's a win-win.

We've teamed up with Tourism Australia to put together ten top-notch cultural experiences to help you give a memorable, meaningful gift this holiday season.

  • 10

    While the Great Barrier Reef has been off limits to some Aussies recently, the good news is that your friend can still see this natural wonder in all its glory once the borders open. And you can gift them with a 48-hour cruise to make it happen.

    In addition to the unbeatable views of one of the world’s great landscapes, the two-day cruise is jam-packed with things to do. Activities include water sliding, snorkelling, scuba diving, a private glass-bottomed boat tour, and even a helicopter ride to see the reef from up high. They’ll also be treated to a stunning sunset which leads into a dreamy night of stargazing under the southern sky before a night sleeping under a blanket of stars in the middle of the reef.

    Image: Tourism & Events Queensland

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist
    Want to start building your ultimate Christmas Wishlist? Holiday Here This Year

    Start creating a personalised wishlist of top travel experiences — or add this to an existing list. Save it and share it with loved ones as a not-so-subtle hint for gift ideas.

  • 9
    Japanese Bath House

    When relaxation is the name of the game, these peaceful baths on the outskirts of Lithgow are the perfect escape for someone in need of a little R&R. Taking its cues from centuries-old Japanese culture, this picturesque bath house boasts indoor and outdoor onsen, as well as massage services, traditional gardens, public baths and accommodation all surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Mountains.

    Book for a casual visit or a full day, or make the most of your mate’s relaxation with an overnight stay in one of the Japanese-inspired rooms celebrating the simple, unobtrusive beauty of the shibusa aesthetic. Tell whoever you’re gifting this to not bother bringing a phone charger, by the way — there’s no wifi on the property and reception in the area is patchy at best, so they can unwind without any external distractions.

    Image: Japanese Bathhouse

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  • 8

    Okay, so it’s not often you have to twist someone’s arm to get them to go on a pub crawl, but why not level it up by doing one on a helicopter? That’s right, hand over the role of dezzy d to an actual pilot and get your dad, mate or partner to take a tour of some iconic outback Aussie pubs, complete with rockstar landings and plenty of cold, delicious beer.

    While they’ll hit up five pubs — all complete with laconic licensees, charming locals, historic tales and, of course, some cracking pub pooches — over the full-day sesh, they’ll also be able to take in breathtaking views of the Darwin landscape, from the coastline to the tropical woodlands, that they won’t forget regardless of how many pints are downed.

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist
  • 7

    A world away from the original purpose of this 150-year-old piece of Australian history, this one-time gaol is now a boutique hotel. The great sandstone structure, set in the heart of the city, maintains much of its old-world charm, but with plenty of modern reimaginings to shake off the shackles of its former life and instead present itself as a charming getaway spot. The hotel is home to a variety of converted rooms — yep, including former cells — and offers a fascinating glimpse into a slice of Australian history.

    Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

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  • 6

    Angkerle Atwatye, also known as Standley Chasm, is a site of immense importance to the Indigenous community and Traditional Custodians of the land, the Western Arrernte people. Respectful visitors are welcomed by the Western Arrernte, who offer guided tours of the truly spectacular natural landscape. Angkerle Atwatye means ‘gap of water’, and this rich red- and orange-hued gorge right by Alice Springs is the result of a centuries-old waterway that once passed through.

    A half-day site tour is a fully immersive experience. The tour includes a guided walk through the gorge, during which your giftee will learn about native flora and fauna, bush tucker, bush medicine and weaponry, as well as the community’s deep spiritual connection to the land. After a morning tea break, participants then have the opportunity to take part in a guided discussion about traditional and contemporary Aboriginal society and the continued preservation of Indigenous culture. This is followed by a dot painting workshop to learn traditional techniques, and finishes with a catered al fresco lunch.

    Image: Tourism Australia/Tourism NT

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  • 5

    One for the horror buffs — or that mate of yours that swears they’re not scared of anything — a ghost tour of Ararat’s J Ward is just the ticket for that certain someone. Over the two-hour nighttime tour of the infamous gaol-turned-ward for the criminally insane — that, over its time, housed such notorious criminals as Chopper Read, Gary Webb and Bill Wallace — whoever receives this spooky gift will be able to explore sites like the governor’s bathroom, hangman’s gallows, the original kitchen, showerblock and grave sites, searching for the souls that still linger there.

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist
  • 4

    Owned and operated by Darren ‘Capes’ Capewell, a descendant of the Nhanda and Malgana people native to the region, Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Adventures offers a number of rich experiences showcasing Aboriginal customs, culture and traditions in the picturesque beauty of the Gutharraguda (Shark Bay) region.

    One not to be missed is the Didgeridoo Nighttime Dreaming Tour. The two-hour sundown experience sees participants hearing Dreaming stories, cooking traditional seafood and bush tucker over a roaring fire and relaxing around the fire with a didgeridoo meditation — as well as having a crack at playing the ancient instrument. It all takes place beneath the canopy of stars that might just offer enough light to see some of the local wildlife in their nocturnal activities.

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist
  • 3
    Roofclimb Adelaide Oval

    While this experience requires people to be ok with heights, the vistas are well worth it. This icon of sporting history has come a long way over the years, though still bears many hallmarks of its glorious past, including the heritage-listed Edwardian scoreboard that’s been keeping tally for nearly 100 years.

    But this isn’t just for sporting nuts — the roof climb offers views not only of the picturesque oval itself, but also stunning views of the city skyline, with tours able to be booked day, night and twilight. It even offers yoga sessions up there, if you reckon your friend would be keen to get the good vibes flowing whilst they take in all the sites from this remarkable vantage point.

    Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist
  • 2

    Our nation’s capital is often overlooked as far as holiday destinations go, but, thanks to booming dining, arts and cultural landscapes, a visit to Canberra is well worth it. True, it’s relatively small in comparison to Australia’s other major cities, but that just makes it easier to explore. Being an entirely planned city also means that pretty much everywhere is easily and safely accessible via the network of trails and footpaths in and around the city.

    And it’s here that Mulga Bike Tours comes into the picture, offering a range of tailor-made two-wheeled adventures for both quick jaunts around town or multi-day adventures. Whether your mate would be into a more urban experience of the restaurants, distilleries and breweries of the city centre or more of the epic views and surrounding flora and fauna, there’s something here for everyone.

    Image: jinkyart.com.au via Visit Canberra

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist
  • 1
    Pooseum

    For those thinking “Oh, what a load of crap!” — well, yes, but it’s an incredibly well thought-out load of crap. If you know someone who’s always looking to sniff out a truly unique experience, then the charmingly titled Pooseum is sure to be a hit. The museum gets to the bottom of all the burning questions about poo, like the role it plays in various ecosystems and the different ways waste is passed through the digestive tracts of all manner of animals through a range of informative and — entirely sanitary — interactive displays. There’s even real dinosaur and Tasmanian devil dung to be seen.

    The Pooseum is located in the historic town of Richmond, just 25 minutes out of Hobart, so, if your Kris Kringle is already planning a Tassie escape, you can tack this on as a treat. Otherwise, it’ll simply make for a hilarious gift reveal.

    READ MORE Gift Now Add to Wishlist

Give the gift of travel this season and get your mates, partners and parents to Holiday Here This Year (or in years to come). For more unforgettable gift inspiration, visit Australia.com.

Top image: Standley Chasm, Tourism Australia

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