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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Ten Great Gifts for Your Friend Who Appreciates the Finer Things in Life

Level up your gift giving with these extravagant experiences.
By Emma Bishop
November 16, 2021
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By Emma Bishop
November 16, 2021
  shares

TEN GREAT GIFTS FOR YOUR FRIEND WHO APPRECIATES THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE

in partnership with

Level up your gift giving with these extravagant experiences.

Few countries are as geographically diverse as Australia. We have snow-capped mountains, tropical rainforests, red deserts and long-stretching beaches. At these idyllic locations are some of the country's most luxe experiences, letting us explore all that our country has to offer.

With the holiday season fast approaching, why not give the gift of travel to the luxury lover in your life? After all, you can't really top a trip away. We've partnered with Tourism Australia to round up ten of indulgent experiences to get your mate (or whoever, really) who loves a fabulous gift. Whether you book them in for a high-flying feed at Australia's most boundary-pushing museum or get them a voucher to a five-star hotel, these experiences provide a much-needed dose of escapism. Play your cards right and you might score an invite, too.

  • 10

    Being behind the wheel of a boat is pretty baller. Especially when you’re cruising in The Whitsundays. Let your partner (or friend) live out their fanciest fantasies, and take in the paradisiacal surroundings at their own pace, by gifting them with a Skipper Yourself Yacht Charter.

    Voyagers can choose their own vessel — a catamaran, yacht or cruiser — then drop anchor and dive into the turquoise water to explore the coral reefs using complimentary snorkelling gear. You can add a seafood platter and drinks, dinner on arrival at Hamilton Island, and even a round of golf to splash out on your love even further. Whichever way you package it up, this trip is guaranteed to be memorable.

    Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

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    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
    Jamala Wildlife Lodge

    Got a friend who loves animals? Then you’ll want to give them an epic weekend away at Jamala Wildlife Lodge. At this luxe stay, they’ll find themselves sleeping with tigers, lions and cheetahs — the Jungle Bungalows are literally side-by-side with animal homes (albeit separated by sturdy glass walls).

    If you think they’d prefer the company of non-people-eating creatures, opt for a Giraffe Treehouse instead, where they’ll get to feed giraffes by hand from their verandah. Or, gift them the uShaka Lodge, which has a room with a window into the five-metre aquarium or another right next door to a shark tank.

    Image: VisitCanberra

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  • 8

    About two hours northwest of Melbourne, Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa is an achievable day trip for Melburnians. The bathhouse, built back in 1895, is the oldest in the country and boasts two mineral bathing pools. The first is the Salt and Magnesium Therapy Pool, which is continually warmed to about 36 degrees. For more scenic soaks, the Creekside Spa Pool opens out to the lush landscape.

    There’s also a day spa with private mineral baths, massage options and steam therapies for your stressed-out mate who needs a vacay — even if for only a few hours. Going all out? You can also book your mate in for a night in one of the lavish villas overlooking the surrounding bushland.

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  • 7

    The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is a must-visit in Hobart, attracting an eclectic mix of visitors thanks to its one-of-a-kind art installations and contemporary food offering. One of the drawcards is Faro Bar and Restaurant, which serves up unconventional Spanish tapas in a dramatic light-drenched space offering sweeping river views. So, if you’ve got someone on your gift list who’s both an art lover and epicure, consider this the perfect luxe gift.

    Faro’s menu is refreshed bimonthly, but previous dishes include gruyere gougere, glazed smoked eel, and deer, rabbit and buckwheat tortellini. If the idea is to split this gift with your partner or bestie, why not pair the gift with a stay at MONA Pavilions? Positioned right on the River Derwent, each of the eight exclusive dens is inspired by a celebrated architect, making them all completely unique. This two-in-one pressie is seriously enviable — so save it for the right person.

    Image: Jarrad Seng

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  • 6

    Located on the gorgeous Lower Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay Pearl Farm is the only operating pearl farm in New South Wales. It offers numerous group and private tours, but our pick is the Discovery Experience Tour, where visitors get to hop on a cruisey boat tour to the farm’s oyster leases, take in spectacular bushland vistas from the water and learn about the pearling process firsthand.

    The boat also calls into the farm’s ‘Shellar Door’, where your mate or date will sample freshly shucked local oysters. They’ll also join a pearl grading session in the restricted-access grading room. You can also add on an OTT Sydney Seaplanes trip there for a cool $675 per person.

    Image: Destination NSW

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  • 5

    This Victorian boutique hotel takes a weekend on the Mornington Peninsula to a new level of luxury. Smack-bang in the middle of the Peninsula’s wine region in Merricks North, Jackalope Hotel is the perfect pressie for the wine lover in your life.

    The 46 rooms offer terrace or vineyard views, with each room boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, private terraces, baths and hand-crafted bespoke furnishings. The landscaped gardens include a 30-metre infinity pool with an adjacent pavilion for spa treatments. The hotel also houses an extensive art collection, a cellar door, a cocktail bar and a fine dining restaurant. Of course, all this will cost you a pretty penny — rooms start at around $650 and go up to over $1000 per night. But your mate is worth it, right?

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  • 4

    South Australia’s Kangaroo Island is home to an awe-inspiring mix of natural experiences. And in one day, the Flinders Chase Focus Tour gives travellers an unforgettable taste of almost all that the island’s west end has to offer.

    Purchase this trip for the adventure lover in your life and they’ll discover more about the area, fire ecology and witness the incredible regeneration of the island’s natural landscapes. They’ll then explore the Remarkable Rocks and work up an appetite before sitting down to a fancy lunch while perched on the picturesque clifftop. The full-day tour also includes access to a private wildlife refuge where they can scout out the local inhabitants, including long-nosed fur seals, wallabies, birdlife and, of course, kangaroos.

    Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

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  • 3

    A wellness retreat in a scenic setting away from the hustle and bustle? Sounds dreamy — and we’re sure it’ll sound dreamy to your mate who treats their body as a temple and loves the luxe life, too. Queensland-based wellness haven Gwinganna asks guests to leave indulgent food and booze behind in favour of spa therapies, organic meals, a yoga retreat and more health-focussed activities. And no, this is not the premise for Nine Perfect Strangers — far from it.

    After spending 2021 uber-stressed and glued to their screens, your friend will get to escape to this tropical oasis for a detoxifying stay. The luxury design of the facilities, superior skill of the staff, and lush surrounding greenery ensure guests relax and unwind in whichever way suits them. We recommend giving them the two-day Wellness Weekend Retreat package — the full seven-day stint may come off a little strong (and leave a big dent in the wallet).

    Image: Tourism Australia

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  • 2

    Tucked away in the cliffs above Injidup Beach, Bodhi at Injidup Spa Retreat combines striking minimalist design with views of the turquoise Indian Ocean to deliver a sophisticated spa experience. Treatments range from body wraps and mineral facials to massages and sound healing sessions.

    But the real winner is the Marta Kodo rock massage. Inspired by Aboriginal Australian techniques for realigning energy flow, the massage involves applying hot stones to the body’s pressure points in a rhythmic massage that’ll have your loved one feeling so boneless they’ll be floating on air long after it’s over. Want to take your gift to the next level? No matter who you gift this spa session to, Injidup Retreat’s spacious private villas are the perfect place to continue unwinding after a day of pampering.

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  • 1

    Nothing says luxury like a stay on your own private island. Fraser Island Retreat in Victoria (no, not Queensland) boasts beautiful seaside views, a fully-equipped house decked out with 11 bedrooms and endless outdoor activities, including a pool, nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts, and even a private beach. Perfect for gifting as an indulgent summer holiday with your closest crew, the 65-square-metre homestead sleeps a whopping 38 guests in the generously sized rooms.

    Located in the Gippsland Lakes region, the 30-hectare island paradise is home to an incredible range of wildlife — nearly 50 different species of mammals, to be precise — so your mates can expect plenty of serenity. In terms of getting there, a private ferry from Kalimna or Lakes Entrance is part of the package, or you could really flex and arrive in a light aircraft thanks to the on-site airstrip.

    Image: Fraser Island Retreat

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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: Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, Visit Victoria

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