Down Under Gifts for the Hard to Please Traveler

December 22, 2007 by

Australia & the Pacific, Places to Go, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Editor’s note: Feeling stuck finding that special something for Christmas this year? First have a look at our Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers. If that doesn’t sort you out Jack Brown has a few suggestions, if you dare. We take no responsibility for Jack and his Down Under sensibility.

Australia Gift Guide Road Kill Jerky
Road-Kill Jerky, Camel Flavor

This is Jack here, why not try some Down Under, Outback, shrimp-on-the barbie, Aussie inspiration that will keep them coming back for more, or just plain confuse them. How about a…

  • Kangaroo Paw Back-scratcher – Skip the customs declarations queues at your favourite airport and take home the gift that keep on giving. Hours of fun and relief with this strangely disembodied limb that brings a smile to even the itchiest of faces after a hearty Christmas feast.
  • Create Personalised “Where the Hell Is…” Stickers. If you’ve been to Noonamah, Bonang or any number of places that don’t seem that far from anywhere but the locals really want to be remembered, then collect this set of wonderful stickers that say parochialism is only a hop, skip and a jump away.
  • Build an Outback Espresso Maker. This one’s perfect for DIY types. Now that classic morning taste can be yours, just use the instant coffee mix supplied in your favourite espresso machine to make that rough, clean taste that could only come from complete mishandling of the ingredients and equipment at any remote roadhouse stop.
  • Roadkill Jerky. Camel jerky, crocodile jerky, kangaroo jerky – carnivores will delight in the range of genuine outback animals that have been hit by 4WDs then carefully dried and preserved in this delicious culinary treat. All the salty goodness of your favourite billabong comes out in the tasteful crocodile jerky; all the rough, grumpy, chewy misanthropism of camels subtly emerges in said jerky; and the eyes wide-open stuck-in-the-headlights cuddliness of six-foot kangaroos can be yours in this great, nutritious snack.
  • Make a Wombat Coffee Table. I’ve only ever seen one of these stubborn SUV-like animals once, unfortunately it was belly-up on the side of the road with its cute little stumpy legs also up in the air. Why not make this an ideal centrepiece for your lounge room or study, turning it right way up again to become a hairy little chair-side convenience with a cute little button nose that says “where there’s a will there’s a way”.
  • Make Your Own “Crikey” T-shirt. Who could forget the inimitable Steve Irwin, outback hero and icon who went only where sense would fear to tread. Why not memorialise his confusing legacy with a shirt that says it all “Crikey!” – the ideal comment for any occasion. (“Crikey!, the relatives are here for Christmas lunch”, “Crikey! Is it time to go already?”) After all, if my grandfather can say it without a hint of irony after all these years then how could it not be a dinky-di expression of genuine surprise?
Australia Gift Guide Big Merino
The Big Merino
  • Big Merino Postcard set. One of Australia’s best and biggest of The Big roadside attractions, in fabulous Goulburn, has had a makeover as photos from the new and improved rear will attest!
  • Horizon Measurer. Is this really the end of the Earth? Check your position relative to the Back of Bourke with this handy pocket tester, shows you exactly how far it is to the middle of nowhere
  • Op Shop Passport. Remember your favourite Outback shopping retreats with this handy passport you can have stamped at every location as you search for cheap second-hand goods around this Great Brown Land of Ours.
  • Create a “Drought Relief” Package. Make yourself an Outback Akubra complete with corks to keep away the increasing number of flies, a jar to collect rain should it ever fall and a can of Fosters beer that will keep for months in the advent of thirst because no one really drinks that stuff anyway.
  • “Fruit fly Exclusion Zone” Christmas Hamper. Why not make the most of those little roadside stops that tell you to deposit all your fruit to avoid transmission of fruit fly into the “Exclusion Zone”? Get a nutritious collection of Australia’s best and fresh pickled produce in this diverse assortment of recovered goodies. Beautifully packaged and great for the family!
Australia Gift Guide Kanga Purse
The Kangaroo Pouch Money Purse
  • Outback Pub Finder. It’s a cunning combination of an infra-red locator (to measure people clumping together) and humidity detector (to show where the beer flows), this sporty little number will let you know how far you have to go to find the next outback Oasis.
  • Souvenir Pavlova Recipe Tea Towel. This timeless Australian recipe combining too much sugar with other foodstuffs to hold all the sugar together printed on a delightful towel that’s also great for wiping the baking tray after the cooking ceremony! Found widely around Australia (see op shops).
  • Desert Santa snow Dome. Santa might be able to travel the globe in a night, but he’ll be able to stay in the red centre for ever with the addition of this wonderful toy to your mantelpiece. Just turn and shake – see Santa bake in a feathery snowfall in the arid outback.
  • Kangaroo “Pouch” Money Purse. As we all know kangaroo “girls” have a pouch in which they suckle their young, and Kangaroo “boys”, well they have a little pocket where they keep their chestnuts roasting. Tastefully dried and tanned this Kangaroo “boys’” best friend can keep your loose change toasty and ready for your next Christmas purchase.

Happy holidays, don’t blame me if you end up on Santa’s naughty list.

–Jack Brown



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