Christmas unwrapped: epic experiences for everyone on your gift list.

by Afterpay
Nov 14, 2022      4 min read

Sure, a big (or small) box wrapped in bright, shiny paper is nice (and adds serious festive vibes to your tree). But sometimes the best gift you can give is the gift of experience… especially if your loved one has a specific type of adventure they’re yet to tick off their all-important bucket list (or they’re one of those people who are impossibly difficult to buy for and you can’t get away with yet another pair of novelty socks).

Whether you’ve got an adrenaline junkie, a culture hunter, or a get-back-to-nature outdoorsy type to buy for this Christmas, there’s an experience out there with their name on it. We’ve curated the best of the best to make it easy for you to choose - and to take all the credit. Added bonus: no gift wrapping necessary!

For the thrill seekers

We all know someone whose idea of a good time involves terrifying heights, high speeds, dangerous animals - or all of the above. Weirdly, these are often the easiest people to buy for. Anything that gets the pulse racing will be right up their scary alley, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s something they’ve done before; once they’ve had a taste, these thrill-seeking types can’t get enough.

For the wannabe boy (or girl) racer, a quality driving experience involving a race track and/or hot laps will be bang on the money. If jumping out of a plane is more their thing (each to their own), a tandem skydive in a stunning location is a gift they’ll never forget. 

Closer to the ground - or rather, underwater - you’ve got the guaranteed rush of (safe) proximity to an animal with a lot of teeth. Whether it’s a shark dive or a dip with a mighty croc, an up-close-and-personal animal encounter is sure to get the heart pumping (and be a topic of conversation around the Christmas table for years to come).

For the culture hunters.

After bearing the brutal brunt of multiple Covid lockdowns, the arts and culture scene is back and ready to rumble. Musicals, comedy festivals, theatre, live sports, concerts, foodie events; there are countless fab experiences to satisfy even the pickiest person on your list. The hardest part will be choosing (and avoiding the temptation to grab tickets for yourself).

From the stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!, through to Elton John’s last hurrah on our shores, a musical performance will get your loved one’s heart soaring, feet tapping, and earworms…worming

You could consider giving the gift of a sore-from-laughing stomach with tickets to Michael McIntyre’s Jet-lagged and Jolly Tour. Alternatively, if all else fails and you’re stuck trying to choose, a luxe voucher valid for any performance at the Sydney Opera House will go down a treat (and give them an excuse to get all dolled up in 2023).

For the nature lovers.

When it comes to appreciating the great outdoors, there’s a sliding scale of experience; everything from a nice, short, catered picnic beneath the trees two-hundred metres from your car, to the other end of the spectrum, where people sleep dangling off a cliff face in a remote mountain range. Wherever your loved one lands on this sliding scale, there’s an experience to suit. 

A hiking tour is a great dip-a-toe-in-the-water experience for anyone in need of some fresh air and epic scenery. Make mention of the fact that time amongst nature is literally good for your physical and mental health, and you’ll have everyone talking about how thoughtful you are. Plus it’s a good opportunity to show off your latest activewear in a date-friendly setting.

For those who love dousing themselves in Aeroguard, cooking over campfires, and sleeping beneath countless stars (okay…that does sound pretty amazing), a camping experience is a total winner. You’ll score major Christmas brownie points if it’s camping in the incredible Australian Outback, which should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Finally, if your loved one’s idea of getting back to nature is less ‘roughing it’ and more observing it (potentially with a glass of wine in hand and a lunch buffet within arm’s reach), you can’t go wrong with a cruise that involves whale watching, reef snorkelling - or just watching the sunset from prime position at the prow. 

For the young (or young at heart).

Give the mini people in your life a gift they’ll remember long after they’ve abandoned the dolls, race cars and plasticky egg thingies (and what even is a RainBocorn??). 

Think tickets to the zoo or aquarium (great for animal lovers…which pretty much all kids are), an entry pass to a fun park (they’ll love you forever), or a kid-friendly outdoor activity that will have them testing their physical limits (and sleeping in the car on the way home). 

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