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Tropic's pick of local 'experience gifts' this Christmas

Despite our best efforts, a late-December dash to the shops is often part and parcel of Christmas. 

But that scenario can be avoided entirely by buying the gift of an experience this year. 

Not only do they make for lasting memories, an experience gift can be one of the best ways to support local businesses.

From festival tickets to stand-up paddleboarding at Four Mile Beach, the Tropic team's ‘experience’ wishlist has something to suit everyone.

Savannah in the Round

Tickets to next year’s Savannah in the Round, set to play from October 1-3, gives the live music lover in your life something to look forward to.

Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley and Graeme Connors are among the 25 artists already booked in, and there’s two more rounds of lineup additions yet to be announced. 

Not only will this gift make for an unforgettable experience, it will support the return of local entertainment and live events.

Find the full lineup and tickets here.

Cairns Scenic Plane Flights

Spoil those looking to soar to new heights with a GSL Aviation Reef Hopper ticket.  

This once in a lifetime experience lets passengers view the region from a whole new level as they glide above the Great Barrier Reef.

The 40-minute flight includes picturesque window-seat views over Green Island and Palm Cove Beach. 

Find more information and book your tickets here.

Oaks Kitchen & Garden

Cooking classes are a win-win for all, the gift that gives back (to you).

With a cooking class at Oaks Garden & Kitchen, not only will your partner learn some ace curry-crafting skills, but they'll come home and and recreate the dishes for you.

Oaks offers private and group classes focused on Southeast Asian culture, sustainability and an open discussion on food – suitable for all skill levels.  

You can find more information and enquire here.

Anh Do's The Happiest Refugee

You might recognise Anh from his ABC's Brush With Fame, but the talented comedian, artists and storyteller exhbits his own life in this intimate and uplifting stage show. 

Set to play at Cairns Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday March 10, The Happiest Refugee explores Anh's journey from Vietnam to Australia, and from tragedy to comedy. 

Find more information and book your tickets here.

Bad Fishy Jet Boating

This wet and wild adventure could be the perfect package for the thrillseekers this Christmas. 

Bad Fishy Jet Boating runs a 35-minute ride around the waters surrounding Cairns, with heart-racing tricks and maneuvers to boot.

Prepare your pals to be soaked all over! Gift vouchers are available here.

Red Hot Summer Tour

Celebrate Australian music royalty with tickets to the Red Hot Summer Tour this May. 

The national festival will bring rock phenomenon Jimmy Barnes to Cairns, along with an all-star lineup of the country’s favourite rock artists.

Red Hot Summer Tour will take over the Showgrounds on Saturday May 15. Find the full lineup and tickets here.

The Young Company Theatre

Make these school holidays one to remember with a four-day drama bootcamp at The Young Company Theatre, available for kids aged 5-12. 

With this interactive gift, your creative kids will spend a week creating and playing a role in a play, leading to new acting and teamwork skills, as well as a troupe of new friends. 

Two programs will take place in January – Space Wars: The Force is Calling and Wizarding Academy: Wands at the Ready. 

Find more information here.

Refresh City Day Spa

A gift voucher to Refresh City Day Spa could be the perfect retreat from the festive season.

With a range of Christmas specials now running, a treatment at this local boutique-style day spa won’t go amiss.

Find their full range of sessions and gift voucher details here.

Windswell Port Douglas

What about a water activity of a different kind?

Windswell in Port Douglas has it all, from stand-up-paddleboarding, to kitesurfing, wakeboarding, foilboarding, tubing, snorkelling and spearfishing.  

Even better, these epic activities allow for a completely different experience of the Daintree River, Four Mile Beach or the inner reef. 

Book an experience here.

Spirit of Cairns

What could be the perfect present for those looking to take some time out over the festive season? How about a seaside cruise?

A spin with the Spirit of Cairns is a lavish affair at any time of the day, but it's extra special enjoyed with a fabulous cocktail and three-course dinner as the sun sets over the mountains.

You can buy gift vouchers online to shout your loved ones a night out, and secretly enjoy it yourself under the guise of gift giving.

Find more about Spirit of Cairns cruises here