Some people have a knack for picking out the perfect birthday gifts for friends and family. They’re the ones that always show up at the birthday party or other celebrations, and when their present is unwrapped, everyone kind of wishes they had something equally awesome to show for.
Not everyone has that sixth sense of picking out the perfect gift. Some people need some help.
Check out these 20 awesome birthday present ideas for that friend or family member who likes some adventure or out of the box gifts.
Unique Birthday Present Ideas
1. Rock Climbing Courses for the Adventurous Souls
Have a friend that’s a bit more adventurous, but hasn’t taken the plunge yet? Then, how about you treat them to an introduction into the art of rock climbing?
There are loads of groups throughout Australia that offer various types of courses, from beginner levels to those a bit more advanced, but not technically ready to venture off by themselves. You can purchase a 1-time pass to give your friend the chance to get to know this sport and see if it’s for them – don’t buy multiple classes, as rock climbing really isn’t for everyone.
Even better, you can even join them and discover an awesome new activity together. Who knows, maybe you’ll be planning weekend trips to mountains to test your new skills.
2. A Portable Grill for the Frequent Camper
Camping is a fun experience where you go to relax and be in touch with nature… except not everyone wants to be fully in touch with nature.
Some people may still want to preserve some of the comforts of modern life when they go camping, so if by reading this you already have a name circulating through your mind, here’s a great gift for them: a portable grill or stove.
They can use it to boil water or even cook small meals when they’re out in the woods, and not worry about doing any damage to nature. Campfires can be beautiful, but they can also ruin the ecosystem. This device gives you the best of both worlds.
Check out Amazon for hundreds of models.
3. Archery Sets to Hit the Bullseye
Have a Robin Hood fan in your midst? Then an archery set is a perfect gift for them, or for anyone who’s down for some fun. Now, nobody’s telling you to buy dangerous weapons for your friends or anything. Many archery sets have the appeal of looking and feeling real, but the tips of the arrows are either magnetic (so they stick to the bullseye), or rubber, so nobody will get hurt while the fun’s going on.
The best part is that you have some variety. You can go for a classic wooden set that’s just like in the movies, or opt for a more modern appeal. They even make archery sets for kids, completely safe, and completely fun.
4. A Polaroid Camera for Your Vintage Lover Friend
Some people long for the past, even if they talk about a past they technically weren’t a part of. These days, it seems like there is a resurgence of old objects that are yet again planted into the mainstream. One popular example is that of pick-ups and vinyl, which have seen an increase in sales in recent years.
But how about a polaroid camera? It’s an awesome gift idea both for friends who are this kind of old souls yearning for yesteryear, though pretty much everyone can enjoy taking and printing these pictures almost instantly. If you can’t find a true, vintage one, don’t worry. There are newer versions on the market too.
5. A Winery Tour for, Well, Anyone
Winery tours are fun, especially if you go with a group of friends to walk around the vineyard, learn more about wine production, and put countless bottles to the test.
These tours can be really varied, so you can even find some that include meals, and other treats, like this Melbourne wine tour that also offers a chocolate tasting. The tour also stops by a local brewery to check out some tap beer and cider, so the experience is more complete. Call some of your friends and see if they’re down with this tour – it can even be the birthday party itself.
6. Dog Robot for That Helter-Skelter Friend
Some people just have it in them to take care of others, while others manage to kill a cactus in their home. One nice and somewhat funny birthday present you could get such a friend is a small puppy robot and give them the responsibility of caring for it.
Don’t worry, it won’t cost a fortune. You’re not getting them a super-advanced robot. Just a small puppy that can obey a small number of commands and be controlled via an app. They’re really cute, and they can help your friend figure out if they want to take the next step and get a real puppy. Speaking of pets…
7. A Pet-Friendly Backpack for the Travelling Furry Friend
Unless they have a big dog that can resist taking really long walks, your friend’s pet may not be able to travel along with their human every time. But both the pet and your friend will love these types of backpacks created especially for pet travel. They are perfect for small pups, and even cats!
Most of these have either a plastic window or see-through materials to allow the pet to see the way and have enough air to stay comfortable. It can be used for trips to the park, or even when they need to go to the vet. It can also help your friend stay more active and walk instead of driving their pet to the vet or groomer. It’s one of those gift ideas that both man and man’s best friend will love.
8. A Meet the Meerkats Experience
The Australia Zoo has a lot of fun activities to offer, but their animal encounter variety really takes the top prize. You can pretty much have an up-close and personal meeting with any animal you can imagine, from tiger cubs to koalas, or giant tortoises.
But their Mischievous Meerkats tour is almost guaranteed to make you fall in love with these adorable creatures, so if you have an animal lover who’s birthday is around the corner, this is definitely the type of gift they will enjoy. The zookeepers will be with you every step of the way to answer questions and help you and your friend get closer to the meerkats.
9. A Desktop Arcade Machine for Nostalgic Gamers
Regular-sized arcade games may be a great gift to buy for a retro game lover, but they can be really expensive. Solution? A small, desktop machine that will still give the same experience.
This is one of those birthday presents ideas that are perfect for the entire family to enjoy. They can come in different shapes and sizes and include a variety of games, so if your friend or a family member has one they enjoyed as a child, like Pacman, you can get them one that will bring all those wonderful memories from their childhood back. What’s more, you now have a reason to stop by their house a lot more often and start some good, old fashioned arcade tournaments.
10. A Scratch Map for the Traveller Within
Everyone has that friend who’s always out of the country on some adventure. What could you possibly get them, since they already seem to have such an adventurous life? Well, you can get them a creative way to keep track of all the countries they’ve travelled to, and see which corners of the world remained undiscovered.
Scratch maps look just like regular ones, except underneath lie some tidbits and fun facts about the countries or regions depicted on them. Your friend just has to take a coin and scratch off a place they’ve seen, and relive the awesome memories they created. You should probably get one for yourself too, and adopt this travelling habit.
11. Gin and Tonic Popcorn for Those Special Times
For the gin and tonic aficionados in your life, next to that expensive bottle of gin they’ll surely enjoy, you can add some gin and tonic flavoured popcorn to bring your present to the next level.
Though these treats don’t contain alcohol, they do slightly evoke the taste of this classic drink, while combined with other great flavours. But, it’s its novelty vibe that really sells this product as a unique gift idea.
Or, if your friend doesn’t really like popcorn, would they be interested in some gin and tonic bathing gel? Because, yes, that’s a thing.
12. Mini Ecosystem Fish Tank, Because Honestly, It’s Awesome
Get a little bit of the wonders of nature directly into your friend’s kitchen or living room with a mini-ecosystem fish tank. The fish waste from the tank below fertilised the plants on top, and, in turn, the plants will clean the water to the fish and live in a clean environment.
These tanks allow you to grow a variety of different plants, be they for aesthetic reasons, or even for cooking. For instance, you can grow organic microgreens and sprouts to make homemade salads even healthier. It’s a gift that your friend surely has never received before, and one that will really make a statement with everyone who lays eyes on it.
13. A Cotton Candy Machine to Make Every Day Feel Like a Fair
Cotton candy is made quite easily if you have the right equipment. You don’t have to wait for carnivals or street events anymore. You can just buy a cotton candy machine and enjoy this sugary treat anytime you want.
Buy this for your friend and come prepared with the ingredients. As soon as they will open it, you can bet people will start queueing to get their hands on some of this sugary treat. And who can blame them?
14. An Under-Desk Elliptical for the Friend Who Never Has Time to Workout
There’s always that person in the group who constantly says they’d love to workout more, but just don’t have the time and energy to do it. Well, if that person has a desk job and needs to sit in front of the computer for long hours, here’s a great birthday present idea for them: an under-desk elliptical.
They can carry out their regular work routine while ma king some serious steps and burning some calories. A lot of these models are completely silent, so they won’t bother any co-workers. It’s portable as well, so they can be brought at home at the end of the day and continue their workout even on the weekends while enjoying their favorite book.
15. Pottery Classes
Your friend with some artistic inclination can really appreciate this gift. Pottery is a fun way to pass the time, and learn how to make things you can actually use like mugs or plates. There are even at-home kits you can buy, though at least at first it might be best to let your friend learn from an expert.
There is, however, a potential downside to this gift, which can affect you and all your friends. If the person you buy this gift for develops a taste for it, expect to receive DIY pottery stuff as presents for at least five years from now on.
16. Portable Picnic Table
Who says you can’t have a picnic in style? These foldable tables are great to carry around and pop them up when you find the perfect spot for a Sunday lunch in the park. They can get so small that they’ll easily fit in a tote bag.
Your outdoorsy friends can appreciate this gift, particularly if they can share it with a significant other. Just imagine going on a date on a beach, late at night, and enjoying some wine and cheese on this table. You want to get one for yourself too, don’t you?
17. Airbnb Gift Card, Because Hotels Are So Yesterday
Airbnb has really changed the accommodation industry, and if one of your friends is a frequent user of this platform, then a gift card is not just one of the best present ideas; it’s a convenient one too. The best part is that these cards never expire, so your friend doesn’t have to feel pressured to book a flight and prepare a vacation fast.
You can get the gift card by email, and your friend just has to add it to their account and it’s good to go. Get a few more friends to chip in, so you can give the birthday person even more funds. They don’t have to spend it all on one booking; gift cards can be used until the funds run out.
18. Time Capsules for Making Memories Last
This one can truly bring all your friends together. The time capsule doesn’t necessarily have to be store-bought, you can pretty much use any sort of container that doesn’t oxidise and lasts. Personalise it however you want, then encourage your friend to add some memories to it. They can either be personalised to the person you are celebrating or memorabilia of the entire group, like the tickets to the first move you’ve seen together.
Then, simply bury the time capsule in your friend’s backyard, and only bring in out after years have passed to relive those wonderful memories together.
19. A Coffee Box Subscription
No coffee lover can say no to the opportunity of discovering Australia’s finest specialty coffee. So help them check them all out by getting them a subscription to a coffee box delivery service.
They can get the beans delivered monthly at their doorstep, and try them out to make incredible brews of their own. Who wouldn’t love that?
20. A V8 Supercar Experience for the Adrenaline Seekers
Have a friend who likes cars and would want the chance to try out a racing experience? Great!
Get them the chance to get behind the wheel of a V8 race car. They can either drive accompanied by a professional or sit in the passenger seat. The adrenaline will be pumping through their veins either way. You can get your friend a V8 experience from FastTrack V8 Race which hires racing tracks all around Australia, like Sandown in Melbourne and even the iconic Mount Panorama Racing Circuit in Bathurst.
This is truly an out of the box birthday present idea, isn’t it?
Over to You
So, there you have it; 20 potential birthday present ideas that will put a smile on your friend’s face. Keep this list close by and check it every time there’s a celebration coming up. Soon enough everyone’s going to be excited to see what you’ll come up with next.