Souvenirs that don't suck

Find gifts that capture everything that's great about Australia
Photograph: Supplied
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You've sipped the best coffee in Sydney, visited its most inspiring art galleries and conquered our favourite tourist attractions. Now you want to share some of that experience with everyone back home, and we're here to help. 

Relegate plasticky keychains and knockoff boomerangs to the graveyard of bad souvenirs past. With a little guidance, you’ll find that Australia has plenty of distinctive gifts your family and friends will love.

All the buildings in Sydney that i've drawn so far by James Gulliver Hancock
Photograph: Supplied

For the art-lover

Museum and gallery gift shops are always a sure bet for tasteful and interesting pressies. In All the Buildings in Sydney – That I’ve Drawn So Far, author James Gulliver Hancock drafts a love letter to his home city through charming illustrations of its most iconic and offbeat architecture.

Where to buy: The Museum of Contemporary Art Store, 140 George St, The Rocks 2000. store.mca.com.au.

Bilby Plush toy at Taronga Zoo
Photograph: Supplied

For the kids

While it wasn’t quite good enough for Prince George, who swatted away the plush bilby presented to him during a visit in 2014, for non-royals a soft toy souvenir from Taronga Zoo should work a treat. They’re cute, native, and for a good cause – supporting the zoo’s animal conservation work.

Where to buy: Taronga Zoo, Bradley’s Head Rd, Mosman 2088. zooshop.taronga.org.au.

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Beechworth Bee Cause Outback Honey
Photograph: Supplied

For the foodie

Beechworth’s Bee Cause honeys are 100 per cent Australian made, and fund initiatives that help save our declining bee population. Their bush honey is less sweet than normal varieties and perfect for drizzling over yoghurt, while their outback honey has a warm and buttery profile – delicious on muesli or warm toast.

Where to buy: Major supermarkets and www.beechworthhoney.com.au

R.M. Williams Classic Craftsman
Photograph: Supplied

For the tastemaker

There’s no denying that we all secretly love uggs, but there’s another iconic Australian boot that’s worth your attention. RM Williams’ handcrafted leather riding boots are synonymous with quality and durability, made from a single piece of leather stitched at the rear. The fella himself was a hardy outback bushman who wound up presiding over a multimillion dollar business – a story as legendary as his shoes.

Where to buy: Stockists and boutiques across Sydney. www.rmwilliams.com.au.

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Bag of coffee beans
Photograph: Alana Dimou

For yourself

Australia doesn’t just punch above its weight in pristine beaches and fresh seafood – we also have a café culture that puts Europe (and the rest of the world, for that matter) to shame. Pick up a bag of Single O’s signature Reservoir blend – the Surry Hills café and roastery is so good, they’ve even got a tasting bar in Tokyo now. You’ll thank yourself when you’re back from holidays and on that AM work grind.

Where to buy: Single O, 60-64 Reservoir St, Surry Hills, 2010. 02 9211 0666. singleo.com.au.

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