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Present ideas for brother and sister in law in Oz

(19 Posts)
brittanyfairies Wed 12-Nov-14 10:35:20

Does anyone have an idea for a present I could buy for my DB and SIL in Australia. I'm going to visit so needs to be able to fit in a suitcase and I only have about £50. They have a much bigger income than me and if they want something they buy it. They've been very good to me over the last couple of years and I'd love to get them something special. I have ordered a poppy from the Tower but I'm a bit worried it won't come in time before I fly out and (selfishly) a part of me wants it as well.

I'm not entirely sure I can even take food to them, having watched all the middle of the night border control programmes everything seems to get banned.


Sootgremlin Wed 12-Nov-14 10:54:31

This may not be helpful in terms of ideas, but M&S do free delivery to Australia, so you could order something to be delivered straight to them, if you were limited by baggage restrictions.

Honsandrevels Wed 12-Nov-14 11:22:22

We've a similar present problem but we need something you can post! I had no idea M&S do free delivery. I might get them a terrible Christmas jumper each.

Not on the high street do lots of nice personalised gifts.

Jenny70 Wed 12-Nov-14 14:44:36

No food, quaritine can confiscate it. Should be ok if commercially bought and sealed, but some ingredients are still banned from import (honey).

Does your local national trust sell nice mugs? There us quite a coffee culture here, so espresso cups or nice mugs would prob be fairly safe.

trendy salad servers or the like - David Mellor has some lovely pieces of housewares that might not be too expensive (some that are yoo expensive too!!).

Sootgremlin Wed 12-Nov-14 15:27:27

M&S is quite good because you can send homewares, toys and so on.

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 12-Nov-14 15:41:36

You can take some food items especially if they are cooked. I took a tier of my wedding cake through (or rather, mil did!) no problem (and yes, it was declared, I am not saying she smuggled it in). Things like packets of biscuits, for example, are no problem.

I struggle with what is allowed and what is not though. My sil likes lavender products, eg drawer liners. She can't get them in Australia so I send her some for Christmas. To my mind, they should be the sort of thing that is banned, but they aren't.

No specific ideas for you, but I would be thinking along the lines of things that weigh very little and take up little room in your luggage.

agoodbook Wed 12-Nov-14 15:45:16

My daughter actually ordered flowers in Australia to be delivered to her best friend who was over there at the time if that helps smile

Mrsgrumble Wed 12-Nov-14 15:46:08

I would get them good quality plain t shirts etc as clothes weren't of great quality when I was there (might have not been a great area though)

justhereforchristmas Thu 13-Nov-14 03:00:38

generally you should be fine to bring in things like wrapped sweets, tins of chocolates, things from thorntons. Honey or bee products are a no no as well as any fresh plant material or any kind of fruits. Dried herbs and spices can be ok sometimes as long as they are sealed in the jar/packet they were purchased in. Any food items that are brought in have to be declared. if you are unsure declare it, customs will look at it and if they need to they will confiscate, they are far nicer if you declare and shouldnt have it rather than trying to sneak it in. My family/friends always bring in toffees and chocolates as the price increase is very high (import costs) and they always declare and have never had any issues.

MaMaPo Thu 13-Nov-14 03:11:52

grin to bringing in plain t-shirts. 'Hi, I heard you can't buy shirts here so Happy Christmas!' There are plenty of places to buy tshirts here! That would be a weird present.

One thing I always buy back in the UK is some top-notch very strong leaf tea. I get it from Drury Teas in London and it's the best. (I think it's called something boring like the London blend.)

Agree that notonthehighstreet have some good ideas.

justthere is spot on about what you can bring in. Anything fresh or unsealed is a nono, absolutely no honey/bee products but most other things are fine. Just always, always declare.

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Nov-14 03:34:02

If you want to take over foodstuffs, the best thing to do is to look at the AQIS website to see if it's likely to be allowed. I did this the first time I went back to the UK to see what I could bring back and was pleasantly surprised.

I routinely bring back Bisto powder, Boursin (have it on the flight), smoked mackerel in a sealed packet, G&B drinking chocolate powder, vast quantities of milk & almond G&B chocolate (except last year because it disappeared), I've even brought back a kilo of dried cherries before now. I ALWAYS declare food and drugs (medications, nothing illegal!) - sometimes they are happy with what I tell them, other times they want to see but the only thing I've ever "lost" was an apple that I told them I suspected was in a bag but I couldn't find it - they x-rayed, found it, confiscated it for destruction - fair enough.

Rule of thumb - if it's uncooked/untreated animal or vegetable* product, don't bring it.

If they like Pimms then it might be nice to bring some of that over - it's viciously expensive here in comparison with the UK! You have the usual 2.25L allowance for alcohol to come into Australia.

Things you really should avoid are things made from any animal product such as bone, feather, shell; and any plant product such as wood, seeds, or flowers. Furniture (which you're obviously not going to bring) is ok because the wood is usually treated so won't be bringing any disease into the country; but untreated wood wouldn't get in.

Also, if you've never been before, make sure your shoes are all clean of mud - they get the arse over mud too!

Things I buy in the UK that aren't foods - books, DVDs, underwear - all much cheaper in the UK and better quality in terms of underwear. Also deodorant because I use a dry stick deodorant, and there isn't a decent one for women here.

Perhaps you'd do better to ask your brother and his wife what they'd like?

*using the wider definition of vegetable to mean all plants.

MaMaPo Thu 13-Nov-14 03:54:11

Ooh, I know. Do they like cooking? Cookbooks are crazy expensive here so that could make a nice gift.

I'm pretty sure you can get Boursin here...

Glastokitty Thu 13-Nov-14 03:55:53

If someone was visiting me I'd get them to bring me some decent crisps and chocolate. My local UK sweet shop charges $3 for a bag of Walkers! Can you ask them if there is anything they miss? And yes, arf at plain white t-shirts! grin

Glastokitty Thu 13-Nov-14 03:57:07

Don't get the Jamie Oliver cookbook though, I just bought it in Target for 24$.

MaMaPo Thu 13-Nov-14 03:58:33

Yes, Jamie Oliver is (as everywhere else) ubiquitous in Australia. Perhaps an Ottolenghi book, or the Silver Spoon or other of the Phaidon books?

MaMaPo Thu 13-Nov-14 04:00:05

Or some Lillet? It's about to double in price here as they're changing the taxing of it.

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Nov-14 05:22:16

You can get Boursin here, Mamapo - admittedly it's about 4x the cost as in the UK, but I have it in my cabin luggage to eat on the plane with crackers as the DC are frequently sleeping at meal times.

SurfsUp1 Thu 13-Nov-14 05:26:05

Not sure a Christmas jumper would be great - remember its summer!smile

Unless there's something they particularly miss I wouldn't bother with food - food etc here is fantastic.
Champagne maybe? A nice scarf? A beach bag? Books?

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Nov-14 06:07:04

Pimmms... and more PImmmmms...

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