Invest in a hiking holiday, like the Cradle Mountain Overland Track in Tasmania, for your dad this Father's Day or, below, whale watching or fishing might be more his style.
Invest in a hiking holiday, like the Cradle Mountain Overland Track in Tasmania, for your dad this Father's Day or, below, whale watching or fishing might be more his style. Valerie Horton

Give dad a travel experience this Father's Day

INSTEAD of giving dad something expected on Father's Day - the usual socks or tie - you could think outside the box and give him the gift of travel. The simplest form of travel gift is to take dad to lunch, down the road or out of town.

A Brisbane city lunch, and there are myriad places to choose from, could also include a visit to the Queensland Museum where Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum is on show.

The exhibition features more than 100 original artefacts including pieces of the Colosseum.

If you are up to going further afield, organise a spring mini-break for dad.

With the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay all easily accessible and brimming with accommodation options and leisure activities, a weekend escape is just a matter of planning around his likes.

Or how about a hike? The next few months are the perfect time for hiking, before the heat and humidity set in.

Queensland abounds with beautiful national parks, but if you want the ultimate hiking experience it should be Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.

The Cradle Mountain Overland Track is renowned for being Australia's most famous bush hike with its pristine environment and natural beauty.

A cruise voucher is another great gift idea. Watch out for the cruise sales - all the big companies have them - and pick up a bargain.

South Pacific cruises are easy, and a seven-night getaway could feel like a month-long holiday if dad gets into all the on-board activities. And you get to go - always a bonus.

Closer to home, a half- or full-day fishing cruise would make a delightful gift.

There are plenty of companies who would take dad fishing, whale-watching or just sailing.

A winery tour is another idea for a gift with a difference. If you don't want the expense of travelling to some of our great interstate wine regions, the Granite Belt in Queensland is just a drive away.

A cycle trail from Stanthorpe to Ballandean will give a good view of the delightful spring countryside.

Wine tastings, hot air ballooning and dozens of accommodation options from budget to high-end mean you can open your imagination and plan a rewarding visit.

A Rail Europe gift card - they range from $25 to $500 - is a practical gift idea if your dad is planning a trip to Europe. He can plan his train journeys without worrying about currency exchanges or deciphering instructions in a different language.

A spa gift certificate will ensure your dad takes time out when he's ready to enjoy a massage, facial or an hour in a flotation tank.

Most dads never treat themselves to a spa day so this gift idea will ensure he receives an experience new to him.

All the big hotel groups have gift certificates, which makes buying easy for you. It's only limited to your budget and imagination.

If your dad is more an armchair traveller, get into your nearest bookshop and search the travel section. Bill Bryson's hilarious travel narratives are always in print and they will have most readers guffawing at every page turn.

Then there are dozens of gift ideas for the traveller father - from quality headphones that will block out all noise and distractions on his next flight to smart new luggage.

If your budget allows, splurge on a GPS. It ensures no more arguments in the car.

If your budget is tiny, a snazzy toiletry bag would work a treat. Even less expensive, a block-out sleeping mask.

The gift of travel is always exciting so anything you give is certain to make your dad a happy bloke on Father's Day.


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