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Sydney, Australia -- Creative Gift Shopping

Evelyn Hannon

One of the lovely perks of shopping solo anywhere in the world is that you can browse uninterrupted for as long as your little heart desires. It's also a wonderful time for people watching, especially in markets as you observe shoppers going about their daily business. Each excursion is a lesson, a time to learn something new about the culture. Feeling a little blue or lonely? On those days get into the shops and make small purchases for those people you miss the most. Gift buying, especially when you find something wonderful, is a guaranteed mood changer.

Shopping in Sydney is extremely easy and great fun. Think budget. Think made-in-Oz. Think packable. Understand that gift shops are not always the answer to creative, inexpensive goodies to bring home to the people you love.


Cookies and honey for Mom, Granny and Auntie...

Journeywoman found two wonderful gift ideas -- both under $A3.00 and both readily available on the shelves of Cole's, one of Sydney's major supermarkets. We chose the King and George Street Branch. There's many more around the city.

It was Ruth B., an Israeli-born, Sidneysider who alerted us to the wicked pleasures of Arnott's TimTam, a most irresistible made-in-Australia chocolate biscuit treat. If you buy only a few packages of these you will probably berate yourself when you get back home. Instead, make sure to purchase enough for all the chocoholics on your list. They'll love these tasty cookies and adore you for thinking of them (under$A3.00).

Yes, you probably can find fancy gift bottles of honey at three times the price in posh shops but why bother? Instead turn once more to Sydney's supermarket shelves. Capilano, Yellow Box, pure honey is readily available, inexpensive and 100% Australian. It's pleasantly flavoured and one of the most popular varieties you'll find in Oz. Tie a bright ribbon 'round the neck of this 250 g. jar ($A2.95) and presto, you've got a yummy present with great Aussie personality.


Caps, kangaroos and koalas for kiddies...

If you're a JourneyMom, JAuntie or JGrandma who's always on the lookout for the perfect gift to buy for the kiddies in your life, worry no more. Here are two suggestions for splendid items created by Aussie women. They're guaranteed to please.

Wompoo hats (named after Australia's brightly coloured fruit dove) are available in whimsical fleece designs for both girls and boys. Picture a pink cap with little stemmed daisies growing from the top of the cap, or (for tiny guys), bold orange hats with floppy mini-martian antennae in lime green and aqua. Most adorable! Journeywoman discovered these creations at the YWCA Design Shop in Melbourne (489 Elizabeth Street, Tel: 03 9329 5188) however, they're also readily available at such outlets as Bay Swiss near Fox Studios in Sydney. For further info on shops around the country that carry her product, e-mail designer Anna Byrnes at: wompoohats@hotmail.com She'll be happy to help. ($A22.00)

Every child loves new storybooks. Why not add to their education by seeking out tales by two of Australia's most popular female authors? For five-six year olds, Journeywoman suggests "The Kangaroos Who Wanted to be People," by May L. O'Brian. For seven-ten year olds, there's "Okay Koala" and "Dirty Shorts." All guaranteed to please, so easy to pack and available at Dymocks Book Sellers (424 George Street, Sydney). We bet this gift will make you the most popular adult on the block. (Each book under $A15.00)


For more great Aussie shopping secrets, please click here.

 

 

 

 

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