As Christmas approaches, it’s time to start thinking about gifts to send overseas to the Aussie expat in your life.
This year has been tough on everyone, no matter where you live, but it’s been especially difficult for Australian expats trying to get back to their home country.
I’ll start by saying that first and foremost on a lot of expat’s wish lists would be a plane ticket home with a guarantee that it won’t be suddenly cancelled a few hours before the flight.
But since that sounds more and more like a pipe dream these days, instead, we’ve put together a list of things that will help send Australia to the expat.
Gifts to send overseas
Keep in mind that both the Australian and the US postal systems are under a lot of pressure at the moment, so the sooner you mail or order your gift, the better.
Leaving it to the last minute will probably end in disappointment, so start thinking about sending your gifts now.
I’ve cherry picked gifts from businesses both in the US and Australia, with a special emphasis on rural-based Aussie businesses who are still recovering from the devastating 2019/20 bushfires and need our support.
What’s the best way to send gifts overseas?
My biggest tip would be to buy the gift from the same country as the recipient lives in.
This should cut down on delivery time and make it more likely that your gift will arrive on time.
Also consider sending electronic gift cards to the recipients’ email address instead of a physical gift. It’ll cut out the “shipping” time, and allow your friend or relo to get exactly what they want.
What do I need to know about shipping gifts overseas?
If you’re shipping from Australia to another country, first check Australia Post’s International Post Guide.
It contains information on the rules, guidelines, and restrictions for countries around the world, and will save you the hassle of having your package rejected at customs.
As an example, you can’t send lottery tickets or alcoholic beverages in the mail to the US from Australia.
You’ll also need to fill in a customs form listing the items inside your package, their weight, and how much they cost. You can find Australia Post customs forms here.
Can you send snacks internationally?
Many countries will make you sign a declaration that your package does not include any liquids or perishable items, so keep this in mind if you’re trying to send snacks internationally.
But most non-fresh foods are totally fine to send through the mail, as long as they’re well packaged and don’t run the risk of expiring before arrival.
How can I cut down on shipping costs?
The maximum international parcel size from Australia is 105cm (length), 104cm (girth), and 20kg in weight.
Obviously, the smaller and lighter the package, the less expensive it will be. You can also save some money by using your own packaging material to pack your item, as oppossed to using boxes supplied by Australia Post.
Gifts for the Aussie Expat Foodie
I say “foodie” but what I really mean is “Gifts for Aussie expats who miss their favourite snacks”.
As an Aussie expat myself, I can say that yes I miss family, friends, and the landscape (probably in that order), but what really takes me back home is the taste of a Summer Roll or a Cherry Ripe.
Care Package of Aussie food
Why not send a little care package of an assortment of snacks that’s sure to leave your Aussie mates jumping for joy?
The Australian Food Shop offers care packages for every budget, starting from $30 (USD). And you also have the option of customising the package to ensure your friend gets exactly what they love!
Note that these items ship from Australia.
I don’t know if I think of hampers as “Christmassy” because we used to get one on the farm every year from our feed supplier, OR because I’m old.
Either way, I tracked down the Christmas Downunder section at the Australian Products Co. in California and was transported back to a sweltering summer Chrissy.
There are a couple of hampers to choose from, plus some fruit cakes, and other Aussie Christmas essentials like canned passionfruit.
Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls
Nothing says “remember hanging out with your mates?” quite like a meat pie or a sausage roll.
There are so many resourceful Aussies living in the US who have started their own pie businesses that to list just one here would be unfair.
Instead, visit this post to find out all the businesses that will ship frozen pies, sausage rolls, and snags to your loved ones.
Gifts for the Aussie Expat Art Lover
There’s nothing like a print or painting to remind you of home. Art appreciaters will love these gifts.
Greeting Cards & Photography
Former Sydneysiders will love the work of this Homebush Bay photographer. The Shipwrecked Photographer offers gorgeous photo prints, canvases, and greeting cards from her Facebook shop.
Tie Dye Functional Art
Australian fabric artist Corinne pours her heart into beautiful one-of-a-kind items including doona covers, throw sets, beanbag covers, clothing, towels, baby items and face masks.
She uses a technique called ice dying to create colourful pieces that can’t be replicated. Visit Sewcial Dyes to see her work, and remember to order early as these items have to be made then shipped from Australia.
My personal favourites are the mandala doona covers.
Magpie Art Print
Missing magpie swooping season? Want to put the fear of these fiendish-flying-feathered-freaks into your Aussie expat kids? We have the print for you!
Artist Zinia King’s work is inspired by Aussie flora and fauna, and her work is shipped from the Adelaide Hills. You can order this digital print of her original painting.
Apart from this print, you can order notebooks, children’s books, a myriad of other prints, or an Australian art gift pack.
Aussie Wildlife Scenes
Artist Vanessa Wardle works from Tottens Hill NSW, and is inspired by native wildlife and rural scenes.
Her soft watercolours have an old world charm that makes me want to be back home watching the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos wandering our backyard.
You can get prints (great for keeping shipping costs low), notebooks, greeting cards, shopping bags, fridge magnets, and water bottles from her website.
Gifts for the Aussie Expat Fashionista
I’m the last person in the world to actually be able to tell you what’s fasionable, but I know what I like.
And now, I guess, you will too.
Kinda American, Kinda Australian
Has your expat mate been living in the US for quite a while? Maybe they don’t really know where they fit anymore in the grand scheme of “home country” things.
This unisex tee for the dual citizen in your life comes in lots of colours, but my favourite is the grey. In case you were wondering.
Two Boss Beads Jewelry
Aussie expat Eliza creates her leather and polymer clay jewelry from her New Jersey studio.
These Long Colourful Bird Earrings are just the thing to brighten up a neutral outfit and add a cute pop of colour.
Apart from earrings, Eliza creates wall hangings, bracelets, necklaces and DIY kits, so there’s something for everyone!
Leonard Street Kookaburra Tee
One of my absolute favourite Melbourne clothing brands is Leonard Street. And not just because they’re an ethical clothing brand.
I remember shopping trips to Melbourne where I’d go into the shop and fall in love with everything.
Anyway, if you love your Aussie expat very much, why not consider getting them this hand screen printed kookaburra tee?
If the tee isn’t up your alley, they also sell kookaburra print tea towels.
Gifts for the Aussie Expat Homewares Enthusiasts
Maybe it’s a little kitschy but I find that the older I get, the more I appreciate homewares.
We were gifted the cutest set of Australian animal tea towels when we got married, and they are one of my most prized gifts.
Australia Scented Candle
Nothing can take you back to a certain place, or memory like smells do. And the people at Homesick know that better than anyone.
Their Australia Candle is said to evoke “saltwater clinging to sun-kissed skin after a day at the beach”.
If you can’t get your loved one to Australia, this might be the next best thing for a while. Ships from the US.
Need a reminder of home while sipping your cuppa? Grab one of these mugs offered by XP Gifts (they come in nine colours) and you’re sorted.
Ships from the US.
Maps from Home
You might as well decorate your new home with reminders of your old home city.
These Australian city maps cover Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane and are available in different sizes here.
They ship from Australia, so remember that international shipping is slower at the moment.
Gifts for Aussie Expat Kids
Just because the special young’un in your life is thousands of kilometres away, doesn’t mean you can’t still shower them with love in the form of gifts that remind them of home.
No, I’m not telling you to bribe them into begging their parents to take them home.
I’m just saying, you can help them stand out from the crowd with these Aussie gifts!
Aussie Alphabet Flashcards
Alright, so they might not thank you for sending an “educational” gift, but these cute flashcards will ensure they don’t forget that “Z is for Zooper Dooper”!
Geri from Lil’ Eve has created alphabet cards that will take you right back to your primary school handwriting book. I’m not kidding, the writing on these cards is giving me flashbacks to “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. If you don’t understand that, you aren’t as scarred as I am.
There are heaps of cute items on Geri’s site, including Australiana Affirmation Cards for kids.
This is a Queensland-based business so allow extra shipping time.
Koala or Kangaroo backpack
If they’re keen on carrying their own stuff around, a cute koala or kangaroo backpack is the perfect way to ensure they don’t try to bring everything but the kitchen sink.
Plus the adorable-factor is very high.
Check out Aussie Food Express for this and other cute gifts for kids. They ship from the US east coast, so it could be a good option if you’ve left things a little late.
Rosie Dolls & River Boys
All kids need a doll to play with, and Emma from Quorroblong in NSW has handmade some beautiful ones.
They come in a variety of outfit fabrics, and some are one-of-a-kind, so if you see one on the Rosie River Dolls Facebook page that you like, check if it’s still available.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss a game of backyard cricket on Christmas Day with my brothers.
Was I a particularly sporty kid? No. Did our dry backyard mean we pretty much had to hammer the wickets into the ground? Yes. Did I love every second of it? Yeah, except for the times we hit a window or the ball got stuck on the roof.
Anyway, give the gift of yelling “six” whenever dad hits the ball over the fence and you have to sheepishly retrieve it from the neighbour’s backyard.
There are surprisingly quite a few US sites that sell cricket sets.
How to Support Australian ‘Bush’ Businesses
Australian businesses that were hit by the devastating 2019/20 bushfires were dealt a double blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can help support them by doing some shopping:
- Buy from a Bush Business (Facebook
- One Day Closer to Rain (Drought) – Rural Cottage Crafts (Facebook)
- Buy from the Bush (Etsy)
- Click for Vic (Website)
**Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links you don’t pay a cent more, but I receive a small commission, that is put towards the running of this blog.