Parents are like icebergs. Sure, you know the surface stuff but 9/10ths of the interesting stuff is hidden well below the surface in the fun years before you (and any of your siblings) turned up. Think their most embarrassing moment, what they wanted to be when they grew up and ill-advised crushes. Knowing them only as your parent without these juicy tidbits can make gift giving a little tricky.
Luckily, we've taken the hard work out of it with the 16 best gift ideas for parents that cover every type of parent, from the party-throwing ones to the sit on the sofa with a book ones. Although they all make ideal couple presents, you can also treat mum or dad to their own gift. Maybe they'll be so grateful they'll tell you about the time they almost got arrested.
Bamboo Cheese Board with Cheese Knives
Up their next wine and cheese night with this Ovela Bamboo Cheese Board. Carved slots hold crackers and meats snugly in place, with a flat spot for showcasing cheese. It comes with 2 ceramic bowls, ideal for chutneys and pickles, and 2 mini forks for stabbing olives and other tasty morsels. The best bit is the knife drawer that's neatly tucked away until they pull it open. Inside they'll find 4 different cheese knives for different cheese types. In eco-friendly bamboo, it's easy to wipe clean when they're done.
Know what goes great with a cheese board? Cheese. They'll never run out with an Artisans Bend cheese subscription. We rate the Therapy Box which includes 4 cheeses from small artisan Australian cheesemakers - no supermarket stuff here. With every box, they'll enjoy 1 stinky, 1 blue, 1 soft and 1 hard cheese, plus tasting notes and serving suggestions. They'll also get access to member-only discounts and offers. You can set the subscription level (although you will have to commit to at least 3 boxes for them) or choose a one-off purchase.
Matching Dressing Gowns
The couple that snuggles together, stays together. Your parents will look oh-so-adorable in matching robes, ideal for wintry nights or lazy mornings. This Jacquard Fleece Gown by Peter Alexander will do the job. Super soft and plush, it's loose fitting and will rest on their knees. Two front pockets are handy for phones (or warming hands) and there's a hanging loop too. Go for the personalisation option (an additional cost) to make it extra special.
Wake them up the right way with the Breville the Barista Express. A long-time Cosier fav, we rate this coffee machine for producing great coffee while being easy to use. Although it looks like a barista coffee machine, it actually offers manual or semi-automatic operation, including one-touch buttons that let them choose how many cups to make and and how many shots. The grinder whips up freshly ground coffee when they need it and there's even a steam wand for that professional finishing touch.
Hot Sauce Pack
Spice up their life (not even sorry) with this Melbourne Hot Sauce 6 pack. It contains 6 bottles of Melbourne Hot Sauce's award-winning range. They'll enjoy 150ml of Tomatillo & Jalapeno, Chipotle BBQ, Chipotle & Cayenne, Smoked Jalapeno, Habanero & Mango and Habanero Roja - the ideal amount to discover their new hot sauce favourite. Handcrafted in Port Melbourne, these hot sauces contain no added artificial nasties and they're gluten free, dairy free and vegan friendly (not the Chipotle BBQ - it contains honey).
This deluxe vintage edition of Scrabble from WS Game Company will elevate their next games night. A vintage Scrabble board is mounted on a solid wood cabinet, with storage underneath. It comes with natural wood tiles, 4 wooden tile racks and even a fabric pouch for tile storage. The board rotates so there will be no complaints about not being able to see the board from their angle. Bonus, there's a raised grid to hold the tiles in place in case someone gets a bit vigorous with their board spinning. A premium scorebook and pencil completes this deluxe game.
Microherbs Windowsill Grow Kit
Brighten up their windowsill (and their food) with this Urban Greens Microherbs Windowsill Grow Kit. Whatever stage of green their fingers are, this clever kit gives them everything they need to grow 3 types of herbs: basil, parsley and chives. The beautiful modern porcelain windowsill planter comes with a bamboo lid that doubles as a drip tray. Even better, it's Australian made and comes with Australian seeds.
Gift for 2
Spoil them with a Red Balloon gift for 2. For busy parents, they'll love the excuse to spend some quality time together. There are gifts for every type of parent. If they're the adventurous type, how about hot air ballooning? If they like the finer things in life, what about a winery tour and tasting and gourmet lunch? With everything from sunset cruises to cocktail making classes on offer, you're sure to find an unforgettable experience for them.
Moët Gourmet Hamper
An indulgent night in is easy with this Moët Gourmet Hamper from The Hamper Emporium. Packed full of locally and internationally sourced savoury treats, they'll enjoy tucking into nuts, olives and crackers. They can also provide the perfect finishing touch to cheese, with delicious tapenade, quince paste and semi-dried tomatoes. They'll wash it all down with a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne while toasting your generosity. Champagne not their thing? See our roundup of the best hampers in Australia.
Bucket List Adventures Book
Feed their wanderlust with this book: The Definitive Bucket List: Travel Experiences in Australia and New Zealand for the Best Years of Your Life. Geared at older readers, it's got plenty of local (yep, that includes NZ) travel inspo for them. Whatever type of escape they're after - luxury ones, walking holidays, bike or train journeys - they'll find them in here. There are even parent-suitable holidays, like golfing trips, garden tours and wildlife encounters.
When they're relaxing in the backyard, beach or boat, if their idea of a bad time is a warm wine, snap up a couple of these YETI Wine Tumblers. No more worries about broken glass, these durable tumblers are made of kitchen-grade stainless steel. Double wall insulation keeps their wine at the ideal temperature, helped by the sliding lid that keeps warm air out. They come in 5 great colours so your parents will always know whose is whose. At the end of a long day, they can chuck them in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
100 Dates Scratch Off Poster
Keep the romance alive with this 100 Dates Scratch Off Poster from Uncommon Goods. If they can't remember the last time they had a date night, it's time to fix that, stat. Ward off any more arguments about whether a pint and a pie at their local counts as a date and instead give them a coin and let them get scratching. Behind each box is a date idea, ranging from the classic to the more unusual. Printed on high quality paper, it's nice to show off, even when they've scratched off every box.
Make dinners a breeze by giving them a Philips Daily Collection Electric Airfryer. We love this airfryer. Not only is it the original air fryer, it's ideally sized for 2 and is so simple to use - they just have to set the temperature and timer, pop in their favourite snack and let it do the hard work. With a loud timer, they'll always know when dinner is ready.
Help them stay fit with his n hers Fitbit Inspire HR Fitness Trackers. These slimline fitness trackers are like a personal trainer on their wrist. These smart trackers automatically recognise workouts. Whether they're walking, running, cycling or swimming (it's water resistant to 50m), the Fitbit Inspire will recognise and record their workouts. With a focus on all-round health, it also works as a sleep tracker and will provide gentle reminders to move more if they're slouching. They won't miss an important text, call or calendar reminder either - it'll alert them if something comes up.
100 Year Journal
Encourage mum and dad to write down their life story with this linen hard cover 100 Year Journal. With hundreds of pages, they've got space to record everything about themselves and their lives. Different sections will prompt them to remember and record all of life's moments, the big and not-so-big stuff. From first steps and first words to lists of jobs and homes and maps of the world and their body, this journal will create a beautiful keepsake for the whole family to enjoy.
Coffee Machine Stand
If your parents are all about the coffee convenience (i.e. they've got a capsule coffee machine), they'll love this coffee machine stand with a capsule drawer. This hardworking stand not only provides a flat sturdy surface for them to proudly display their coffee machine on, it also has a drawer that holds 40 capsules. That's a lot of cups of coffee. Sleek, compact and neutral enough to fit all kitchens, it'll soon become a well-loved kitchen essential.