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TravelSPC Mar 9th, 2009 12:35 PM

Gift Ideas for Australian Hosts
I will be traveling to visit an Australian friend in a few months and am trying to come up with some great gifts from an American. Not only do I need gifts for my friend (male in his 30s), but also his parents who we will visit for a couple days and possibly a couple friends who we may also stay with.

Also, can someone tell me if they sell the fixings for s'mores (ie - marshmallows and graham crackers) in Oz as I thought this would be a fun "American" treat to introduce his friends to if it does not exist there.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! I am not concerned about cost as I want the gifts (whether small or large) to be a hit. Thanks!

Melnq8 Mar 9th, 2009 01:40 PM

Hi TravelSPC -

I've never seen marshmallows and graham crackers here in Perth, but I haven't looked either, so take that with a grain of salt. I do know that marshmallow cream (called marshmallow fluff here) is very difficult to find. No Hershey bars here either (and what s'more is complete without a Hershey bar?). In fact, my husband just brought back a load of them for me from the US following a business trip as I was having a serious craving. Many Aussies will poo poo Hershey's, but this American just isn't a fan of Cadbury.

As far as what to bring, you might consider things like maple syrup and maple butter (which isn't butter at all, but just whipped maple syrup). You'll have no trouble getting either through Customs (believe me I know).

I've found that regional cookbooks make great gifts and when they're going to folks outside of the US, I always add a set of US measuring cups and spoons.

I'm sure the Aussies will loads of suggestions. I'm just a transplant.

Susan7 Mar 9th, 2009 02:17 PM

I'm not a fan of Cadbury's chocolate either, too sweet, ditto Hersheys. The prospect of eating crackers and marshmallow doesn't suggest a "treat" to me! LOL. Could you bring wine, books, CDs?

There was a thread about this topic recently, I can't seem to find it, but maybe try the search function above.

longhorn55 Mar 9th, 2009 08:09 PM

Mmmm...s'mores. I actually think it would be a great idea to bring the fixin's for s'mores as they are a real all-American treat. It's been a few years since we lived in Australia, but unless things have changed they do not have graham crackers or Hershey bars. Their chocolate bars, whether they be Nestle or Cadbury, are thicker than a Hershey bar and would not work so well in a s'more. We did find marshmallows there, but they were fairly expensive, pink and not quite the same consistency as our "Jet-puffed" marshmallows. I would bring American marshmallows as well.
As for what to bring....Are there any regional specialties for your state? Being from both Texas and Virginia, we've taken gifts to our Australian friends that represent both states, e.g. coffee mugs with Texas wildflowers, Virginia wines, etc. I think it's nice to take something that is not only American, but also partial to your part of the country.

Geordie Mar 9th, 2009 09:00 PM

I would be surprised if you could not get marshmallows at most Australian supermarkets

It depends where you are visiting, I don't know Graham Crackers but what I understand is that they are similar to a digestive biscuit, these and Hershey chocolate can be found in Sydney suburban shopping centres. The stores such as Sugar Fix (crap website) sell these items.

Just on a personal note, if s'mores are anything like twinkies, then I wouldn't bother ;)


Melnq8 Mar 9th, 2009 09:19 PM

For those unfamiliar with s'mores...

You toast the marshmallows over a campfire, making them soft on the inside and brown on the outside. You then sandwich the gooey marshmallow between two graham crackers and a Hershey bar (or part of one). The hot marshmallow makes the chocolate soft and, well, it's pretty tasty.

Haven't had s'mores since I was a Girl Scout, but still remember how good they were.

Sadly, digestive biscuits aren't a good substitute for graham crackers IMO. They're sort of similar, but I wouldn't use them in s'mores.

TravelSPC - sounds like you'll need to bring all the fixin's if you want to make a proper s'more.

dkw Mar 10th, 2009 01:16 AM

As an American ex-pat in Sydney, I think S'mores is a great idea. I had an Aussie co-worker get the "recipe" (complete w/ specific brand names) from me before she went on holiday to Hawaii. She brought back all the fixings and all our Aussie co-workers were intrigued. I can confirm...the marshmallows here are pink and hard....nothing like American marshmallows!! I've only seen graham crackers and hershey bars at Sugar FX. Both very expensive there!

Last week I bought a bag of Goldfish Cheddar Crackers at Sugar FX for $8.95....but, they were worth every penny!

My ex-pat friends here in Sydney always bring back Crystal Light To-Go packets that you can put into a bottle of water. Nothing like that available here.

And lastly....Tide Sticks!! Among our ex-pat friends here, they are like gold!! I even have Aussie friends that ask if I can have my sister send a couple more now :)

Melnq8 Mar 10th, 2009 01:48 AM

I just looked at that Sugar FX link - Hershey bars run AU $2.95 each. Yikes! TravelSPC - get yourself to Walmart and pick up a couple of $3 six packs before you come to OZ.

dkw - I'm heading to the US soon, maybe I can pick up one of those massive cartons of Goldfish at Sam's for you!

Interesting about Tide sticks, I've never used those.

TravelSPC Mar 10th, 2009 06:06 AM

Just a HUGE thank you to all who wrote!!!

I am SO glad that folks brought up needing Hershey bars - I felt silly bringing that part of the ingredients for s'mores, but now understand that Cadbury, Nestles, etc won't work.

I really appreciate the ideas and have jotted everything down. I needed some direction and this certainly gives me some. If anyone has anymore to add, I will be sure to check back so fire away. Thank you again!

northie Mar 10th, 2009 03:10 PM

Morning coffee biscuits I think by Arnotts are not a bad substitute for graham crackers (when you can't get the real thing!!!

wlzmatilida Mar 10th, 2009 07:24 PM


I can identify with DKW's post -- I've had the weirdest assortment of luggage items at times, bringing stuff to friends living in Oz or NZ -- my friend who was running a B&B in NZ for about a year, requested: Ritz Bits (for those who can't get them there either, they are small crackers filled with either processed cheddar cheese spread or peanut butter) for her kids, gallon Ziplock bags, and Neosporin.

And also the Tide Sticks! I take one on every trip - as DKW said, they ARE like gold. You show one of those and it's like you're David Copperfield performing some magic trick!

On the chocolate end of things - I'm not a big fan of chocolate, but I'd take Cadbury over Hershey's any day! (which is REALLY bad, because I'm originally from Pennsylvania)! That said, I've taken those mini Whitman Sampler boxes - they're small, pack easily and can't be bought there.

Basically, anything you can't get there! By the same token I brought back one of those "magic egg" Pavlova things (something no self respecting Aussie or Kiwi would EVER use I'm sure), but it was a huge hit with American friends.



dkw Mar 12th, 2009 10:10 PM

Ahh..Neosporin!! I've tried everything here and nothing is quite as effective.

Melnq8, Thanks for the Niece is coming at the end of May for a few weeks...she'll be getting a list of what to trade for her lodging :)

Melnq8 Mar 12th, 2009 10:22 PM

dkw -

Sounds like a fair trade. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the import/export business. I'll be taking Vegemite and crystalized ginger to an Aussie friend in the US, and taking Malteasers and Tim Tams to my mom. I'll be bringing back Hershey bars, Ghirardelli and Dove ice cream sauce. Hmmmm, there seems to be a pattern here...

Orlando_Vic Mar 14th, 2009 05:39 PM

There are a lot of ideas in this recent thread:

oliverandharry Mar 16th, 2009 03:16 PM

Are you Colorado bound?


Melnq8 Mar 16th, 2009 03:21 PM

Yep, by way of Switzerland, Nevada and Arizona.

Melnq8 Mar 16th, 2009 03:23 PM

O&H - Are you craving Tim Tams?

oliverandharry Mar 16th, 2009 11:13 PM

No, I'm going down under myself on May 18 and will get plenty. If you were coming through Denver would love to meet you!

Melnq8 Mar 16th, 2009 11:49 PM

As a matter of fact, I will be in Denver for a few days. How about sending me your contact details and we can see if we can arrange something - I'd love to meet you too!

billmelk at hotmail dot com

elnap29 Mar 17th, 2009 09:39 AM

Some items my Aussie relatives have requested:
See's chocolates
Canned pumpkin
dried chili mix (like Lawrey's or McCormicks)

Melnq8 Mar 17th, 2009 12:35 PM

Ummm, See's....interesting about pistachios - I see them everywhere here.

TravelSPC Mar 18th, 2009 06:22 AM

Just another thank you for the added ideas!!! I have a friend in Australia now who told me you cannot bring any food with you - I will be setting her straight AND seeing what she is missing!

Melnq8 Mar 18th, 2009 02:14 PM

You can bring food, but you'll need to declare ALL of it. Some food items are definitely prohibited; check this site for details:

You're generally okay with most commercially prepared foods, but items such as meat, nuts, fruits, and food containing eggs and herbs (such as some herbal teas) can be problematic. Also, no fresh fruits or veg.

I'm still working out the ins and outs of what is allowed here. We'd declared every single food item in our household shipment when we moved here and things I thought would be okay (curry mixes, cake and muffin mixes, dried beans, marshmallow cream) were confiscated, yet things I thought they would take (pecans, dried fruit) they let through.

The only items mentioned so far that might cause problems are the pistachios (especially if they're in their shell) and possibly the marshmallows - only bcause there might be egg whites listed in the ingredients - my marshmallow cream and cake mixes were confiscated from my shipment by customs and the only reason I can think of is that they contained egg.

You can send a note to the site above asking about specific items. I did just that before we moved here and I received a pretty detailed response regarding the list of items I'd asked about.

TravelSPC Mar 19th, 2009 10:20 AM

Thanks so much Melnq8! Very helpful!!

northie Apr 2nd, 2009 03:30 AM

we used to bring back wild rice and sometimes get packages of it over the years but the last few years it has been confiscated. As for timtams I would ship them all over to US. My friends there love them. Give me Junior mints for my treat!!!

Sharen Jun 3rd, 2009 08:56 PM

well friend
A Brass Bullet ( having a name of your friend/beloved/mam/dad/any one, whom you want to present a gift will be a exclusive way to show your affection and Love.

Carrabella Jun 3rd, 2009 09:26 PM

Back to the Graham Crackers - I thought Arnott's Sayo biscuits were more or less the same. Every supermarket has them - and pink and white marshmallows (Pascall) are on special this week for $1.99 A.

Sharen - the Brass Bullet site didn't come up - but I would HATE someone to give me a bullet with my name on it! You are joking?

Dave3 Jun 6th, 2009 02:37 PM

I've gotten requests to bring canned pumpkin pie filling and canned cranberry jelly to Australia.

ellie32 Nov 19th, 2013 10:43 AM

Morning hours cookies I think by Arnotts are not a bad alternative for graham biscuits when you can't get the genuine thing.

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