With Mother's Day around the corner, it is once again a mental scramble for gift ideas. Especially in Melbourne with a growing population of trendy, cosmopolitan and eco-friendly mums, the research can be trying. In my search for ways to spoil mum and sooth the last minute panic, I came across some gift ideas with a difference and several don't cost the earth. Here are 11 interesting gift ideas that are great and occasionally green for Mum (and Mother Earth) this Mother's Day.
If Mum is a fan of 'Better Homes and Gardens' and floral shows, then she'll likely enjoy being a part of Australia's largest gardening club. For over 20 years, The Diggers Club has been researching and recommending the best varieties of plants and seeds to home gardeners as well as to preserve gardening traditions in Australia. It also has a Garden and Environment Trust which strives to protect heirloom seeds and conserve historic gardens. Mum will receive discounts on all the products, member special offers, free seeds in spring and autumn and all the Digger magazines for inspiration on growing her own food and gardening tips. Simply click here to get Mum a gift membership for Mother's Day.
Based in Sydney, Eggpicnic is founded by Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso. The company uses its hand signed prints to educate and protect wildlife, especially in Australia, which has the highest rate of mammal extinction. For Mother's Day, Eggpicnic is offering $10 off your second item when you purchase a pressie for Mum till 1 May online. Every purchase of "Marsupials of Australia I" print, which features six native animals facing challenges to survive, will also go towards planting 8 trees with Greenfleet Australia. This effort will help to restore the native forests and habitat for the Australian wildlife.
Goodwill Wine offers Mum the opportunity to enjoy some fine wine while helping her favourite charity. All the wines are sourced directly by the company from independent wineries around Australia to ensure a high quality. Examples include a medal-winning 2006 shiraz from Chalice Bridge in Margaret River and a 2009 chardonnay from award-winning winemaker Graeme Miller in the Yarra Valley. Simply select Mum's favourite charity when purchasing any wine online. It can be a well-known non-profit or even a local school. 50% of the profits from your purchase or $20 a case, whichever is greater, will be donated by Goodwill Wine to that chosen charity. Mum will receive her wines with a charity-specific label. Go to the website to make your selection.
Melbourne is home to an operating railway museum. The Mornington Railway Preservation Society (MRPS) restores and manages heritage steam-hauled passenger trains. Take Mum to experience this locomotive of yesteryear on Mother's Day as it travels between Moorooduc to Mornington and back, on a railway line that dates back to 1889. In addition to enjoying the restored vintage carriages and experiencing train travel in a bygone era, Mum will also receive a small gift and card for the special occasion. Click here for more information on fares and ticket purchase.
Treat Mum to an afternoon surrounded by the opulence and grandeur of Labassa Mansion this Mother's Day. This heritage property is one of most outstanding 19th century mansions in Australia built in French Renaissance (or Second Empire) style with Germanic and Hellenistic influences. The Drawing Room will be opened for the special occasion and serving a morning or afternoon Devonshire Tea. Mum can also admire the largely intact original decoration of the finest embossed wallpapers, mahogany timbers and a rare illusionist ceiling. There is also a special National Trust collection Millinery and accessories on display. Click here for booking details.
Get close to nature and Mum on Mother's Day with a night-time forest walk on the Gold Coast. Tour Gold Coast offers a view of the country's largest population of glow worms in the World Heritage listed area of Springbrook National Park. The operator is an accredited eco company with Ecotourism Australia and Climate Action Business. Visit the website to book your journey with Mum.
Enrol Mum into the largest Mother's Day celebration in Australia. Organised by Women in Super, a national network of women in the superannuation and finance industries, the Mother's Day Classic host a walk and run that brings people together to help raise awareness and funds for National Breast Cancer Foundation research programs. There is a choice of 4km and 8km walk and run around the Tan Track. Get some bonding time with Mum during this family walk or run at Alexandra Gardens on Mother's Day and help support breast cancer research at the same time. Visit the website for more information and registration.
For Mums with sweet tooth, there's the "Love Mother Earth Heart" biscuits from Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse. From now till 8 May, $1 from each tin purchased will contribute to the replanting of native trees around Australia by Greenfleet. These sugar coated biscuits are available online and at Ferguson Plarre shops. You also stand a chance to win a Divine Drip Cake valued at $42.90 for Mum by simply going to the Ferguson Plarre Bakehouse facebook page and describing why your Mum is the best.
Mum doesn't have to make a trip to Munich in Germany to enjoy a Bavarian Mother's Day lunch. Munich Brauhaus in South Wharf is a German beerhall serving up a variety of Bavarian dishes and beers. Its not Oktoberfest so Mum will receive a complimentary glass of bubbles on arrival instead. The kids will also be entertained with colouring in and face painting. Click here for booking details.
If your budget permits then spoil Mum with a luxurious flight over the Yarra Valley in a hot air balloon by Global Ballooning. The Mother's Day Package for 2 offers you and Mum can enjoy a balloon flight with Champagne breakfast at Rochford Wines and sparkling high tea at Chateau Yering. In addition, your purchase before 5 June will also entitle you to be in the draw to win a night's accommodation with breakfast for 2 at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Melbourne. To book, simply phone 03 9428 5703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free visit for Mum
Grab the family and visit more than 10,000 animals including one of the largest Saltwater Crocodiles in the world this Mother's Day. There's even a new Ice Age 4D Cinema. Victoria's Leading Attraction SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is offering Mum a free entry when when accompanied by a full paying customer. Simply download the voucher here for Mum to entry free. Visit the website for more information about the attractions.