When I hear the number 1080 I immediately think of Nintendo’s rather average video game from the 90’s. (FYI – it was called 1080° and wasn’t as good as Cool Boarders). But perhaps spinning around 3 times is exactly what a bunch of Aussies are doing after the government announced their recent changes to tax refunds. 

According to News.com.au, ‘The Morrison Government has managed to pass its full package of tax cuts, meaning many Australians will get up to $1080 back this year.’

Once you’ve finished spinning, hop onto the ATO’s website to calculate your refund and promptly lodge your tax return, it’s time to stop that refund from burning a hole in your pocket and start dreaming of ways to spend it. It is basically free money after all! (Ok, so it’s not quite free money, but it’s an unexpected bonus, so kinda the same thing. P.S. Don’t take financial advice from me – pay your bills first!)

Anyway, if you’re going to blow your wad as soon as it hits your bank account, here’s 7 ways to do it in the raddest way possible.

# 1 Get A Packraft

Probably not your everyday impulse purchase, but now could be the perfect time to add another toy to the shed. A quick Google search and you should be able to find something that floats for under a 1000 buckaroos.

Now you’ve got your raft (hopefully a paddle and definitely a PFD), here are some ideas for where to take it.

Packrafting In The Surf // Train For Whitewater Without A River

Lessons From The River // Canyoning And Packrafting In New Zealand

packraft Murrumbidgee pine island xavier anderson

Packrafting Pine Island – Photo by Xavier Anderson

# 2 Fly To Tasmania

Escape the City for a long weekend and head to the Apple Isle. Head there straight away if you’re feeling impulsive and fancy some chilly winter adventures, or save it for summer – although there’s still no guarantee of warm weather then either.

You’ve probably got a few dollary-doos left over, so how about carbon off-setting the flight for extra-good feels?

A Photographer’s Guide To Shooting Wild Tasmania

A Hiker’s Playground // Walls Of Jerusalem National Park (TAS)

7 Rad Ways to Spend Your $1080 Tax Refund, photo by Tim Ashelford, Dominic Douglas, arc'teryx, overland track, crater lake, tasmania, snowshoeing

Is winter actually the best time to tackle the Overland Track? – Photo by Tim Ashelford

# 3 Upgrade Your Hiking Tent

A cool grand is more than enough to get yourself a superlight hiking tent, seriously upping your overnight hiking game. There are plenty of options out there in outdoorland, and the mid-winter sales are a great time to buy one.

Here’s a one we tried out, or head down to your local outdoor store and see them in the flesh. More importantly, here are some rad overnighters to try your new gear on.

The Australian Alps Walking Track – The 680km Thru-Hike Across Our High Country

The Greatest Multi-Day Walks in Australia and New Zealand

Packing List For An Overnight Hike

7 Rad ways to spend your $1080 tax refund by Mattie Gould, photo by Mattie Gould, hiking tent, tarp tent

The pleasures of a super-light tent – Photo by Mattie Gould

# 4 Ski Or Splitboard The Backcountry

Ok, so a 1000 bucks won’t get you a full backcountry setup (it might just get you a splitboard), but you can definitely sort yourself with hire gear for the weekend and give it a red hot go. Better yet, sign up to a backcountry weekend so you can really learn how to do it yourself.

Prefer skiing resorts? Your tax refund is probably enough to secure a full season pass for next year, just make sure to buy it ASAP.

Extend Your Ski Season By Unlocking The Backcountry

Fresh Tracks At Kirtle Burn Hut // Backcountry Skiing On The Pisa Range (NZ)

7 Rad ways to spend your $1080 tax refund by Mattie Gould, photo by Mattie Gould, splitboard hire, backcountry skiing

Backcountry kit hired in Jindabyne – Photo by Mattie Gould

# 5 Turn Your Bike Into A Bikepacking Machine

You might be able to pick up a sick new bikepacking rig from Gumtree, but sometimes the bike you have is the best bike for the job. For under $1080, you can definitely kit out your pushie with a full bikepacking setup, and still have cash to spare for some fresh tyres.

Check out this cool guide to some other bits and pieces you might need, otherwise start dreaming of the open road.

Bikepacking 3 Ways // Canberra To Batemans Bay (NSW/ACT)

Vaga-biking // 8 Overnight Bicycle Adventures Near Sydney

7 Rad ways to spend your $1080 tax refund by Mattie Gould, photo by Mattie Gould, bikepacking bags, Brandy Flat Hut

Couple of sweet rigs and plenty of bike bags – Photo by Mattie Gould

# 6 Road Trip Baby

Road trips are one of the ultimate ways to see the country and there’s a whole lot of road tripping to be done with your tax refund. It depends on your road trippin’ wagon, but you could probably hit up most of the East Coast, head inland to the Red Centre, or get across to SA. And still have enough coin for a bag of snakes from the servo.

Fancy upgrading your wheels? Check out our mates at Bear Rentals and hire yourself a defender for ultimate road trip goals.

The Ultimate Red Centre Road Trip

Sydney to Byron Bay // Regional NSW Road Trips

7 Rad ways to spend your $1080 tax refund by Mattie Gould, photo by Mattie Gould, sea cliff bridge, road trip, go pro

Road trippin’ the South Coast – Photo by Mattie Gould

# 7 Donate It

I’m going to throw this one in here at the end, although maybe it should be at the beginning. Many of us in Australia are super fortunate, privileged even, and are able to use cash like fun tokens. We indulge in pursuits like camping, climbing and kayaking for the sheer pleasure of it, while others are struggling for food and housing.

If and when you get your tax refund, maybe think about giving some of it away to someone who needs it a bit more than you. Then get out and enjoy the outdoors anyway – it’s free to head outside!


Feature image by Jon Harris

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