Category: Great Barrier Reef


March 4th, 2009 — 6:44pm

Yesterday, my client announced the Top 50 finalists for the destination’s highly-coveted Island Caretaker position, a.k.a The Best Job In The World.

As the phenomenal media and public response continues, I can’t help thinking about my good fortune in being part of such a groundbreaking campaign – one that will culminate in a once in a lifetime experience for the successful candidate.

Best Job In The World: All smiles after snorkeling for the first time during January’s press trip to Queensland (photo courtesy: Kent St. John)
Nearly 35,000 people from across the globe have applied for the six-month $100k gig on Queensland’s Hamilton Island. The amazing response has been especially fun for me, since I got to experience first hand in January the majesty and excitement of the Islands of The Great Barrier Reef.

Best Job has been such a hit across all media – from The Today Show to Twitter – that it’s redefined viral marketing and reminded me how, in this post-Facebook landscape, we’re all separated by a lot less than six degrees.

One of my best friends from the UK, Eva, shot the 60-second application video for a friend of hers. She didn’t make the Top 50, but it turns out that a fellow publicist (and ) I’ve worked with many times, Angelene Orth, did.

Best Job Finalist Angelene Orth (a.k.a Big Apple Angie)

Angie is one of six Americans in the running. Check out her fabulous video . You can view the videos of all 50 finalists at , and cast a vote for your favorite. The most popular candidate will join 10 selected by Tourism Queensland to fly down for interviews in May. Online voting runs now through March 24th.

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March 4th, 2009 — 1:44pm

Yesterday, my client announced the Top 50 finalists for the destination’s highly-coveted Island Caretaker position, a.k.a The Best Job In The World.

As the phenomenal media and public response continues, I can’t help thinking about my good fortune in being part of such a groundbreaking campaign – one that will culminate in a once in a lifetime experience for the successful candidate.

Best Job In The World: All smiles after snorkeling for the first time during January’s press trip to Queensland (photo courtesy: Kent St. John)
Nearly 35,000 people from across the globe have applied for the six-month $100k gig on Queensland’s Hamilton Island. The amazing response has been especially fun for me, since I got to experience first hand in January the majesty and excitement of the Islands of The Great Barrier Reef.

Best Job has been such a hit across all media – from The Today Show to Twitter – that it’s redefined viral marketing and reminded me how, in this post-Facebook landscape, we’re all separated by a lot less than six degrees.

One of my best friends from the UK, Eva, shot the 60-second application video for a friend of hers. She didn’t make the Top 50, but it turns out that a fellow publicist (and ) I’ve worked with many times, Angelene Orth, did.

Best Job Finalist Angelene Orth (a.k.a Big Apple Angie)

Angie is one of six Americans in the running. Check out her fabulous video . You can view the videos of all 50 finalists at , and cast a vote for your favorite. The most popular candidate will join 10 selected by Tourism Queensland to fly down for interviews in May. Online voting runs now through March 24th.

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February 8th, 2009 — 12:14am

This weekend, I’m enjoying a little getaway to Dover, Delaware’s sleepy but sweet capital city, and some quality time with my brother Ray and sister-in-law Barb.

Mi Familia: I took this picture of Ray and Barb at the Jersey Shore, May 2007
After a delicious home-cooked breakfast courtesy of Barb (melt in your mouth fried eggs and English muffins), we continued our tradition of bargain hunting with a visit to Shoe Show, a Payless-esque store where I struck footwear gold. Two pairs of shoes and three pairs of slippers for $56 – a welcome change of pace, so to speak, from price points in my beloved Big Apple.

Another tradition – going to Franco’s, a longtime favorite, for dinner. A casual neighborhood eatery serving up tasty, traditional Italian fare, Franco’s has a deserved reputation for being one of Dover’s best. Italy-born Franco and his charming wife Louisa, who greeted us with big hugs and kisses, really make you feel like family.

Over a shared plate of lightly breaded calamari and some superb pasta entrees (the fettucini carbonara was heavenly), Ray, Barb and I talked about the $650 million Delaware budget gap that could lead to a first-ever state sales tax, the allure of New Orleans and the superiority of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef over anywhere else.

As we left Franco’s, I couldn’t help thinking how rare it is that going somewhere makes you feel like you’re coming home. And how lucky I am to feel that way whenever I visit Ray and Barb.

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February 7th, 2009 — 7:14pm

This weekend, I’m enjoying a little getaway to Dover, Delaware���s sleepy but sweet capital city, and some quality time with my brother Ray and sister-in-law Barb.

Mi Familia: I took this picture of Ray and Barb at the Jersey Shore, May 2007
After a delicious home-cooked breakfast courtesy of Barb (melt in your mouth fried eggs and English muffins), we continued our tradition of bargain hunting with a visit to Shoe Show, a Payless-esque store where I struck footwear gold. Two pairs of shoes and three pairs of slippers for $56 – a welcome change of pace, so to speak, from price points in my beloved Big Apple.

Another tradition – going to Franco’s, a longtime favorite, for dinner. A casual neighborhood eatery serving up tasty, traditional Italian fare, Franco’s has a deserved reputation for being one of Dover’s best. Italy-born Franco and his charming wife Louisa, who greeted us with big hugs and kisses, really make you feel like family.

Over a shared plate of lightly breaded calamari and some superb pasta entrees (the fettucini carbonara was heavenly), Ray, Barb and I talked about the $650 million Delaware budget gap that could lead to a first-ever state sales tax, the allure of New Orleans and the superiority of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef over anywhere else.

As we left Franco’s, I couldn’t help thinking how rare it is that going somewhere makes you feel like you’re coming home. And how lucky I am to feel that way whenever I visit Ray and Barb.

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January 17th, 2009 — 5:00pm

Our second day in Lizard Island at the top of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef brought with it an exciting first for me – snorkeling.

With Voyages’ friendly (and hunky) dive pros Noel and Gareth at the helm, the ten of us joined a few other resort guests for the short drive to Blue Lagoon Beach, for a scenic boat ride to the outer reef.

This boat shuttled me to and from my first ever snorkeling adventure

It took me a little while to get the hang of breathing through my snorkel tube, but what a thrill once I did! A giant clam and dazzling rainbow of coral came into view as colorful schools of fish swam by, unfazed by the latest interlopers in their underwater universe.

Gareth pulled out a blue starfish for us to look up at close and mentioned the movie “Finding Nemo.” I was as awestruck as Dory herself to be, ahem, swimming with the fishes.

Back at the resort, while the journalists went off to do some exploring on their own, I enjoyed a leisurely dip in the pool, delighted to have it all to myself.

Later, a stroll along the sand and brief climb over the rocks rewarded me with one of the most breathtaking sunsets I’ve ever seen.

This was definitely transformative trip moment #2, as the explosion of color across the sky made me feel like anything is possible – like big dreams can and do come true. What a perfect time to rediscover this, with the big 3-5 now only a few days away.

Coming up…my long-awaited return to Sydney and climbing the legendary Harbor Bridge!

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January 17th, 2009 — 12:00pm

Our second day in Lizard Island at the top of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef brought with it an exciting first for me – snorkeling.

With Voyages’ friendly (and hunky) dive pros Noel and Gareth at the helm, the ten of us joined a few other resort guests for the short drive to Blue Lagoon Beach, for a scenic boat ride to the outer reef.

This boat shuttled me to and from my first ever snorkeling adventure

It took me a little while to get the hang of breathing through my snorkel tube, but what a thrill once I did! A giant clam and dazzling rainbow of coral came into view as colorful schools of fish swam by, unfazed by the latest interlopers in their underwater universe.

Gareth pulled out a blue starfish for us to look up at close and mentioned the movie “Finding Nemo.” I was as awestruck as Dory herself to be, ahem, swimming with the fishes.

Back at the resort, while the journalists went off to do some exploring on their own, I enjoyed a leisurely dip in the pool, delighted to have it all to myself.

Later, a stroll along the sand and brief climb over the rocks rewarded me with one of the most breathtaking sunsets I’ve ever seen.

This was definitely transformative trip moment #2, as the explosion of color across the sky made me feel like anything is possible – like big dreams can and do come true. What a perfect time to rediscover this, with the big 3-5 now only a few days away.

Coming up…my long-awaited return to Sydney and climbing the legendary Harbor Bridge!

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January 16th, 2009 — 5:00pm

In the two decades that I’ve been traveling, I’ve been fortunate to experience a handful of places that can legitimately be described as paradise. This week, I’ve added a very special one to that short list — Australia’s Lizard Island.

As soon as our charter flight out of Cairns took to the skies, I got a preview of why Lizard has such a legendary reputation as one of the best islands on the Great Barrier Reef.

Another day on a press trip, another stunning view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, flying over Lizard Island

I was completely blown away when we arrived at Voyages, the island’s five-star — and only — resort. With no other commercial development on Lizard, all you see at every turn is lush vegetation and pristine coastline (and yes, lizards darting around). The beach is inhabited by guests only so you truly feel like you’re in your own private Shangri-la.

That feeling intensified when I was shown to my accommodations — a dreamy, well-appointed bungalow (favorite amenities — the rain shower in the bathroom, and a cd alarm clock and iPod docking station) with a porch overlooking the water.

Speaking of the deep blue, there was a little free time before dinner, so I joined journalists Stephanie, Kristin and Lisa in heading down to the beach. Since it’s summer Down Under, I knew the water temperature would be perfect and it was.

As I floated happily in the Pacific Ocean, I thought about what my Tourism Queensland client Shana had said just before my departure. She told me there would be a transformative moment for me in Queensland. This was it.

Looking around at the vast, unspoiled coastline and feeling the waves lap up against me, I was humbled by the fact that my job had made it all possible. Well, my job and me doggedly pursuing Tourism Queensland over the course of several months until they hired Quinn & Co. to work on the destination’s sensational new Best Job In The World campaign.

Who says persistence doesn’t pay off?

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January 16th, 2009 — 12:00pm

In the two decades that I’ve been traveling, I’ve been fortunate to experience a handful of places that can legitimately be described as paradise. This week, I’ve added a very special one to that short list — Australia’s Lizard Island.

As soon as our charter flight out of Cairns took to the skies, I got a preview of why Lizard has such a legendary reputation as one of the best islands on the Great Barrier Reef.

Another day on a press trip, another stunning view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, flying over Lizard Island

I was completely blown away when we arrived at Voyages, the island’s five-star — and only — resort. With no other commercial development on Lizard, all you see at every turn is lush vegetation and pristine coastline (and yes, lizards darting around). The beach is inhabited by guests only so you truly feel like you’re in your own private Shangri-la.

That feeling intensified when I was shown to my accommodations — a dreamy, well-appointed bungalow (favorite amenities — the rain shower in the bathroom, and a cd alarm clock and iPod docking station) with a porch overlooking the water.

Speaking of the deep blue, there was a little free time before dinner, so I joined journalists Stephanie, Kristin and Lisa in heading down to the beach. Since it’s summer Down Under, I knew the water temperature would be perfect and it was.

As I floated happily in the Pacific Ocean, I thought about what my Tourism Queensland client Shana had said just before my departure. She told me there would be a transformative moment for me in Queensland. This was it.

Looking around at the vast, unspoiled coastline and feeling the waves lap up against me, I was humbled by the fact that my job had made it all possible. Well, my job and me doggedly pursuing Tourism Queensland over the course of several months until they hired Quinn & Co. to work on the destination’s sensational new Best Job In The World campaign.

Who says persistence doesn’t pay off?

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January 15th, 2009 — 5:16pm

Monday afternoon, our group of 10 boarded a seaplane for a breathtaking flight over the Great Barrier Reef.

Our 30-minute trek took us into the heart of Australia’s greatest natural wonder (literally — one of the most famous reefs is in the shape of a heart), with magnificent views of the deep, deep blue water and colorful reef formations.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is even more awesome up close than I thought it would be

The only downside — it was a very bumpy ride, and the turbulence found me and several of the journalists feeling more than a little green.

Thankfully, it was a smooth landing in the waters of Whitehaven Beach, where we enjoyed some sparkling wine and fruit.

The flight back was much calmer, especially because I got to ride shotgun in the cockpit.

Flying High: I enjoyed the cockpit view during the return flight to Australia’s Hamilton Island

The next morning, we all headed over to the koala gallery. It took four trips to Australia, but on this work-related journey I finally got a photo with the native creature.

This koala got very friendly as I posed for a picture with him

Though koalas are notoriously unfriendly in real life, this one not only posed for pictures, he placed his paw on nearly every female breast he came in contact with. What an animal.

After our koala encounter, it was off to the airport to catch a flight back to Cairns. Next stop on our whirlwind itinerary — Lizard Island.

I love my job!

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January 15th, 2009 — 12:16pm

Monday afternoon, our group of 10 boarded a seaplane for a breathtaking flight over the Great Barrier Reef.

Our 30-minute trek took us into the heart of Australia’s greatest natural wonder (literally — one of the most famous reefs is in the shape of a heart), with magnificent views of the deep, deep blue water and colorful reef formations.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is even more awesome up close than I thought it would be

The only downside — it was a very bumpy ride, and the turbulence found me and several of the journalists feeling more than a little green.

Thankfully, it was a smooth landing in the waters of Whitehaven Beach, where we enjoyed some sparkling wine and fruit.

The flight back was much calmer, especially because I got to ride shotgun in the cockpit.

Flying High: I enjoyed the cockpit view during the return flight to Australia’s Hamilton Island

The next morning, we all headed over to the koala gallery. It took four trips to Australia, but on this work-related journey I finally got a photo with the native creature.

This koala got very friendly as I posed for a picture with him

Though koalas are notoriously unfriendly in real life, this one not only posed for pictures, he placed his paw on nearly every female breast he came in contact with. What an animal.

After our koala encounter, it was off to the airport to catch a flight back to Cairns. Next stop on our whirlwind itinerary — Lizard Island.

I love my job!

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