Posted in January 2009
Grab yourself THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD in Queensland, Australia
By Emma Gregg, author of The Rough Guide to East Coast Australia

Spend six months exploring the islands of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Tell the world all about your experiences via your own blog, online video diary and photo gallery. Put in a few media appearances. And get paid - rather nicely. It's easy enough to see why Tourism Queensland are calling it "The Best Job In The World". What's the catch?

There is no catch!!!
The post of Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef is completely genuine, say Tourism Queensland, who have created this job opportunity and advertised it all over the world as part of a brilliantly clever marketing plan. Anyone aged 18 or over can apply.

What's in it for me?
If you manage to land the job, you will receive:
  • A six-month contract, from 1 July 2009 to 31 December 2009, with a salary of A$150,000 (currently over UK£68,000), paid by Tourism Queensland
  • Return flights to Queensland from the capital city nearest to your home
  • Rent-free accommodation in a luxury three-bedroom villa on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays for the duration of the contract (you can invite your partner and/or children to share it as long as you or they cover their travel costs)
  • A programme of trips and activities exploring many of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, organised by Tourism Queensland

What's in it for them?
Tourism Queensland are expecting to generate more than A$70 million worth of publicity for Queensland through their "Best Job In The World" campaign.

What do I have to do to impress the selection panel?
Since the successful candidate will be spreading the word about the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef to the travelling public, all applicants for "The Best Job In The World" must be enthusiastic, entertaining, and able to demonstrate an active interest in the region.
To be in with a chance, you should find out all you can about the islands and their ecology, including of course the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. You'll also need to know about the islands' hotels and spas and the many activities on offer, such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, bushwalking, windsurfing and sailing.
You could start by gathering information from guidebooks (such as
The Rough Guide to East Coast Australia) and organisations involved in conservation and tourism, including Tourism Queensland themselves.
Best of all would be to get out to Queensland to see the islands first-hand - but applications close in February, so you'll have to move fast.

Done that - what next?
You'll need to fill out a form and create a one-minute video explaining your suitability for the role, sending this to Tourism Queensland via their

How much time do I have?

The closing date for applications for The Best Job In The World is 22 February 2009. But you'd be wise to file your video as soon as you can – Tourism Queensland may decide to close the site early if they receive more than 30,000 applications.

And if I make the shortlist?
Tourism Queensland will shortlist 50 candidates. They will then whittle these down to ten, who will all be flown out to Queensland for the interview stage (3-7 May 2009), along with an eleventh, chosen by public vote. So, once you've made your application video, it's time to start mapping out a vote-for-me campaign, just in case you're shortlisted!

Please respect the copyright of the text and photos on this website.
Emma Gregg. All rights reserved.