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Win 1 of 10 Trips to The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia #QldBlog

Update: this competition is now closed to new entries. We’re now narrowing down to find our 10 winners who will be contacted and then announced here on ProBlogger on 24 April (note: I previously wrote 23rd of April but this was my mistake. As per the terms and conditions it is 24th April). Thanks to all who entered!

As a blogger, I get pitched to a lot by companies and organizations asking me to endorse their products. The problem is I have limited or no experience with many of them, and to endorse them would feel like selling out.

As a result, two years ago I created a list of things I would feel comfortable endorsing.  It was a dream list of products that I would love to promote because I genuinely feel a love for them.

The list was short and was made up of companies and products that I’d drop everything to work with. On the top of my list was something that I have a lot of experience with—something I promote at any opportunity and something that I’d always dreamed of showcasing on my blogs.

That thing was Australia

107421-634.jpgI’m an Aussie and I am regularly asked if I’ve considered moving overseas to further my business. While the idea has occurred to me a few times, I can’t imagine ever leaving Australia for more than a short trip.

One of my favourite parts of this enormous country is Queensland—Australia’s holiday playground, and a regular vacation destination for my family. It’s also home to one of the world’s natural wonders: the Great Barrier Reef, a 2300+ kilometre stretch of 2900 individual reefs and 900 tropical islands. It’s over 350,000 square kilometres in size, and the only living structure on earth that can be seen from outer space!

Aside from this natural wonder, Queensland is known for many things. It has a tropical climate, beautiful beaches, a casual atmosphere and the options to either relax or do something adventurous (check out the 5 regions of the reef here). It’s the antidote to routine and it’s one place that Aussies go to recharge and rejuvenate.

My dream came true

105823-634.jpgA year ago I was in Queensland for a conference and, sitting at the airport, I had the crazy idea that we should run a ProBlogger Down Under competition. The idea was simple—we run a competition to bring a group of bloggers to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef and also do a little blogging training. I tweeted the idea and was inundated by people wanting to enter. I also received tweets from some tourism organisations.

To cut a long story short, today I’m ecstatic to announce a competition to bring ten highly creative bloggers from all corners of the globe to Queensland to become Queensland Blogger Correspondents. Lucky winners will not only experience the destination first hand, they will get to blog about it plus become a guest blogger for Tourism Queensland’s own blog later this year.

Win a trip to Queensland (and get some personal ProBlogger training)

From June 5 to June 10 this year, Tourism Queensland and I will bring ten of what I think are the most intriguing bloggers from around the globe to Queensland to meet me and experience the Great Barrier Reef as Queensland Blogger Correspondents. You could be one of them.

The idea is simple: I love Queensland and I want to showcase it to the world. I also believe in the power of blogging and social media. So the best way to get the message out about this tropical playground is to invite people like you to experience it.

As part of the experience, you will be required to report about your adventure on your blog and social networks. The content will later be added to Tourism Queensland’s new blog. It’s going to be fun, but there will also be a little work (if you call blogging “work”) involved. A working holiday of sorts.

Plus—as an extra bonus—during the trip I’ll be running two exclusive training workshops for the ten winning bloggers. We’ll spend four or five hours—perhaps on a tropical island or maybe under the canopy of the world’s oldest rainforest—talking about the principles of successful blogging and workshopping how you can improve your blogs.

Prize details

Ben_Southall_Seawalker_Green_Island-638.jpgTen lucky bloggers will win a five-day, all-expenses paid trip to Queensland, Australia including return economy-class air tickets, accommodation, excursions to some of Queensland’s bucket-list attractions like the Great Barrier Reef, meals, and two close-encounter workshops with me. The event will run from June 5 until June 10, 2012, not including travel time.

In return for seeing some amazing sights, tasting some modern Aussie tucker (food), and meeting some wonderful characters, we’ll put aside time for you to create content (a minimum of two blog posts complemented by tweets, videos, photography, status updates, or podcasts) for you to share with your audience. The content will later be featured on the Tourism Queensland blog.

Please note that this prize is open only to bloggers over the age of 18 and I can assure you that we will be busy! As such we will be unable to cater for partners, family, or friends. For more information about the Tourism Queensland ProBlogger Great Barrier Reef Event prize and the terms and conditions, click here.

UPDATE: here is the 5 day itinerary for the trip.

How to enter

Palm_Cove,_Tropical_North_Queensland-638.jpgFor your chance to win a spot on this exciting trip we want you to tell us why you would make the ideal Queensland Blogger Correspondent.

We will choose ten winners based on how you would cover the experience. How you would get the word out about what you’re doing. What kind of exposure you could bring to the destination. What creative methods you would use to share your story.

But hurry, the competition closes at midnight April 17, 2012 (AEST—that’s Australian Eastern time) with the announcement of the winners on April 23, 2012 (AEST). Please note that Australia is a day ahead of some parts of the world!

To enter, please read the competition terms and conditions and then head to the competition entry form.

There you will find a form that asks you for a range of information about you, your blog, and how you’d cover this trip.

106395-634.jpgWe need some basics like your name, blog URL, traffic, your social media accounts, etc., but also want you to tell us how you’d approach covering this trip as a blogger correspondent.

Note: This is not just about finding the biggest blog to award the prize to. We will consider audience size, but we’re also extremely interested in hearing about your audience, how you’d cover the trip, and how the trip relates to your audience, as well as reviewing quality examples of your work.

This competition is open to bloggers anywhere around the globe (including within Australia) and we’re interested to hear from a range of bloggers from different niches.

Please ensure that you carefully read the terms and conditions of this competition before using the entry form.

Good luck to everyone – I look forward to spending a few special days with 10 of you on the Great Barrier Reef in June!

UPDATE: we’ll be using the hashtag of #QldBlog on Twitter to track this conversation.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Eric says:

    This sounds absolutely amazing. Thanks for getting this together Darren.

  2. Amit Shaw says:

    Its really Awesome Darren. Thank you so much for this.

  3. judi says:

    This would be a dream come true for me. What a great contest! Very generous.

  4. Dan Blank says:

    I almost thought this was an April Fools a day late! Very interesting opportunity!
    Congrats to you Darren for putting it together, and of course for the 10 lucky bloggers who join you.
    -Dan

  5. Adam says:

    Oh man! This looks like a place to retire!

    It would be really and I do mean really hard to return back to Ohio after visiting this place if it’s anything like the pictures.

    This is one awesome giveaway and extremely generous, now off to the competition entry form!

  6. Nikki says:

    Wow, my heart’s thumping just reading this.

    You have certainly laid down the gauntlet!

    Great opportunity – thanks for organizing, Darren.

  7. Interesting article, good article

  8. Lisa Barr says:

    I have been reading the instructions and I think there is a broken link. When I go to the terms and conditions page the #2 there is a link…and when I click there is no page. Perhaps it’s me, but I wanted to bring it to your attention and show that I AM reading the instructions. Here’s hoping I’m one of the lucky winners – and thank you for creating such am amazing opportunity.
    Lisa

  9. It had to be the ONE week I couldn’t do this…

    What a wonderful, wonderful competition, Darren! Do it again next year, please! :) I’ll do what I can to get the word out – I know there will probably be tens of thousands of entries!

    Maybe you can help me pass the word along on this? http://jahangiri.us/new/2012/04/01/houston-author-must-raise-2500-as-she-again-faces-charges-of-beating-cancer/

  10. Haha I have to laugh, because I worked on the Reef as a scuba dive instructor last year and besides taking people diving, took care of the Seawalkers as well (picture above). OMG. Crazy times. Oh, and don’t go with Sunlover. Book a smaller boat.
    Anyway, good luck and keep on rocking it in Queensland, Darren! (Moving to Melbourne soon, isn’t that where you are?)

  11. Jackie says:

    This sounds like a very exciting opportunity! My mind is racing with ideas already!

  12. WOW! That’s all I can say. Ok not really, I’m a blogger, I can say A LOT more. This truly is on the very top of my bucket list and being a broke single mom, I figure it will never happen. But just maybe it can. Thanks for the chance.

  13. Adam says:

    Too cool. The great barrier Reef has been on my must see list for ages..I’ll be working on my entry post..

  14. Tansey Louis says:

    Thank you Darren for this opportunity! I look forward to being apart of it! I will see you in Australia! :)

  15. Tansey Louis says:

    Goodbye Bahamas! Hello Australia!

  16. What fun! I’d enter in a heartbeat but the time isn’t right for me (should I be so lucky to win!). But I’ve been wanting to visit Australia for awhile (I’m in the US), and I appreciate this reminder of one of the many wonderful things to see and experience. I think this is going straight up to “must visit next” on my list! Changing it from a vague dream to a goal.

    What a fab contest–definitely sharing. And good luck to the contestants and winners! Have fun!

  17. Best giveaway on a blog ever. EVER!

  18. Jack Kieffer says:

    Darren! I was super excited about this opportunity until I read the clause about being 18 – being 15 can be a real buzzkill sometimes haha

  19. Adrienne says:

    What! I’ve had such a crap year, please pick me! Lol I have friend in Australia! I would blog to my hearts content! wink..

  20. Darren,
    Why don’t you just have mercy and send me a ticket? lol

    MORE SERIOUSLY: This is a WONDERFUL idea because none of the Problogger entrants can lose simply because contemplating the beauty of Queensland as you describe it is a winning mental exercise for even the weakest bloggers among us…

  21. Blain R says:

    Count me in!

  22. Hi Darren,

    This sounds fanatastic. I haven’t been to the Great Barrier Reef yet but it’s high on my wish list.

    I’m also mad keen to promote Queensland and Australia but I’ve already been booked by the Canadian Tourism Commission and I’m super excited about visiting Canada for the first time – sorry I can’t join you on those dates.

    All being well I’ll see you at the Problogger conference in Melbourne later in the year. Look forward to sharing travel stories then:)

  23. Vi says:

    Like like like :)
    Is only 6 days in Queensland, but it should fantastic time.

  24. Kelsey Jones says:

    I applied. So excited for this opportunity! I’ve always wanted to go to Australia.

  25. Kate says:

    What a fantastic idea – I’m super excited. The two workshops would be enough to make me enter, but add Queensland into that and it’s like over the top fantasticness!

  26. 5 hours exclusive training with Problogger? I’d enter if the trip was to Siberia! Just a bonus it’s the Great Barrier Reef. It looks amazing.

  27. This sounds AMAZING!!! A trip of a lifetime for sure.

  28. You know what I love best about this contest? For once, we dont’t have to beg our friends and followers to vote for us! It’s purely on merit and creativity. Good luck to all, and may the Best Ten win!

  29. Kelly says:

    Wish I could but I already have my ticket for BlogWorld

  30. Luci Weston says:

    Amazing opportunity for any blogger! The Great Barrier Reef is on my bucket list… Maybe I’ll get to check it off this June? Thank you, Darren.

  31. Oh mean I really wish the dates for this were one week later and I would totally enter, but I’ll already be on a trip to cover the Diamond Jubilee in London. Hope you can do this again!

  32. Larry Waight says:

    Wow, this trip sounds fun! I will definitely enter right now.

  33. Melissa says:

    This looks like such an incredible opportunity. Thanks for makin this possible for those ten very lucky bloggers!

  34. Aditya Sam says:

    Headed to the competition form. Wish me luck!

  35. Liliane says:

    Wow, this is SO cool, what a great opportunity. I received your email and at first I thought, no this just has to be a joke. What a coincidence. Just a few days ago I was one of the finalists of the Aussie Angel competition here in the Netherlands and the grand prize was winning a trip to down under. I was chosen among 19 other girls to attend the finale and left more than 600 girls behind me. It was a great experience but sadly I did not win the trip to Australia.

    My dream is to travel to Australia and to experience the people and the beautiful nature, I’ve heard such great things! Also, I can’t wait to ride those waves, what we have here to surf on is nothing compared to your Australian beaches ;)
    Your reference to Oprah Winfrey made me smile. Did you know that she broadcasted 4 shows on her trip through Australia?

    Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi! ;)

  36. Tammy Redmon says:

    First of all let me say WOW! You are having an Oprah moment Darren! I am in. Totally in. And so glad to hear that blog size/traffic isn’t the only thing that you are looking at. I have an angle to cover that is captivating and creative – I can’t wait to get that application in! Plus share this cool opportunity with my tribe.
    What fun this will be!

  37. Oh man, what an incredible prize! A dream come true… I must enter. As soon as I get home (am diving in Cozumel, and am avid, obsessed scuba diver who has always wanted to see Great Barrier Reef) I will enter your contest. Must. Make. This. Happen!

  38. Sharon says:

    How fabulously awesome!! I have to tell the experience from my “heels” point of view. heehee. Fashion, heels, and fun!!!

  39. Good luck everyone!

    What to do get when you cross 1 of the 7 wonders of the world, with some of the best rain forests you’ll ever see, with some private Problogger training.

    My guess, hundreds of thousands of very envious bloggers, and 10 very happy ones!

    I know how excited Darren is to be able to offer such an awesome prize. Thanks must go to Tourism Queensland for partnering with Darren to make this happen.

    Good luck.

  40. * I always wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef and ultimately retire in Queensland Australia .. but, I would be the ideal Queensland Blogger Correspondent if you fancy Canadians, eh? *

    (just practicing :D)

    Looks like an awesome contest Darren & Tourism Queensland ~ Good luck to the entrants and Raspberry :Ptttffftttftftf noises of jealousy for the winners!~

  41. Anna says:

    this is a fabulous opportunity! If I wasn’t going to be in the US then I would definitely apply/enter! As a fellow Aussie, i think this is a great way of promoting Australia!

  42. Wow! This looks like such a wonderful opportunity. Thanks for giving me an afternoon of amazing dreaming. Working on my entry now…..

  43. Hi Darren, what a fantastic idea. I would love to go and blog about Australia on my travel blog http://www.travelwithpaula.blogspot.com/ but it might interfere with my peony flower season season. But if it was late enough June I could probably swing it. Can you share the dates in June?

    Paula

  44. Gail Rehbein says:

    A fantastic idea Darren! Congratulations to you and to Tourism Queensland for bringing this together.

    Good luck everyone! Get those ideas flowing! :-)

  45. Élan says:

    Wow, what a fantastic opportunity! I’m sure it will be a blast and an amazing learning experience for all the winners.

    I better get working on my entry! Best of luck to everyone who is entering. :)

  46. What an awesome opportunity to experience the Great Barrier Reef, the delights of Queensland and learn from Darren at the same time. Thanks for bringing such a great opportunity to us bloggers. I will definitely love to be a part of this exiting adventure and working holiday.

    Thanks,
    Vinai

  47. In ’09 my girlfriend and I took a two week trip out there. We rented a car and drove from Sydney all the way up to Cairns. It was such a blast!

    It’s funny… I just had to comment here since we actually blogged our journey on my girlfriends website.

    Each night we’d post our days adventure, upload tons of photos, and update our “live” google map so our friends and family could “travel” along with us. Part of the fun was hunting for wifi. We got access at some of the hotels we stayed at… but the free WiFi at McDonald’s (aka Macca’s) was sooo helpful! :)

    The best part about blogging during our trip… We didn’t have to worry about organizing photos or describe our adventure over and over when we returned home. Our friends really enjoyed following along. If you are interested, feel free to check it out at http://www.andithetourguide.com/travels/australia-2009/

    For those that win, you’re going to have such a great time! But you might want to consider extending your trip a week or two beyond the contest. There is just soooo much to see. And to those that don’t win… don’t wait for a contest to hopefully win. Life is short. Just make it happen anyway you can. You won’t regret it.

  48. Tabitha says:

    This is amazing! The GBR is on our dive list and we would love to add that to our blog; as well as our personal travel blog. We’ll be on another adventure at the time so with regrets we cannot enter. Look forward to reading the correspondence blogs. Best of luck to all entrants!

  49. getpalmd says:

    I cry because I can’t even TRY & win, I have another trip then… you sure it’s June and not July?! ;) God damn it. Those 10 people will see one of the most incredible place on this planet for sure, great great campaign, will share :)

  50. Phillipa Kiripatea says:

    What a great opportunity to offer. The 10 bloggers are going to have an amazing time in our backyard. Where the bloody hell are ya?!