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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. Sharkman says:

    This totally kicks ass. GENIUS idea. But then again, you are a genius :) Thanks D’man, you rock.

  2. tracey norman says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate the most amazing place on earth just wish i could take some of my beautiful older clients with me to show them this amazing place I know they would love it just as much as i have

  3. Lesley clare says:

    You need to write your blogs up frequently along with superb photographic back up just being yourself and honest make the most interesting blogs

  4. Huan Luo says:

    Hello Darren, fantastic idea!

    I immigrate to Brisbane in 2006, and I started to write my Chinese blog end of 2006.
    Later I met many Chinese tourists and Chinese students in person, they told me to chose Queensland to travel and to study, cause they read my blog when they were in China.

    I was a qulificated tour guide in China since 1996. I know what audiences like to listen.
    I am an independent photographer in Australia.

    I’d love to blog by two languages English & Chinese to promote Queensland.

  5. Great contest!

  6. price action says:

    Darren, your a classic example of a ‘true blue’ Australian. I respect what your doing for our great country QLD. Hopefully this attracts more people from around the world to visit our beautiful country. The great barrier reef is one of the most amazing places on earth ..good luck to all.

  7. Sharon Thoms says:

    This is the part of the world where I live. What a wonderful idea for the promotion of the area. 10 awesome bloggers spreading the word, would probably turn out bigger than Ophra’s visit to the Barrier Reef last year. I guess in a way it’s a challenge for you Darren, to see how far and wide the word about North Queensland can be spread, from the likes of yourself, your readers and of course the ten lucky winners. Blogging vs Television. I’m certain Tourism Queensland, will be comparing the results. It looks like some marketers are really starting to take advantage of web 2 and the new media ways of marketing. Well done Tourism Queensland for breaking the mold and doing something different.

  8. Queensland, Australia and The Great Barrier Reef – sign me up. What a Trip!

  9. Ideas Woman says:

    I am spreading the word Darren. What an amazing trip and blogging opportunity!

  10. NganSon says:

    How can I take this chance?. It ‘s sound good for bloggers. I will tell it to my friends.

  11. Tracey Gunn says:

    What a great idea……i dont even want the trip….i just want the session time with YOU….
    I hope whoever you take Darren they have so much fun…..cheers

  12. Brilliant. Thanks for organizing this!

  13. Way cool Darren, with some awesome imagery. Spreading the word. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Tia Tofu says:

    Wow, what a generous offer! It sounds like a lot of fun, but I’d be the most interested in the workshop with you. This is awesome; great contest!

    My blog is 2 months old and only 13,000 visitors. I decided from the beginning to learn everything I could about blogging and that I would be serious about it. I know you said web traffic isn’t the only consideration, but I’m pretty sure my web traffic is way too low at this point. :/ This will be fun to read about though! :)

  15. Ria Wallace says:

    This truly sounds like a dream come true for the lucky winners. I cannot wait to see the winners blog posts and pictures.

  16. putting my hand up for this one!

  17. Adam Allegro says:

    I can’t even begin to express how awesome this is. Kudos to you and the Queensland Tourism Board for putting it together. Just finished my entry!! Thanks for giving us prospective bloggers an opportunity like this! Cheers!

  18. Prashant says:

    This page says that “the competition closes at midnight April 23,”, where as the Terms & Conditions page says that “closes at 23.59 (AEST) on Tuesday 17th April, 2012″. So which one is correct?

    • Darren Rowse says:

      Apologies, the dates are now all right

      • Ivy says:

        Darren – This is a great contest! I have one question (it’s important to know all the details of a trip like this). It says the contest includes return flight, so the winners would be responsible for the cost of travel to get to Australia, correct?

  19. Clarabela says:

    This is an amazing opportunity. I am glad you are not basing this on our traffic, but our ability to promote Australia. Last year, as I watched with awe and envy as Oprah traveled through your beautiful country, I knew would have to visit there one day. Let’s hope it is in June with you and the 9 other bloggers.

  20. sokun nget says:

    Sounds exciting. I hope i win

  21. Jan says:

    I am fortunate enough to live at Hervey Bay which is on the Great Barrier Reef. It is a beautiful place to live. A small coastal/country town that swells each holiday season with Tourists. We have everything here any person could possibly want and if it isn’t here, then we are only 4 hours away from Brisbane.

    Hervey Bay is one of the two areas with access to Fraser Island which is the biggest sand Island in the world. Fraser Island also has a pure-blood line of Dingoes. There is a lot of controversy raging locally as to whether or not they should be hand fed. This argument erupted due to the fact that these Dingoes attacked a couple of children because they are hungry. People have encroached and diminished their natural foods.

    Whales pass this way twice a year on their annual migration to and from their breeding grounds further north. We all look for a Whale we call “Minky” as it is a white Whale. Once we have sighted Minky, we are all very relieved! It means that the Japanese Whaling Ships haven’t yet butchered him/her (no one knows Minky’s gender yet) for “Scientific” research?

    Anyway, just thought I would share with you all what a beautiful place Queensland, Hervey Bay and the Great Barrier Reef really is.

  22. Thomas Frank says:

    I am IN! Just submitted my entry. I can’t wait to find out who the winners are and if I’m among them. Thanks so much for this opportunity, Darren!

  23. Avi Jit says:

    cool..great chance to win such a offer.good luck to the contestants..
    And your blog is great.I too ‘ve made a blog now to provide SEO tips and tech news..

  24. Murad AlAliat says:

    Wow, what a wonderful trip, may I get one?

  25. Ele says:

    I jumped and hit roof when I read it. I am happy that there are such opportunities open for travel bloggers. Even if one doesn’t get it the lucky 10, it’s still time spent daydreaming of Australia.

  26. Webly says:

    Wow sounds like an amazing vacation to me. Perfect timing.

  27. Tea Marlon says:

    Nice initiative, Darren. What is the best Great Barrier Reef tour to do?
    Tea

  28. Brad Dalton says:

    Very generous Darren and a great way to promote Australia

  29. betting tips says:

    Exciting competition you have going on here. I have been following your blog for some time now but this is the best post I have come across so far.

    Australia is a wonderful country, and in particular the warm and sunny weather of Queensland is greatly appealing.

    I am sure the competition winners will enjoy a great time.

    Well done Darren for being a mascot for this great country.

  30. Wow Darren – when you go big, you really go BIG! Sounds like an amazing opportunity for 10 very lucky people :~)

  31. Mindy says:

    I threw my hat into the ring; I would love to visit Australia! I was completely obsessed with Australia as a kid thanks to the Disney movie “Rescuers Down Under” and now as a wedding blogger I would love to promote honeymoons and destination weddings in Australia. This would be a childhood AND adulthood dream come true for me!

  32. Thank you Darren, looking forward to meeting you, I just put in my entry!

    Have always wanted to visit your beautiful country!

  33. I’ve submitted my entry! Woo-hoo! Queensland here I come! Congrats Darren – you must LOVE the opportunity to use your blog in such a positive way!

    Hope to see you in Queensland!

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm.com

  34. Wow, what a perfect opportunity for traveling to the world’s most beautiful location and learning from the world’s greatest blogging coach. On my first trip to Australia, I was the group leader for a class of students touring the South Pacific, so I only got to see Sydney and the Blue Mountains. It was a fantastic trip, but I would love the chance to experience Queensland and share the adventure with my blog readers, Twitterheads, etc. You’ve outdone yourself with this one Darren. Good onya mate!! (-:

  35. I am totally in, submitted my entry yesterday :) Sounds like a great way to promote tourism to Queensland. Crossing my fingers!

  36. My girlfriend , a fellow Aussie always tells me of the beauty of that place :) I would love to go but my daughter is just a year old, so I won’t be leaving her just yet. I’m sure the other bloggers will love it though looks amazing!

  37. christina says:

    Great initiative the region really needs some help to be promoted as so many aussies are taking off to ther countries to see their reefs but they have not seen how wonderful theirs is in their own backyards.
    Blogging and Facebook is the way forward but geez who has the time?

  38. Thanks for the motivating opportunity. I’ve spent the day researching, dreaming, creating a strategy, and checking my supplies of sunscreen!

  39. Sylvia says:

    Wow! Great competition! Although my blog is very new, I still will participate to know that I at least tried! :) Good luck to everyone!

  40. Ivy says:

    Oh my goodness!!! I have dreamed of going to Australia since I was 5 years old! Before I would say yes to my husband, I made him vow to me that he would one day take me to Australia!

    I know this trip will get a ton of entries. The competition will be tough, but I have to try this! This is a dream 25 years in the making! Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!

  41. Benny says:

    I’d love to attend but that’s the same week as Blogworld NY!! Oh well. Good luck to those who end up winning. Sounds amazing!!

    • Thomas Frank says:

      I was thinking the same thing, but honestly, I’d be willing to skip BlogWorld for this. I can always hit up the next one :)

  42. Fantastic idea. Different and what an opportunity for those who have never experienced Australia. Thanks for organising this.

  43. Cheryl says:

    Sounds very intriguing…off to see the requirements. It would definitely be an opportunity of a lifetime!

  44. Emma Lovell says:

    What an amazing opportunity.

    Thanks Darren. Looking forward to entering and coming up with some great ways to promote the beautiful and diverse QLD.

  45. Sharyn says:

    Wow what a great bunch of people you will have…great adventure. Sharyn.

  46. Wow, wow, wow, what an amazing adventure!!!! Australia is on my list of “to visit before I die” places :)

  47. Dent says:

    I hope that i will be the winner! I ‘ve never been to Australlia. Thanks Mr. Darren Rowse.

  48. Shajedul says:

    Wow! great adventure. I wish that i could go to visit the place. This is beautiful, hope for winning.

  49. Great to see a tourism organisation in Australia looking for bloggers with international influence!! It took them long enough!

  50. Sadie says:

    Australia has always been my dream… always always. Will really enjoy entering this competition!