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Blogger Correspondant Great Barrier Reef Itinerary: #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 23 April. Thanks to all who entered!

Last week I excitedly announced a competition to fly 10 ProBlogger readers into the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. The response has been amazing. We’ve had hundreds of entries and there has been some great interest in the promotion.

With just under a week to go to get your entries in I thought today I might whet your appetite a little by revealing the itinerary of the trip. It’s still being finalised so this may change a little, but here’s what we’re planning to do on the trip so far.

Day 1: Tuesday 5 June

Ten of the world’s most imaginative bloggers arrive in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and our northern-most frontier city.

Tonight we start our adventure with some up-close-and-personal time with the locals. We’re not talking about the two-legged kind here; we are talking about Australia’s quirkiest and cutest native animals.

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After that, we’ll be zipping around the corner to one of the coolest restaurants in town that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Unsurprisingly, the nosh on the menu is fresh Queensland seafood!

Day 2: Wednesday 6 June

At 2600 km long, The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest living organism, and the only natural object that can be seen from space. It’s also on the bucket list of just about every person on the planet with a heart for adventure.

This morning we are getting one step closer to the reef by sailing to a nearby tropical island for a little Crusoe Time—with full Internet access and a private blogging workshop with me. I’ll do a little teaching (based a survey of the winning bloggers’ needs) and we’ll also spend some time workshopping the winners’ blogs together.

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After lunch, you have free time to explore the island and get inspired. You may wish to go for a sail, snorkel with the aid of a fun underwater tow jet, take the plunge in a mini-submarine, or laze around the pool with a cocktail in hand. Whatever your story line, the creative juices are sure to be flowing.

Back on the mainland and a little drive north is Palm Cove (one of my personal favourites of the towns along the reef), and the location of tonight’s twilight meal, served with box office views of the Great Barrier Reef through a palm fringed shoreline.

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Day 3: Thursday 7 June

Pack up your bags, because today we are trading the world’s most loved reef for the world’s oldest rainforest. This morning we venture north to Mossman River and a stunning rainforest retreat in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest. Here we will conduct our second blogging workshop surrounded by the sounds of cicadas and running water. It will be one of the most exotic locations for a blogger training workshop the world has ever seen!

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Afterwards, explore the Mossman River with an indigenous guide and then chill out by the water’s edge. You might even like to take a dip if you’re daring!

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At night we change our location and head to Port Douglas, a former fishing village turned star-spotting holiday hot spot that has kept its laid-back, beach town heart. Tonight’s dinner is a special occasion sure to be remembered, held at a secret location.

Day 4: Friday 8 June

After all that brain-flexing over the past two days, now is the time for us to relax and head out to experience the Great Barrier Reef in style.

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Whether you’re a passionate diver or more of an above-the-water kind of explorer, there will be an option to suit you. We’ll have the choice of a relaxed day of sailing and snorkelling a pristine coral cay, an adventurous outer-reef trip to discover the glorious Agincourt Ribbon Reefs, and the option to take in everything from diving, to fish feeding, and simply marvelling at nature in the underwater observatory on a floating outer-reef platform.

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Back on dry land, we’ll mingle with the locals at an iconic Australian pub and enjoy some delicious tucker (that’s dinner to you and me).

Day 5: Saturday 9 June

Today you have the chance to really choose your own adventure!

With four itineraries to pick from, you might find yourself:

  • learning ancient art techniques and hunting and gathering skills from local Indigenous tribes
  • kayaking along pristine coastline and zipping through the trees in the World Heritage Listed Daintree rainforest on an adventurous tour like no other
  • coming face to face with Australia’s cute (and not-so-cute) native animals, and enjoying a true Australian country experience
  • really getting the blood pumping as you take to the skies, saddle up a wild steed, and finish off with a trip down the river rapids.

Note: on this 5th day we can attempt to tailor what you do to the type of story you’d like to cover. For example if you’re a photographer you might like to spend the day on location somewhere to capture a shot or if you are looking to see something specific or interview someone about some aspect of Queensland we’ll try to set that up for you.

There will also be some flexibility and free time on most days for you to create content or see things relevant to your niche. We’ll do our best to tailor the trip to those on it (no guarantees).

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They don’t call Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef “Adventurous by Nature” for nothing!

Make sure you save some energy though, because tonight we’ll enjoy a final celebratory meal together at one of Port Douglas’s most iconic restaurants.

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Sunday 10 June

Is it really time to say goodbye?

Enter today

I still can’t quite believe that we’re running this trip—it really is my dream to take some blogging friends to this destination. We’re going to have an amazing few days together.

This trip is open to all bloggers over the age of 18 from around the globe (including Australia). We are looking for bloggers in all kinds of niches. While some have commented that it is a travel blogger conference, we’d love to receive entries from all niches. You can cover the trip from what ever angle you choose. For example:

  • Food bloggers: food will be a big part of this trip. Why not review the places where we eat, and talk about the Aussie food you come across?
  • Parenting bloggers: Queensland is a great family vacation destination. Write about the trip for prospective parents looking to visit.
  • Photography bloggers: You’ll see some of the most beautiful scenes in the world over this week, and they’re ideal for anyone with a camera to document.

There’s no end to the angles you can take as a blogger correspondent on this trip. So get your creating thinking going and include the angle you’d take in covering the trip in your entry.

There is less than a week to get your entry in, so you do need to act now to make sure you’re in the competition.

To enter simply read the terms and conditions of the competition and then fill in the entry form here.

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. This such an amazing experience!! I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do if I was selected. A total dream come true! An astoundingly exciting itinerary.

  2. Benny says:

    That looks like an amazing itinerary!! I just wish it wasn’t during Blogworld or else I’d apply! Good luck to the applicants though!

  3. Darren, you know it does rain in Queensland!

    I think all those photos above are misleading to say the least. Everyone of them shows smiling faces and sunny weather. Mmmm.

    Good competition by the way!

  4. Pamela Mbalo says:

    The photos are awesome, I have watched all the BBC series on the Great Barrier Reef -its a breath taking place…..

  5. Looks like an amazing trip!…

  6. Vi says:

    wow, it looks fantastic 5 days!

  7. Webly says:

    What an amazing destination! Just reading about the activities during the trip makes me feel like entering the contest. Maybe I will.

  8. marc says:

    This is going to be a big help.

  9. Looking at this post makes my toes wiggle with enthusiasm. And this morning I found sand in my shoes! You have lots of people dreaming of how to use such a glorious trip. This would beat the PBS + BBC shows that I’ve been watching on my vicarious travels: the REAL thing – no remote.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    It looks like it will be a great few days! I wish now I had held off submitting my entry so I could tailor it better around these fabulous experiences.

  11. You know, the worst thing with reef is that they are sold for their beauty. But the sellers and the buyers don’t know that removing the reef is dis balancing the CO2 percentage. More over these are home to many small creature they too are destroyed.

  12. As if going to paradise wasn’t enough, then Darren adds a fantastic opportunity to learn new blogging skills and tops it off with the chance to network with other up-and-coming bloggers. Sounds like a fantastic chance of a lifetime to me.

  13. Mindy says:

    Now I hope to win more than ever!!!

  14. Tom Parker says:

    Looks amazing Darren. Good luck to all the applicants.

    One thing though…is it just me, or does the fish below day 4 look hilarious? The expression on its face cracks me up every time I look at it.

    Tom

    • Yes, there is something fishy about the expression. I think it’s the fish’s “baited” breath. Or it’s a prescient fish that sees where it is headed — to the last photo shown under Day 5. Mwah hah glub glub Good call, Tom

  15. Aniko says:

    Amazing!
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed… :)

  16. Thank you for this opportunity. I entered.

  17. It looks like an amazing and well thought out itinerary. I just completed my entry…now I am dreaming about Australia!

  18. Kelsey Jones says:

    Sounds so amazing. I put in my application, I am so excited to go to Australia and combine my loves of travel, blogging, and social media all into one trip.

  19. Winning this would be such an amazing experience — trying to ford my way through interests and experiences with all the different people I’ve met while blogging, I think this would make for even more inspiration to create great stuff!

    *fingers crossed until they break*

    *but then I couldn’t type*

  20. Kelvin Ang says:

    Just submitted my entry! Now keeping my fingers, toes & eyes crossed! Best of luck to everyone. :)

  21. Laurie says:

    This is truly an amazing opportunity – I will enjoy reading the experiences of the bloggers who are chosen (well, I’d enjoy being there and writing about it even more, but since I’m sure you have a TON of applicants, I’ll not count on that)

    Someday I am going to Queensland though, contest winner or no!

  22. Fun approach to the itinerary with lively phrases! Did someone say quirky? Have you read my twin sister’s and my blog? And brain-flexing? Yee haw as flexing is our Fun and Fit specialty. And subtlety … as in “Pick me, pick me!” Ok, as in “pick us, the twin-pack, pick us!” Really app-pree-chee-ate your offering this opportunity – both the trip and the education!

  23. Jenny says:

    Submitted! My fingers are crossed! It will be an once-in-a-lifetime experience!

  24. Kitty says:

    Having always dreamed of visiting Australia, I too am “crossing my fingers until they break”. Break a leg, everybody! Wish we could ALL go…..

  25. This such an amazing experience!! I can’t even begin to imagine what I would do if I was selected. A total dream come true! An astoundingly exciting itinerary.

  26. Renee says:

    Make sure you have enough time to chill in Port Douglas – it’s the best place ever. I know, I am biased because I live here, but it’s still true :)

    And in case you had enough adventure in the great outdoors – make sure to book yourself in for some relaxing time at one of the great Day Spas in Port Douglas! We would love to pamper you a bit.