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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
Sunday 10 June
Is it really time to say goodbye?
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.