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Queensland, Australia: Here I Come

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Queensland, Australia: Here I Come

helicopter-ride-and-sandy-cay84-600x410Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of visiting Australia.

While I dreamed about it, I did not imagine it becoming a reality until I was older than my current age of 40.

Well, it’s happening. I am going to my dream destination as a blogger correspondent for Tourism Queensland.  And, I will joined by nine other influential bloggers from across the globe, plus Darren Rowse , the blogging genius behind Digital Photography School and Problogger.


Here’s how it happened:

I returned from my annual family vacation to see a post from Problogger that said “Win 1 of 10 Trips to The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia.” With unpacking, piles of laundry, and 900 photos to edit, I filed it away.  Days later, I received another email about the contest, including the itinerary. I decided to fill out the form which asked questions about my blog, social networking reach, how I would cover the trip on the blog, etc.  I knew that they would get hundreds to thousands of entries. But since I host contests on the MCP Blog all the time, I have learned that even if your chances are small, you only can win if you enter.

The night when they said they’d email the 10 chosen bloggers took me back in my memories by more than 20 years….when I’d wait to see what acceptance letters would arrive from colleges.  Then, an email arrived from Darren.  As I read the subject line “Congratulations: You’re a Winner of a Trip to the Great Barrier Reef with ProBlogger and Tourism Queensland” I was shaking.  Pinch me. Nope – it’s real.  I am going to Australia.


All of you:

While I have no idea how the judges at Queensland Tourism actually picked the ten winners from all the talented entries they received, I am sure at least some of it had to do with you, my audience, blog readers and fans.  I’m guessing they saw how interactive everyone is on the MCP Blog and Facebook page and how we have such amazing exchanges.  So thank you for helping making my dreams come true.

I’ll share this experience as it unfolds on Facebook, and will have a number of related blog posts on my return. Expect lots of pictures and some tips I pick up along the way.


Have tips for me?

I love travel, but I have limited experience with journeys outside North America and the surrounding islands. If you have travel tips for super long plane rides, international travel, avoiding jet-lag, or anything else, please let me know. While Tourism Queensland has an exciting, five full days and nights planned for our stay, if you live nearby or have visited The Great Barrier Reef, I’d love your to know your musts and tips for capturing its beauty.

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  1. Maioha
    April 29, 2012 at 6:48 am —

    Congrats on your win! You’ll love it here! It’s a shame that it’s only for five days though seeing as our state is almost three times bigger than Texas. No doubt you’ll get to sample the best we have to offer though.

    As somebody said earlier, be sure to try the Tim Tams (chocolate biscuits/cookies) and use Vegemite sparingly until you acquire the taste for it. Oh and have a pavlova if you haven’t tried that before!

    And definitely save your pennies. Prices here are much higher than in the US for just about everything.

    • May 31, 2012 at 7:50 pm —

      I cannot wait to try all of it. Wonder if I can get any of the Aussie food back for my kids to try – that might be a no go through customs though.

  2. Karenissima
    April 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm —

    Congrats on your win, Jodi! I am so happy for you that your dream is coming true. Can’t wait to see your pics. Enjoy your trip!

  3. Sarah
    April 29, 2012 at 11:50 pm —

    So awesome, Jodi!! Congrats & have a blast. Can’t wait to see your posts & pics.

  4. April 30, 2012 at 3:41 am —


    I am so excited someone as talented as you has won.

    I am a tour director and some of the comments that I get from guests is they love to experience the reef on a cantarman. Whitehaven is a must, Heart Reef by Helicopter would be amazing. They are probably the must dos. I would imagine that TQ will keep you pretty busy. But just enjoy it for what it is … June is a stunning time to visit the reef while it is out winter … Our winters are warm in the tropics with 80 most days (yes that is in Farneheit). It is just a shame you aren’t coming to Brisbane… I would offer my services and make sure you get to hold a koala etc…I love my state and home city and so pleased that TQ runs these competitions to show off our beautiful state.

    • April 30, 2012 at 9:14 am —

      Thank you. I am sure I will wish I had longer there too. I know some of the itinerary said stuff about furry friends. So hopefully I will get to photograph a koala. And maybe even hold one.

    • Shalini K
      May 31, 2012 at 9:24 am —

      Jodi: get thee to the Apple store (or online) they have converters for all your devices…. That is what we did when we lived in Australia…

  5. bobbie
    April 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm —

    wow …how cool..u r a winner and we hopefully will live vicarously thru your blog and photos enjoy enjoy

  6. Sarah Crespo
    April 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm —

    This is awesome! Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear (and see) about it 🙂

  7. May 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm —

    Congrats Jodi! I had entered too, but didn’t have any hopes of winning as my blog isn’t far reaching. But I was really happy to find this post tonight, I feel like someone I know won even though I don’t know you in person. I can’t wait to read all about your trip next month!

  8. Shalini K
    May 31, 2012 at 9:21 am —

    I went to the Great Barrier Reef in 2008, from Port Douglas… I bet you all will go via Cairns… I recommend if you have the time to drive from Cairns to Post Douglas, because the views are amazing and a lottttt of great scenic photos for you….

    Will you be shooting underwater? I have no idea about that, but let me tell you that snorkeling there was the most amazing thing ever.. I do not think anywhere else on earth will get close.,..

    Compared to Hawaii and California you will see that the Australian beaches are not as built up….

    Congrats on your trip and thoroughly enjoy it… I look forward to seeing your photos!

    And no matter what way you frame it… The 14 hour (or so) flight really sucks…(and I usually lug around the kiddos)

    Bon Voyage!

  9. May 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm —

    I went to Australia to study abroad for my last year of college in 2005. Everything there is amazing. The weather, the people, the sights, are all awesome! I got my scuba diving license in Cairns, if you have time, scuba diving is a must! The flight is SUPER long so try to get an emergenxy exit seat for leg room!

  10. Jasmin
    May 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm —

    Yay! I’m so pleased that you are coming to our beautiful beautful country!
    I have lived and visited USA several times ad nothing beats Australia!
    ( you will understand why when you come here!)
    My BIGGEST advice to make the most of your Australia visit as I know the jetlag
    Sucks! Is to spend a week before coming here living on qld time zone. Trust me!!!
    You want to enjoy our beautiful country without feeling like hungover 😉 Look forward
    To your photos

  11. Bill
    May 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm —

    Wow Jodi! Congrats on winning the trip. On jetlag, walk in the Aussie sunlight as soon as you can, even if your body is telling you it is 3am! It helps get your bodyclock to switch over. What to do while you`re here…Aussie men are among the cutest in the world…I know, I am one! Ha ha!
    Shame you can`t stay longer, you`re going to one of the most beautiful parts of the world, but there is sooo much more to see!
    Sarah wasn`t joking about the drop bears…


  12. June 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm —

    I would like to visit my ancestors homeland, that would be Scotland and Poland to see the area where they lived and possibly answer some questions as to what happened to some of my relatives after WWII.
    I would the following Canon lenses: 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 100-400mm L series, 50mm Prime.

  13. Rhonda Pagano
    June 28, 2012 at 10:18 am —

    I would go to Australia. It is at the top of my bucket list. I would bring my two Nikon f2.8 24-70 mm and 70-200 mm lens and also my Nikon 50 mm.

  14. Cindy Robinson
    July 1, 2012 at 9:03 am —

    I would love to go to Costa Rica. So many coloful, beautiful birds.I would take a 35 mm for scenic, a 70 mm people portraits and a 170-500 zoom for the birds.

  15. July 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm —

    If I could go anywhere, it would be to my hometown. I recently came into contact with someone who moved to my small Midwestern town, and she blogs about all of the places that I grew up knowing as a child. I was never impressed with my hometown, and couldn’t wait to leave. However, since following her blog, I’ve gained a new appreciation for my town. I’m even proud of it. I would love to capture the beauty so that I can keep it with me always.

    I used the MCP Action “1c Cloudy Day” Preset with this image.

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Queensland, Australia: Here I Come