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. April 27, 2012 at 1:54 am —

    hey congrats and happy journey..
    its really a great place and superb climate..
    last year i went their i like that place very much.
    you will surely enjoy a lot..
    happy journey.

  2. April 27, 2012 at 1:26 am —

    congratulations! I hope you love my home state as much as I do!


  3. April 27, 2012 at 1:19 am —

    Congratulations Jodi, I live in Queensland, it is glorious, tropical, usually always sunny and the perfect holiday destination. You will absolutely love it here!!!

  4. Carrie
    April 27, 2012 at 1:16 am —

    That’s Awesome! I backpacked Australia and SE Asia for 12 months. I got back about a year ago.
    Really one of the best places in the world.
    One thing that no one told me : Sunscreen is different in Australia then North America (well at least Canada i know for sure), I would bring some to have, but buy some when you get there spf+50. The sun is HARSH. (I found this out the hard way with sunburn blisters):P
    I did get a chance to snorkel the great barrier reef and it is amazing, except I made one huge regretful mistake. I rented a under water camera, I was so excited to show pictures to everyone at home, that I spent most of the time focusing on taking pictures to have, instead of focusing what was going on in the moment. It was not until I only had a half hour left that i decided to put the camera down look at everything in a 360 degree instead of straight ahead. It gives me the excuse to go again sometime hopefully in the future.
    – Tim Tams are the best thing ever…
    -ketchup is called tomato sauce.
    -you should try Vegemite (its not that bad)

  5. April 27, 2012 at 12:45 am —

    Congratulations for winning #QldBlog competition 🙂

  6. April 27, 2012 at 12:43 am —

    Can’t wait to meet you Jodi…in Australia!!! Eeeeek! So excited. 🙂

  7. April 27, 2012 at 12:43 am —

    Traveling there: take an inflatable neck pillow, thick comfy socks and noise-canceling headphones…and an ipad or kindle if you like to read.

    Don’t know when you’re going, but it does get cold at night in winter. People wear Uggs for a reason, ok two reasons at least. It’s been rainy there as winter’s approaching. Pack for all types of weather so you can enjoy beach, forest, ocean, rainforest, town.

    I lived in Brisbane in 2009-2010 for almost a year – don’t know exactly how useful this will be since you might be further north. But, just in case:

    In Brissy and surrounding areas (if you’re in that part of QLD), bike along the river or rock climb at Kangaroo point at night, go to Manly (coastal suburb) boat harbour and get on a yacht for the yacht race (it’s every tuesday or wednesday or something…it’s free, but you can buy your crew a beer beforehand). WestEnd or Fortitude Valley for music, art. Downtown for culture, farmer’s market, river view.

    Any beach, forest (kangaroos, wallabies, birds, birds and birds) or rainforest (find pademelons or whipbirds) will make you happy (and they’re everywhere), take a ride in a Tiger Moth. I liked Noosa, not because it’s hip and fun (but it is), but also because the beach is in a forest (not the beach in town, but further north) and there are koalas, giant gowanas, you can snorkel, body surf, hike, shower …..ahhhh) and then go back to town for great food.

    Anyway (can you tell I am in love with Oz?)…nature is abundant, it’s nearby, it’s rich and accessible. The world is a beautiful place and Australia won my heart. If you do end up in Brisbane and you want tips on food, I know the foodie Queen of Queensland (writer for Gourmet Mag etc) – she has a book out. She took me to a woman’s house for a cooking class – the way the house is set up is wonderful, the whole experience quite different. I’ll shut up now.

    Have a great time!!!!!

  8. April 27, 2012 at 12:36 am —


    I live in Cairns, QLD and actually right here at the Great Barrier Reef. This is by far the most beautiful place in the world. Tourism QLD will for sure jam pack your days to all the important and must see spots. I am assuming they will be sending you to the Whitsundays, but the GBR is so huge, make a trip up to Cairns and come and see the rainforest as well if you can. It truly is amazing and something you need to experience first hand.
    Good luck and safe trip, can’t wait to see GBR through your lens 😀

  9. April 27, 2012 at 12:35 am —

    I live in QLD and actually right here at the Great Barrier Reef. This is by far the most beautiful place in the world. Tourism QLD will for sure jam pack your days to all the important and must see spots. I am assuming they will be sending you to the Whitsundays, but the GBR is so huge, make a trip up to Cairns and come and see the rainforest as well if you can. It truly is amazing and something you need to experience first hand.
    Good luck and safe trip, can’t wait to see GBR through your lens 😀

  10. April 27, 2012 at 12:32 am —

    Hi Jodi,

    As a winner of your fusion actions I know how exciting it is to win something.
    Although your win is huge!

    Do you know where you are staying exactly? I live in Townsville QLD which is on the Great Barrier Reef but it is 365kms south of Cairns which is also on the Great Barrier Reef. It is a huge area.

    I’m guessing they will take you out on a trip to the outer reef, when you go, you have to snorkel!! (so if you don’t know how, best be learning) A must have is an underwater P&S camera or grab yourself a underwater casing for your DSLR. You will regret it if you don’t, the marine life is spectacular.

    You will have an amazing time here, it is a beautiful part of the world. If you have any questions (even if you think they are stupid) please email me. My parents live up in Palm Cove and manage a 4.5 star holiday accomodation and they are familiar with all the tours, so I can certainly help you out in that respect.

    Congratulations and Best Wishes,
    Rachel :0)

    • April 27, 2012 at 12:41 am —

      We will be in Cairnes. Visiting the reef, rainforest and more!

      • April 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm —

        My photo here is taken at Palm Cove in front of the restaurant where you will be having dinner. At night they light the path between the palm trees and its just beautiful.

        Also Agincourt reef is one of the best outer reef experiences. Just wear heaps of sun block! A boat will take you out to a huge (and I mean huge) pontoon fixed to the outer reef. There is plenty of shade, tables and chairs, change rooms and they serve up a brilliant lunch.You won’t want to go back to the mainland.

  11. Lan
    April 27, 2012 at 12:31 am —

    That’s awesome Jodi. Being a local from Brisbane, Qld, Australia, we are very very proud of our country. The beautiful beaches, the nice weather and most importantly, the charm of the people. Remember to not only capture the significant landscape such as Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Forest, the outback and the little
    rural towns but I think the people make our country one of the most beautiful in the world. And enjoy the food. We have the best seafood and wine in the world. BTW: Qld is HUGE in land size but if you end up in Brisbane, remember to drop me a line and I can show you my local city 😉

  12. Victoria
    April 27, 2012 at 12:25 am —

    Wow, that’s sounds so fun! Congrats on winning.

  13. sarah
    April 27, 2012 at 12:24 am —

    Make sure you remember to wear crocodile repellent, and look out for drop bears 🙂 Have fun!

    • Monica
      April 27, 2012 at 7:23 am —

      Drop Bears! I spent a semester in Australia in college, and that just brought back a lot of memories 🙂

  14. April 27, 2012 at 12:22 am —

    I live in Queensland – looking forward to see what you capture while you’re here 😀

  15. April 27, 2012 at 12:17 am —

    excited to have you join us on the trip Jodi! See you in June!

  16. Kerryn C
    April 27, 2012 at 12:10 am —

    Yay for you Jodie and welcome (soon) to beautiful sunny QLD… I live here in QLD and my dream is to go over to the US so there is hope for me yet… Enjoy your stay and our beautiful outdoors… You will love it !!

  17. April 27, 2012 at 12:01 am —

    YAY FOR YOU!!!!! Oh I’m so excited. This is going to be such a cool adventure. Drink LOTS, no TONS of water, it works wonders with the jet lag. And of course the little things you already know, like get up and walk around, stretch, etc! Congrats!!!

  18. Claire
    April 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm —

    Queensland, YAY!!!!! It’s beautiful here, you’ll love it 🙂 Hope you’re planning to stay for a while! Maybe you can stop by Brisbane and do a workshop or something… (hint, hint!) 🙂

    Congrats as well, so very much deserved 🙂

  19. Adele
    April 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm —

    I got to go to Queensland and out to the GB Reef as a teenager…my friend & I entered a contest that was affiliated with the release of the first Crocodile Dundee movie (do NOT do the math on that!)…at the premier they called her name – and of course she took me along! We had the MOST amazing time! Queensland is so diverse – rainforests to deserts – and, of course, the reef! So so so many things to photograph – I remember taking a ton of rolls of film (aah, those were the days!)….you are going to have such a great time, can’t wait to see the pictures you take! Congrats!! (ok – a “funny” piece of advice one “tour dude” gave us right before we boarded the boat to the reef: he said “so, did you have OJ for breakfast? you should have OJ…OJ is the best thing for sea sickness…..” we asked why…and, wait for it….his response: “because it is the one thing that taste the same coming back up as it did going down!” Yup, real helpful! :S My advice – if you are prone to motion sickness At All – take something beforehand, that is one long and miserable day if you don’t (yup, learned from experience!) :S….anyway – Yay You!!

  20. Andrea T.
    April 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm —

    Congrats Jodie, well deserved!

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Queensland, Australia: Here I Come