Photo Of The Day: Gold Coast Surfers

In the hands of Flickr user verargulla, these Gold Coast surfers seem to exist in a silver-gold haze – a dreamy netherworld of mist, skyscrapers and cooperative waves. It’s enough to make the idea of surfing attractive even to those who’ve never successfully ridden a wave.

Upload your best images of surfers, skyscrapers and dislocated fantasies to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. We select our favorites from the pool to be Photos of the Day.

Divers can experience coral spawning in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia this November

In 1981, the first scientific observation of coral spawning took place. Coral spawning can be thought of as a coral orgy or sex on the Great Barrier Reef, with the process beginning six months prior when eggs and sperm begin to form in the coral. Certain factors must be present for the coral spawning to take place, such as water temperatures being 27 degrees Celsius and a full moon (the spawning with occur from the 2nd to 6th night following).

If you want to see coral spawning for yourself first-hand, visit Queensland, Australia, from November 15-17th, 2011 and signup for a night dive. While the dates are not 100% guaranteed, it is predicted that this is when the coral spawning will occur this year. Want to check it out from the comfort of your computer chair? Watch this video:

Photo Gallery: Queensland, Australia

Usually we’re uncomfortable posting direct press pitches, but these pictures are too good to resist. Queensland, Australia, is often regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Home to various UNESCO World Heritage Sites, beautiful beaches, breathtaking city skylines, a tropical climate, and wildlife that you can experience up-close, it is no wonder that 2.1 million people visit the region each year.

Interested in visiting the region yourself? Here are some suggested itineraries on how to make the most of your time in Queensland:

  • Go whale watching at Hervey Bay. Right now, the area is seeing a drastic increase in the amount of whales migrating along the coast. In fact, there are more whales at Hervey Bay now than there have been in the last 25 years. For more information or to book a whale watching tour, click here.
  • Scuba Dive the Great Barrier Reef. This is the ideal way to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the aquatic life that inhabits it, up-close. For more information, click here.
  • Spend some time on the beaches of Surfer’s Paradise. Learn to surf, explore beachfront markets, ride a jet ski, or just layout and relax. And when the sun goes down, the area has plenty to offer in terms of dining, entertainment, and nightlife.
  • Get adventurous in Cairns. From skydiving to bungee jumping at AJ Hackett Tower to white water rafting on the Tully River, there are plenty of activities here for thrill seekers.


Win a trip to dive the Great Barrier Reef

PADI, the Professional Association of Dive Instructors, is closing in on a very impressive milestone, and to celebrate they’re giving away a very impressive trip. The organization that has trained more scuba divers than any other, is now approaching their 20 millionth certification, and the lucky person who earns that distinction will win a trip for two to dive Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Last week, PADI launched its “Countdown to 20 Million” campaign, installing a counter on its website to indicate how close they are to the magic number. As of this writing, they are still more than 46,000 certifications away from the winner, but considering there are over 6000 PADI dive centers and resorts world wide, it seems likely that that number will drop quickly. It should also be pointed out that the contest is open to any certification, so whether you’re a beginner who is just getting started, or a long time veteran looking to pick-up some new skills, you’ll be eligible to take home the prize.

And what a prize it is! The person who earns that 20 millionth certification will receive round-trip airfare to Cairns, Australia, four nights stay in a resort located in Queensland and an additional three nights stay aboard a dive boat. Also included will be all equipment rental, including dive computer, a one hour low level reef flight for checking out the area from the air, and the opportunity to dive up to 11 times. If that wasn’t enough, the winner and their guest will also visit the Daintree Rainforest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), visit an Aboriginal village, and a “Cuddle a Koala” experience.

If you’ve ever wanted to get dive certified, or already have your certification but want to brush up on your skills, now is the time. Find a PADI site near you and go earn that cert. Who knows, you might even win a great trip to the Great Barrier Reef in the process.

A few years back I had the opportunity to visit the GBR and spend a few days on a live aboard ship. I can tell you that it was a spectacular experience, and while I only snorkeled the area, it was none the less one of the most amazing places I have visited. The reef is truly a wonder to behold, the amount of beautiful sea life that you’ll find there is awe inspiring. If you haven’t been there yourself, then you really should add it to your list of “must see” places. You will not be disappointed.

Queensland Tourism’s “Best Job in the World” campaign is back with Million Dollar Memo

Tourism Queensland – the team behind the successful Best Job in the World campaign – today launched the Million Dollar Memo – a new campaign targeting the global incentive travel market by offering companies and workplaces around the world the opportunity to compete for AUD $1,000,000 worth of travel experiences to Queensland, Australia.

“Great companies are built by the great people within them, so we’d like to reward that hard work by giving one lucky company the chance to win the Ultimate Reward – AUD $1,000,000 worth of Queensland travel experiences for their staff,” said Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes.

“We’ve sent the Million Dollar Memo to thousands of companies and workplaces worldwide, inviting them to showcase their organization to a global audience by telling us why they are the best company in the world and why their employees deserve the AUD $1,000,000 worth of unique travel experiences to Queensland.

To be in the running, entrants need to create an entertaining 60 second video that shows what makes their company great and why they think Queensland is the ultimate reward destination. Video entries can be submitted at

“It doesn’t matter if you work for a global sporting company, a software giant or a small-town bakery, if you have 3,000 employees or only three – the Million Dollar Memo is open to companies and workplaces around the world,” Hayes said.

The contest runs from March 18 to May 1 and consists of three phases; a Top 50 short-list, a Final 20 list and an Incentive Challenge Event which will see a representative of the final 20 companies traveling to Queensland to compete in person. People will vote for five of the top 50 contenders in a “People’s Choice” category, while the remaining 45 will be chosen by Tourism Queensland.

From the Top 50 short-list, website visitors will vote again for three “wild cards” within the Top 20. Tourism Queensland will select a further 17 entries for the Final 20 list, which will be announced on 6 July.

Those companies fortunate enough to make it to the Final 20 list will get to send a representative to Queensland for an Incentive Challenge Event which will be held in unique locations throughout the state starting on August 23.

The winner will be announced on August 31 and will enjoy the AUD $1,000,000 grand prize of Queensland incentive travel experiences.