Ben Southall, former Best Job in the World winner, this week launches the Best Expedition in the World a four-month, 1,000 mile sea safari along Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef to promote the education, conservation, and research of the natural wonder of the world.
Retracing a similar route that ‘fellow’ British explorer Captain Cook took 240 years ago, Ben will spend the next four months (21 May – 12 September) peddling, paddling and puffing his way up the Queensland coast in a Hobie kayak, blogging the entire journey on www.bestexpeditionintheworld.com.
The jaunty Englishman said he was awestruck by the Great Barrier Reef while acting as Caretaker at Hamilton Island in 2009 as part of the ‘Best Job in the World’, and wanted to encourage more people to share the same experiences.“My job is to raise the profile of the Great Barrier Reef, spreading the message the inspiring eco-initiatives protecting the reef, its islands and tourism experiences,” he said. “I want to inspire people to realize they too can explore this great natural asset either by jumping in a kayak, going for a dive or sailing between the islands of the Great Barrier Reef,” he said.
Great Barrier Reef is also home to the highest number of independently certified, environmentally-friendly tourism operators on any coral reef system in the world. The Best Expedition in the World will stop at Lady Elliot Island, Musgrave Island, Mackay, the Whitsundays, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Orpheus Island, Hichinbrook Island, Cairns, Port Douglas, Lowe Isles, Cape Tribulation, Endeavour Reef and Cooktown, where Captain Cook came ashore in 1770.
While the route is essentially the same as the original British explorer, this Brit’s journey will differ significantly from that of Cook. “Captain Cook was a visionary, an experienced sailor, skilled with a sextant who proudly kept 94 men alive by feeding them pork, beef, cheese, citrus fruit, sauerkraut and beer during his command of the 105 feet long Endeavour,” said Ben. “I’ll be doing the expedition alone in my 16 feet long Hobie Kayak with just a GPS and IPad, following a nutritionist’s eating plan to take in 3000 calories per day,” he said. A support vessel will accompany Ben during the Expedition.
The Best Expedition in the World and Queensland Road Trip has been made possible thanks to a range of supportive partners including: Sunsail, AirAsia, Sunstate Hobie, YHA, Apollo Motorhome Holidays and BIG4 Holiday Parks.
Tourism Queensland, www.destinationqueensland.com; The Best Expedition in the World, www.bestexpeditionintheworld.com