This article first published January 12, 2009.
Queensland's latest tourism campaign is giving job seekers the chance to get paid $150,000 to live six months rent-free on the Great Barrier Reef.
As their Christmas holidays fade and the credit crunch begins to bite, office workers dreaming of a fresh start are being tempted to apply for "the best job in the world".
Tourism Queensland is looking for applicants willing to walk white sandy beaches, sit under palm trees and swim with turtles as they soak up the sun.
The successful candidate will be asked to keep a blog and photo diary in exchange for six months rent-free on Hamilton Island as part of a $150,000 salary package that includes return airfares and travel insurance.
Australians and overseas applicants must be willing to "swim, snorkel, make friends with locals and generally enjoy the tropical Queensland climate and lifestyle".
The `island caretaker' position was created as part of a three-year $1.7 million marketing strategy by Tourism Queensland.
But Tourism Queensland chief Anthony Hayes said the job was not just a publicity stunt.
"Yes this is part of a unique Tourism Queensland strategy to promote the islands of the Great Barrier Reef internationally, but candidates will have to go through a genuine recruitment process," he said.
Australian Marketing Institute president Roger James said the campaign was an interesting idea but would need innovative marketing to make sure the winning candidate's blog was as effective as traditional advertising.
"I've got to decide to log on to the blog ... and to make that work you have to have a communication that is arresting and interesting," he said.
"If we end up with little videos or this person wandering around the islands and they're just happy snaps it may not generate much interest at all.
"On the other hand, if it is something new and arresting and inventive it may be an absolute huge hit."
The campaign was launched overseas today and a domestic launch will follow this weekend but Mr James said it was likely an overseas applicant would be picked.
The winning candidate will be chosen from a shortlist of 11 and must be a good swimmer, excellent communicator, be able to speak and write English, have an adventurous attitude, enjoy snorkelling and/or diving and be willing to try new things.
The job includes free accommodation in a three-bedroom home on Hamilton Island complete with plunge pool, views of the Whitsunday Islands and golf buggy.
The caretaker will promote the Great Barrier Reef islands, give media interviews and take care of a "few minor tasks" throughout their tenure beginning on July 1.