Rush for 'best job in the world' crashes website

An Olympic gold medallist from Switzerland and a sun-seeking teenager from England are among those vying for the "best job in the world" - caretaker of Hamilton Island.

Interest in the $150,000 job has been so intense that the website advertising the position crashed several times this morning.

As word spread and traffic increased throughout the day, the website went "up and down like a yo-yo" and struggled to cope with the estimated 40 hits per second, a Tourism Queensland spokesman said.

Back-up servers have been installed to handle the unexpected response and technicians expect smooth sailing form here, he said.

On Monday, Tourism Queensland advertised the position, which requires the successful applicant to explore the Great Barrier Reef, laze by the beach and make friends with locals.

Launched as a viral marketing ploy intended to draw attention to the state's holiday destinations, the campaign is expected to generate $70 million worth of publicity worldwide.

And it's already working, with more than 800,000 people flooding the job website in two days.

Technicians were forced to boost the site's sever capacity after it crashed several times this morning, as dozens of hopefuls uploaded their one-minute video applications.

About 200 people have created video applications so far, among them an Olympic equestrian gold medallist from Switzerland and a teenager from the UK who is sick of the snow and dreary weather.


The bulk of applications have come from the UK, with the United States and Italy coming in close behind. Australians are currently ranked fourth.

Eleven finalists from around the world will be chosen and flown to Queensland for an intensive interview process, Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said.

The person chosen to be "caretaker" will live rent-free in a multimillion-dollar beachfront villa on Hamilton Island for six months.

"This is not a competition, it is a genuine job - and it will be tough for the successful candidate," Ms Boyle said.

"He or she will be required to live (on the island), undertake a range of activities such as swimming, snorkelling, bushwalking and exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

"They'll need to make friends with the locals and get to know the destination, and then report back on their experiences via blogs, video diaries and media interviews."

International media outlets including Sky News in the UK and NBC News in the US have already picked up the story.

Video applications can be viewed online at