It’s been billed as ‘the best job in the world,’ and who could argue?
The Queensland Tourist Board in Australia is looking for a caretaker for a desert island with a salary equivalent to nearly £1,000 ($1,500) an hour.
The position requires what’s called ‘minimum effort’ and involves ‘relaxed’ duties such as feeding turtles, watching whales and picking up mail. The successful applicant will also have to produce a weekly online blog, a photo diary and video updates as well as giving regular media interviews.
The post is on Hamilton Island, one of the Whitsunday Islands situated in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. From the three-bedroom house that comes with the job there will be ‘unbeatable’ views of a clear lagoon ringed by white sandy beaches with palm trees.
The six-month contract has a salary of A$150,000 (£70,000 / US$103,000 ) including free return flights. That equates to £972 ($1,450) per hour based on a flexi-time schedule of a 12-hour working month.
The offer might sound too good to be true, but the tourist board insists there’s no catch. The role of ‘Island Caretaker,’ starting on July 1st, is being advertised in 18 countries. (www.islandreefjob.com).
Candidates must possess good swimming skills, a love of snorkelling and scuba diving, an adventurous attitude and a willingness to try new things. I suspect there might be a rush.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers great deals at three superb luxury hotels in the Queensland region, including the Hayman Island Resort in the Whitsunday Islands.
Some of the smartest resorts in the Mediterranean are struggling to deal with hundreds of unwanted guests.
The intruders are mauve-coloured jellyfish which drift around in a huge swarm and can pack a nasty sting.
In a single day recently, medical teams treated 500 casualties along a ten-mile stretch of beach between the chic French resorts of Nice and Cannes. An emergency operation was mounted to rescue a group of youngsters stranded on a raft surrounded by the stingers.
Anti-jellyfish nets are being used as well as a 30-foot catamaran, dubbed ‘a hooverboat,’ that’s been sucking them out of the water.
Marine biologists say rising water temperatures and pollution have produced an increased amount of plankton - the stingers’ natural diet - while overfishing has reduced the number of shark, turtle and tuna – their main predators.
The species menacing the stretch of coast is the Pelagia Noctiluca. Its sting can cause severe burns and in some cases scarring.
by Andy Moreton
A renegade group of Gibraltar’s Barbary apes has annoyed residents so much that the authorities have announced plans to kill them.
A colony of about 200 apes inhabit the high ground of Gibraltar, the British colony off the southern tip of Spain. I can say from experience that they’re generally harmless but can be a little frightening, especially to children, because they’re inclined to snatch anything edible from your hand or bag.
But this breakaway cluster of 25 moved to a popular beach area called Catalan Bay some months ago and they’ve been stealing food, entering rooms through open windows and harassing tourists.
The territory’s tourism minister, Ernest Britto, has decided to kill the beach-dwelling group. “The decision was not taken lightly – it’s a last resort,” Britto told the Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper. He said the monkeys posed a danger to public health. The newspaper said two animals had already been captured and given lethal injections.
The decision has, however, been condemned by animal protection groups including the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) in the UK, who say they are willing to work alongside the government to manage the apes. The IPPL also said it would consider calling on UK citizens to boycott Gibraltar’s tourist industry until the culling method was stopped.
by Andy Moreton