Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Massive interest in 'dream job'


The job description for 'the best job in the world'

Tourism officials in Australia have been inundated with applications for what they have described as "the best job in the world".

A website set up to accept applications crashed after receiving more than one million hits in three days.

The job, on a tropical island, requires no formal qualifications except being willing to swim, snorkel, and sail.

In return the successful applicant will receive a salary of A$150,000 ($103,000; 70,000) for six months.

They will also get to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

Picture: Hamilton Island - courtesy Tourism Queensland

The post, advertised as "caretaker" on Hamilton Island in Australia's Whitsunday Islands, has already attracted so much interest the tourism department has had to upgrade from one server to 10.

The chief executive officer of Tourism Queensland said he was overwhelmed by the response.

"Oh boy, what have we done?" he joked after the high volume of traffic saw the site crash briefly earlier in the week.


The new recruit will work for just 12 hours a month. Duties include feeding some of the hundreds of species of fish and collecting the island's mail.

They will also need to produce a blog, a photo diary and video updates to attract tourists to the area.

World's largest coral reef system
1,600 miles long
2,900 individual reefs
400 species of coral
2,000+ different fish species
Source: BBC Science & Nature

Over 2,000 video applications have already been received, and today a team of 10 people will start sifting through them.

Tens of thousands more are expected before the February 22 deadline.

Hamilton Island, where the temperature is warm all year round, is the largest inhabited island in the region. It boasts blue skies, crystal water and pure sands.

In May, 10 shortlisted candidates and one wildcard, voted for by visitors to the Tourism Queensland website, will be invited to the islands for a four-day final interview process. The successful candidate will start the new job on 1 July.

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