A Week For The Books

As many of you know due to my copious amount of Instagram posts (apologies), Shawn and I have spent the last week up here in TNQ (Tropical North Queensland) filming for the Paradise Through Your Lens competition/campaign. I just wanted to pop a quick post up while I have some down time before we fly back to Sydney this afternoon to give a very quick overview of the trip. Obviously I’ll be posting more to showcase all the great snaps we managed to get and to fill everyone in on the jaw-dropping experience we were so blessed to be a part of.

So, here’s a little recap of the week so everyone knows what’s up!

Sunday 22nd:
– Flew from Sydney – Cairns.
– We enjoyed a delish brekky thanks to Qantas in the Qantas Lounge at the Sydney Airport. – – – Once in Cairns we were greeted by some lovely ladies associated with TTNQ who gave us the brief and the things we would need (money, itinerary, taxi vouchers etc.)
– Picked up our camera and underwater housing unit that was kindly hired out to us from the tourism team. We also brought a GoPro Hero 4 Black and GH4 with us for filming, and our Canon 6D for photos.
– Stayed our first night at the luxurious Alamanda Resort in Palm Cove.

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Monday 23rd:
– Woke up early to catch the sunrise through the Palm trees – magic!
– Spent the day exploring the Frankland Islands out on the reef.
– We were given the opportunity to go on our first ever SCUBA DIVE. Ah-mazing.
– Back at the resort, we had dinner with The Today Show’s Stevie Jacobs, two women involved with Queensland and TNQ Tourism as well as one of the other contestants.
– Stayed another night at the Alamanda.

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Tuesday 24th:
– Woke up early for sunrise
– We were given the fantastic opportunity to be involved in a segment of The Today Show. Stevie Jacobs did a quick talk about the competition and who we were etc. If you were watching, you would have seen us fake-filming in the background, then later taking off in the helicopter!
– After filming for the show, we were flown in the chopper over to a sand cay in the GBR to get some footage.
– We were then taken over to Reef Encounter’s Live Aboard boat. Best experience! We went snorkeling/diving 4 times on this day. Including a NIGHT DIVE. Swam with loads of sharks and other creatures.
– Definitely our biggest day of the trip – I’ll be doing an individual post with more info soon.

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Wednesday 25th:
– More diving and snorkeling off the live aboard boat before getting a smaller boat back to the mainland that afternoon.
– I found out that I scored a new full time job at Community Manager for an advertising agency! But more on that later.
– Did an interview with the Cairns Post. Had a laugh taking a bunch of cheesy couple shots to accompany the article.
– Stayed the night at the Shangri-La Hotel, Cairns.

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Thursday 26th:
– Traveled out to Green Island, about a 50 minute journey. Located on the inner reef.
– Swam with turtles, got some amazing close up footage and photos and just generally had the most magical experience of my life.
– Enjoyed a beautiful sunset picnic thanks to the Green Island Resort Restaurant.
– Stayed the night at the resort.

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Friday 27th:
– Up early to catch the sunrise.
– Watched as many many turtle heads popped up at the surface to take a breath of air after a long nights sleep! Swam with sharks, sting rays and turtles as the sun rose above us.
– Swam, relaxed and enjoyed the island the rest of the day.
– Got some beautiful sunset footage before enjoying a gorgeous dinner at the restaurant.
– Stayed the night at the Green Island Resort.

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Saturday 28th:
– Up early for sunrise (duh)
– Climbed on all the drift wood around the back of the island and got some cool shots.
– Swam until it was time for lunch.
– Got a boat back to cairns.
– Stayed the night at the Shangri-La.

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Sunday 1st (today!):
– No sunrise today, sleep in!
– We catch our plane home this afternoon, but not before stopping back in at the Qantas Lounge – yum yum!

This week has been out-of-this-world incredible. I could never have anticipated this much adventure and royalty treatment coming our way so early in the year. I feel so immensely blessed by it, and have to hand all the glory to God, of course! We know without a doubt we wouldn’t be here without him. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts and photos, and send a little prayer our way if you feel like it to help us take out the comp! If we win, we will be able to spend 20K on gear for Shawn and I, it will really set us up and allow us to do a better job at what we love. But even if we don’t, I feel like we’ve already won after this week – not many people get these kinds of opportunities and I definitely am not taking any of it for granted!

E x

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