Armchair Traveller

Rated: |

Best Job Ben gets to stay on!

Ben Southall

He caught the attention of millions when he landed the coveted job of Island Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef. Now Ben Southall, the 34-year-old Brit who got the job we all wanted, has revealed that the dream isn't over yet. He's set to continue his enviable lifestyle for another 18 months.

"There hasn't been a worst day on the job so far" he says. "But I imagine the worst day is going to be the day I have to move out of Blue Pearl, the house I've been living in on Hamilton Island".

"I've got five days at this six star resort, Qualia to relax and recover. Then it's south to Brisbane, get myself and my girlfriend Bre settled in there, then move off to America to do an event called G'day USA. It's winter over there, so I'll need to get some warmer clothes!"

And Ben can confirm — "I'm going to carry on with my Best Job in the World. I've still got three boxes of Island Caretaker business cards, and I think that's why they've agreed to give me an 18 month extension! I'll still be working with Tourism Queensland, definitely. It's been an amazing experience, but so far I've only been scraping the surface of each place I've been to. A day just isn't long enough. So the idea now is to immerse myself in these places, have maybe a week in each place, and learn much more about the reef, so that I can really put the information out there to people. Obviously it's exciting for me, and I feel it's a great reward for all the hard work I've put in. I'm so pleased that I'm still going to be here."

So is the extended job as much of a sweet deal as the old one? Ben was paid $150,000 for the last six months, and of course given the use of a luxury villa on Hamilton Island. "Well, not quite" he laughs. "I'm downgrading to a normal house or flat in Brisbane — I want to find a little eco-friendly place to live in. And of course I'm not dipping into a prize fund for my salary like we were for the last six months. But I'm happy with it, and it's more than I could get working for a charity, which is what I was doing before. I've always just done jobs for the love of it anyway, not the amount of money that I could earn."

Good luck Ben, you lucky bugger!

User comments
Met this guy when I was on Hammo the other week, sensational bloke.
Of course he is going to stay on for as long as he can... and who wouldn't!! No doubt Ben and his Mrs are living it up "working" in QLD Australia, but seriously how much work are they really doing??!! Scuba diving, massages and an exclusive roof over your head are hardly what I would call hard labour!! I just don't understand though why an AUSTRALIAN person wasn't hired to sell AUSTRALIA?!?!
From one Southall to another, why would you not want to stay in such a beautiful part of the world. Live it up.

Write a comment
Email: *
Your email will not be shared with any third parties or published with your comment.
Nickname: *
Location: *

Maximum characters 1000

Comment guidelines > View full guidelines
Avoid using:
  • Personal attacks
  • Irrelevant comments
  • HTML tags
  • Personal information
  • Offensive language
comment guidelines X
Thank you for sharing your opinions with other users of NineMSN. People will find your comments more helpful if you include relevant information and avoid some common pitfalls.
Please note: All reviews and comments submitted are subject to moderation, NineMSN reserves the right to alter and / or remove any content that does not comply with usage guidelines.
What to include in your comment:
  • A title that briefly summarizes the opinion expressed in the comment.
  • Additional comments adding more detail.
  • Comparisons to other similar products, if this is relevant.
  • To create a new paragraph, press the Enter key twice.
What not to include:
  • Information that will quickly go out of date.
  • Comments on other comments or commenters.
  • Language that other users may find offensive.
  • comments of one sentence or less. Provide information to support your opinion.
  • Personal information like your email address or telephone number.
  • HTML coding. Tags like <b> or <i> will not be recognized.