Lonely Planet Writer

Lucky travellers will sleep above the Great Barrier Reef with a new Airbnb contest

When glimpsing one of the world’s natural wonders, sleep may be the last thing on most travellers’ minds. But a new contest from Airbnb will send a lucky winner and their guests to Australia, where they will have the chance to experience – and sleep above – the Great Barrier Reef.

Travellers can win a stay at an Airbnb on the Great Barrier Reef.
Travellers can win a stay at an Airbnb on the Great Barrier Reef. Image by Airbnb

Four people will get the chance to sleep in a dwelling “atop a coral garden beside a sand cay in a billowing reef home” on 13 July – for free. The listing is the latest in Airbnb’s “Night At” contests, which have allowed winners to spend a night at Arianna Huffington’s Manhattan apartment, a Rio Olympic stadium, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ secret lair and other unique accommodations.

Spend a night sleep on the reef.
Spend a night sleep on the reef. Image by Airbnb

The winners of the trip to Australia will get other perks besides their sleeping arrangements. They will have a lunch prepared by Neil Perry, one of Australia’s most influential chefs, from local North Queensland produce. The guests will ride in a glass-bottom kayak, go for a dive with their host to view marine life and see the coral gardens. As the contest is helping to promote the new Disney Pixar film, Finding Dory, the trip will also include “a private screening featuring your favourite dory fish”.

See the Great Barrier Reef with an Airbnb contest.
See the Great Barrier Reef with an Airbnb contest. Image by Airbnb

The coral is home to “600 types of soft and hard corals, 100 species of jellyfish, 3000 varieties of molluscs, 500 species of worms, 1625 types of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins”. The listing notes that the visitors will see the human impact on the reef, and to counter that, Airbnb has also announced it will contribute to a local non-profit called Greenfleet to plant mangroves, salt marsh and wetland plants for every guest who visits the regions for the remainder of 2016.

Kids will get to enjoy a night on the reef.
Kids will get to enjoy a night on the reef. Image by Airbnb

Airbnb writes on its blog that the accommodation built for the contest is made from local recycled materials and sustainably-sourced local pine wood. It will later be repurposed as a turtle hatching facility with the help of local marine biologists.

Win a getaway on the Great Barrier Reef.
Win a getaway on the Great Barrier Reef. Image by Airbnb

To win, those interested must enter the contest on Airbnb and explain why they should get the once-in-a-lifetime experience. The trip includes an economy class round trip to Cairns, Australia, one night’s accommodation, a snorkel tour and a scuba dive as well as lunch on a coral sand island.