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Polling Booth Set Up on Great Barrier Reef

Tourism Australia set up a booth on a sandbank to encourage Aussies and tourists to vote for the Great Barrier Reef as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

After we previously reported on a Canadian publicity stunt to encourage travellers to vote for the spectacular Bay of Fundy in the the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign, the agency responsible for promoting cheap holidays in Australia has decided to stake its country’s own claim to the title.

A bunch of students from Acadia University plastered themselves in the Nova Scotia bay’s trademark red mud and formed a number seven to promote the attraction and secure votes in the race to find the world’s seven most wondrous natural sites.

Well this week Tourism Australia opened a polling booth on the Great Barrier Reef – specifically on the sandbank island of Upolu Cay, which can be found some 30 kilometres north-east of Cairns. Tourists and locals alike are being encouraged to visit the booth and cast their “vote” for the reef’s inclusion in the seven wonders list. While they are there, they can even express their preference for Australia’s famous Uluru – previously known as Ayers Rock.

One of the voters popped in while snorkelling to vote. Laura Turner from Queensland described the somewhat “surreal” sight of a polling booth apparently springing up from the sea in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, telling Tourism Australia: “After seeing how incredible the Great Barrier Reef is with my own eyes, the booth gave me the ideal opportunity to place my vote right there and then.”

Competition is fierce to win a place on the final list, with rivals including New Zealand’s Milford Sound – a spectacular fjord described by none other than Rudyard Kipling as “the eighth Wonder of the World” – Venezuela’s Angel Falls and the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, as well as the Bay of Fundy.