Airbnb and Pixar Literally Want You to Spend the Night on the Great Barrier Reef
Through its "Night At" series, where Airbnb users can register to win a stay at once-in-a-lifetime accommodations, the vacation rental company has given away free one-night stays at Fenway Park, Ellis Island, Maracanã Stadium in Brazil and a shark aquarium in Paris. Now, it's headed back to the sea — this time in Australia — for an unforgettable sleepover on the Great Barrier Reef.
To celebrate the premiere of "Finding Dory," Airbnb and Pixar recently partnered up to create a one-of-a-kind stay in a floating home on the Great Barrier Reef, the setting for the new animated sequel, which hits theaters this Friday.
One lucky winner (and three of his or her guests) will receive round-trip airfare to Cairns, Australia, Airbnb accommodations in Cairns on July 12 and 14, a guided snorkel tour with a marine biologist, a chance to scuba dive (for all guests over the age of 12 who are OK'd by a diving instructor), lunch on a coral sand island and transportation to and from Normanby Island, the launching point for this incredible Great Barrier Reef one-night stay.
The winner's home for the evening of July 13 will be a floating suite above the world’s largest coral reef, where, according to the listing on Airbnb, they'll find “600 types of soft and hard corals, 100 species of jellyfish, 3,000 varieties of mollusks, 500 species of worms, 1,625 types of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins.”
The floating accommodation itself is not much more than a beach chic-style raft; the open-air deck/living space is connected to the main bedroom, which features a full-size bed. Below that, there’s a set of bunk beds decked out in "Finding Nemo"-themed sheets. There are no walls, nor is there any Wi-Fi. But who needs Netflix when your bobbing atop one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World?
Guests will get to do more than just gawk in awe at the underwater splendor before them. Host Pascal Datler, who’s been called a modern-day Huck Finn, will lead the group on a dive of the area while a marine biologist will take the winners through a series of private coral gardens. Back on dry land, famed Australian chef Neil Perry will provide a first-class lunch using locally sourced North Queensland produce.
In addition to highlighting the unparalleled beauty of the area, Airbnb hopes that the contest will help highlight the importance of conserving the Great Barrier Reef, which is currently under threat as a result of climate change and development along the Australian coast, among other environmental and human factors like runoff and illegal fishing. As such, Airbnb has promised to plant mangrove, salt marsh and wetland plants for every guest who visits the area through 2016.
To enter, sign into your Airbnb account (or create one if you're not already a member), visit this page and write up to 500 characters about why you and three guests deserve to win by 11:59pm Australian EST on June 30, 2016. The winner will be selected July 4.
“The opportunity to live at one of the most spectacular places on earth, even if just for a night, is not just about experiencing the unrivaled beauty of the location," said Airbnb Australia country manager Sam McDonagh. “It’s about understanding how humans can better help and support this special environment.”
Have you ever been to the Great Barrier Reef? Tell us about your experience, below.