Hongkongers flock to apply for Australia's 'best jobs'
The position of 'chief funster' in New South Wales is the top choice among city's applicants
The Australian "Best Jobs in the World" campaign this year has received about 8,000 applications from Hongkongers, a week before the deadline.
The applicants are expected to compete against at least 300,000 adventure and outdoor enthusiasts worldwide for one of six fancy positions offered.
The organiser, Tourism Australia, said it had received more than 17,000 applications from Greater China since the competition opened on March 5. Some 8,000 were from Hong Kong, more than 5,000 from the mainland and 3,000 from Taiwan.
This year's campaign was the sequel to the previous, wildly successful one in 2009, when only one job - the Great Barrier Reef caretaker - was offered in Queensland.
The competition is open to anyone above 18 years old and who is eligible to work in Australia. Applications will close on April 10.
Six positions in six states are up for grabs: chief funster, outback adventurer, park ranger, wildlife caretaker, lifestyle photographer and taste master.
Successful applicants will get a A$100,000 (HK$790,000) salary and have their travel expenses paid for - all for spending six months swanning around the country, scoping out the hot spots, checking out the wildlife and sharing it with the world.
New South Wales' chief funster job was by far the most attractive to Hongkongers with 1,796 applications collected.
This was followed by the job of taste master in Western Australia; lifestyle photographer in Melbourne; park ranger in Queensland; wildlife caretaker in South Australia, and outback adventurer in the Northern Territory.
Globally, the organiser had so far received 515,000 online applications from 300,000 individuals in 196 countries or regions.
Britons and Americans were the most keen for a shot at one of the jobs, both with more than 75,000 applications, followed by the Italians with 60,000 and the French with 54,000.
The most popular job among all the applications globally was wildlife caretaker, followed by chief funster and park ranger.
Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy reminded applicants to submit before the deadline a 30-second video to convince the judges as to why they should be considered for one of the six jobs.
Would-be applicants should not be deterred by the number of people who had already expressed their interest in the jobs, he said.