ONE of the nation’s most popular landmarks is a hot favourite to be voted among the world’s new seven natural wonders.
The Great Barrier Reef has fought off stiff competition from 440 top sites around the world to be named as one of the top 10 finalists of the New7Wonders of Nature campaign.
With only five days to go, the Australian icon still faces a fierce battle from the likes of the Grand Canyon in the US, Vietnam’s Halong Bay and the Dead Sea.
Other destinations that have proved popular include Lebanon’s Jeita Grotto, South Korea’s Jeju Island and Indonesia’s Komodo Island. The Philippines’ Puerto Princesa Underground River, India’s Sundarbans forest and Italy’s Mount Vesuvius are also favourites.
However Uluru didn’t fare as well, with the icon missing out on a top spot despite appearing in the selection of 28 finalists in September. Disappointed by the result, Tourism Australia is calling for help to boost votes.
“Frankly we’re a little bit surprised that Uluru hasn’t yet made the list, I mean have you seen its beauty? Thinking caps on everyone,” Tourism Australia said on its Facebook page.
Other stunning locations that failed to make the cut include New Zealand’s Milford Sound, the Maldives and Brazil’s Iguazu Falls.
However Bernard Weber, President and Founder of New7Wonders, said there is no guarantee the finalists will end up winning as there are millions of votes still to come in.
“Clearly Asian Finalists are strong at this stage, reflecting the way the world is evolving east, and at the same time I know the actual top seven will change in the coming days,” Mr Weber said.
Tourism Australia is thrilled that the icons have been acknowledged by consumers around the globe as being among the world’s best and still holds high hopes for Uluru.
“To be one of new wonders is a terrific boost,” Andrew McEvoy, Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, said.
“Both the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru have a fantastic chance to be named one of the world’s next seven great natural wonders.”
Tourism Australia has been pulling out all the stops in a bid to win the competition, even launched a Facebook application to generate support for the landmarks, inviting Aussies to share stories and images as well as vote.
There is already a list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Launched in 2007, the provisional voting results will be announced on Saturday.