Celebrity concierge • December 2015
In 2009, writer, photographer and blogger, Ben Southall won ‘the best job in the world’ and became caretaker of Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia for six months. After that, Ben set off on his travels, so The Club tracked him down to find out what he’s been up to
You recently drove from Singapore to London in a yellow Land Rover named Colonel Mustard. Where on the route did you enjoy most?
I loved North East India; the best thing about it was the excitement of the unknown. I love not knowing what is around the next corner. It’s all very well looking at somewhere on a map, but until you get there you don’t know what you’re going to find.
Did the role of caretaker of Hamilton Island live up to your expectations?
Well, as it turned out, the ‘best job in the world’ was also the busiest! Every day I would spend from 8am until 10pm working on the island and having amazing experiences like diving, sailing and snorkelling, then I would get home and write about them until midnight. It was really full-on for six months, but always 100 per cent fun.
Where do you go to escape the crowds back home in Brisbane?
For me, running is bliss. I absolutely love putting on a pair of trail shoes and getting out of the city. Just outside Brisbane there are great national parks and mountains. I drive out at about four in the morning, put on a head torch, and don’t come back for three hours. That is my happy place – exploring the wide-open spaces that Australia has to offer.
You got married three years ago – where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Laos, rented a pair of motorbikes and headed into the hills for 10 days. After that we enjoyed a bit of luxury as we relaxed in Luang Prabang on the banks of the Mekong.
Which destination is next on your list and why?
One thing I’d really like to do is put on a very thick drysuit and dive under the ice in Antarctica. I think it would be one of the most bizarre and unique experiences you could ever have. It is very expensive to fly to though and, as you can’t drive there, Colonel Mustard wouldn’t be much help.
Interview by Matt Hutson