Aussie wins Pacific island resort in raffle

The Kosrae Nautilus Resort ... an enchanting view.
Updated 27 July 2016
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Aussie wins Pacific island resort in raffle

SYDNEY: A lucky Australian man has won his own remote Pacific island resort in a raffle, after shelling out just $49 for the winning ticket to claim the paradise property.
The man, identified as Joshua, won the 16-room Micronesian resort in a draw organized by the Australian owners, who were looking to handover the lodge to someone like-minded.
Ahead of the draw, co-owner Doug Beitz said he was hoping the winner would be “someone who likes warm weather, likes meeting new people from around the world, is adventurous.”
A video posted on Facebook revealed the winning number, drawn on Tuesday evening by a computer, to be ticket 44,980.
But Doug’s efforts to reach the new owner by phone and inform him of his life-changing win were not immediately successful.
He eventually tracked the lucky winner down and gave him the good news.
“His name is Joshua and he’s from Australia,” Doug said, adding that he lived in New South Wales state.
The man’s full identity was not immediately revealed until news of winning the Kosrae Nautilus Resort on the Micronesian island of Kosrae, which lies west of Hawaii and north of the Solomon Islands, had sunk in.
Joshua will take ownership of a resort, which is debt-free, profitable and has more than 20 years left on its lease.
Doug and Sally Beitz, who built the resort in 1994, have lived in Micronesia for more than two decades but said they felt it was time to return to Australia.
They were going to sell the property in the traditional way until one of their sons came up with the idea of the raffle.
“We will do financially well out of it,” Doug said ahead of the draw, for which tens of thousands of tickets were sold around the world.
If nothing else, it afforded some people an opportunity to dream of life on a tropical paradise.


Dingo drags sleeping toddler from bed on Australia's Fraser Island

A father had to pull his son from the jaws of a dingo after it had dragged the sleeping toddler from a camper van on Australia's popular Fraser Island. (Reuters)
Updated 22 April 2019
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Dingo drags sleeping toddler from bed on Australia's Fraser Island

  • Dingoes, introduced to Australia about 4,000 years ago, are protected in Queensland state's national parks, World Heritage areas, Aboriginal reserves and the Australian Capital Territory

SYDNEY: A dingo dragged a sleeping toddler from a camper van on a popular Australian holiday island late on Thursday, but his father awoke and pulled his 14-month-old son from the jaws of the dog-like dingo.
"The parents woke up to the baby screaming and chased after him and had to fight the dingoes off to take the 14-month-old boy away," paramedic Ben Du Toit told local media on Friday.
The boy suffered head and neck injuries in the attack on Fraser Island off the northeast coast and was taken to hospital.
Australia's dingo is a protected species on Fraser Island and are a popular attraction for camping tourists. The latest dingo attack was the third this year on Fraser Island.
In 1980 baby Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from a tent in a camping ground in Australia's outback, with her mother claiming she was taken by a dingo. The baby's body was never found, creating a mystery that captivated Australians for years and was made into a book and a film with Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.
Azaria's mother Lindy was jailed for three years over her daughter's death before later being cleared, but it wasn't until 2012 that a court ruled that a dingo killed Azaria.
Dingoes, introduced to Australia about 4,000 years ago, are protected in Queensland state's national parks, World Heritage areas, Aboriginal reserves and the Australian Capital Territory. Elsewhere, they are a declared pest species.
Dingoes hold a significant place in the spiritual and cultural practices of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Fraser Island's dingo population is estimated to be around 200, with packs of up to 30 dogs roaming the island, according to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.
The department warns that generally dingoes go about their lives and stay clear of people. "From time to time, dingoes may come close and some encounters can turn to tragedy," a statement on the department's website warns. "Stay alert and stay calm."