Dutch travel bloggers Alex Malone and Thijs Van Gerwen did not expect to see their GoPro – or their precious travel photos – ever again after they dropped the camera in the ocean at Surfers Paradise while on holiday in Australia. Two months later it washed up on the beach and was found by Tamara Johansen a marketing manager at the Sharp Motor Group Tweed Heads. Tamara was impressed with the quality of the content she found on the GoPro, and decided to attempt to track the couple down. Thanks to her advanced social media and marketing skills, she was eventually able to get in contact with the couple.
While it would have been easy to ship the camera back, Tamara presented her boss, Stephen Howlett of Sharp Motor Group, with a more exciting plan to return the item.
“Rather than just posting it to them, we were able to get Holden and Leezair on board so that we could make a fantastic trip out of it for them and help out Australian tourism at the same time,” Mr Howlett explained.
The Dutch travellers were found living in Melbourne, and were treated to an epic all-expenses-paid 13-day road trip along Australia’s east coast. The trip culminated at the Sharp Motor Group dealership in Tweed Heads where they were reunited with their long lost GoPro.
Their route stretched from Victoria’s breathtaking Great Ocean Road, through the lush, subtropical regions of New South Wales and then over the Queensland border. The couple not only got the chance to view some of the country’s most spectacular sights, but also participated in a range of fun and exciting activities including skydiving, kayaking under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, riding quad bikes in the dunes close to Newcastle, whale watching, and swimming with turtles in Tweed Heads.
Ms Johansen said she was very excited to finally meet the couple in person after spending so much time and energy trying to track them down. She said, “A lot of things had to go right for this reunion to happen; the camera washed up on the beach rather than drifted out to sea, I picked it up and managed to track them down, and I work for a company that could reunite them with it in a meaningful way.”
For the two travellers, an initial piece of bad luck lead to a series of very fortunate events – an outcome we’d all hope to experience one day.
Image credit: Thjis Van Gerwen via Sharp Motor Group.