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Blue Lagoons and Coconut Palms: The Creation of a Tropical Idyll in Australia

Citation

Pocock, CA, Blue Lagoons and Coconut Palms: The Creation of a Tropical Idyll in Australia, Australian Journal of Anthropology, 16, (3) pp. 335-349. ISSN 1035-8811 (2005) [Refereed Article]

Abstract

The Great Barrier Reef is regarded as an 'Australian icon'. It is an internationally recognised World Heritage site managed for its 'natural' values. However, it is a location where visitors rarely enjoy Australian landscapes. This paper contrasts the sensuous engagement of past visitors with contemporary tourist experiences. Analysis of historic and contemporary visual and written materials suggests that tourist landscapes of the Reef have been transformed significantly during the 20th century. In particular, experiences of Reef islands characterised by Australian bush have been displaced by those of a generic Pacific location. The coconut palm, as a symbol of earthly paradise, has played an important role in realising both an imagined landscape and the physical transformation of tourist locations. Whereas the tourism industry is often regarded as responsible for the promulgation of such generic images, this study suggests that they are the product of a shared imagination to which both the tourism industry and tourists subscribe.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Anthropology
Research Field:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Other Environment
Objective Field:Environment not elsewhere classified
Author:Pocock, CA (Dr Celmara Pocock)
ID Code:38037
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2006-04-21
Downloads:0

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