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


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]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1835-9310.2005.tb00315.x


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:Human Society
Research Group:Anthropology
Research Field:Social and cultural anthropology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS 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

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