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Chris Hemsworth follows Lara Bingle, Oprah and Paul Hogan as face of Aussie tourism

Chris Hemsworth has been announced as Tourism Australia's new global ambassador. The Thor star and keen surfer will work on promoting Australia's aquatic and scenic coast.

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"In Australia you're surrounded by the most incredible natural beauty. Being in the water or near to it is a way of life for us," Hemsworth said in a statement.

"It wasn't a hard decision to move back to Australia because this part of the world is such a special place. This is the place I want my kids to grow up - that's the world I want them to be part of."

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth will bring an "authentic voice" to promoting Australia's aquatic and scenic coast, says ...
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth will bring an "authentic voice" to promoting Australia's aquatic and scenic coast, says Tourism Australia. Photo: Ian Gavan

The Avengers' star and father-of-three will launch the new campaign in New York on Australia Day eve.

Tourism Australia's managing director John O'Sullivan said: "Chris truly embodies the Australian way of life and his love of his home country, with all its natural beauty, makes him an ideal ambassador," he said in a statement.

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"From learning how to surf on Phillip Island, fishing with his brothers in the Northern Territory and family beach holidays, Chris has grown up in Australia in and around water and his own personal experiences bring a truly authentic and influential Australian voice to our campaign."

While the Hollywood heartthrob might be one of Tourism Australia's most handsome ambassadors, he's not the first celebrity to front a campaign.

Australian model Lara Bingle: "So where the bloody hell are you?"
Australian model Lara Bingle: "So where the bloody hell are you?" Photo: Tourism Australia

Lara Worthington (nee Bingle): "So where the bloody hell are you?"

Who can forget Lara Worthington (nee Bingle) standing at Fingal Spit beach in a colourful bikini shouting out the controversial catchphrase?

Oprah Winfrey at the Opera House in 2011.
Oprah Winfrey at the Opera House in 2011. Photo: Tourism Australia

The 2006 campaign cost taxpayers an estimated $180 million, but caused controversy in March 2007 when it was banned by the UK because of word "bloody" was deemed offensive. After a visit to Britain by Australia's tourism minister at the time, Fran Bailey, and model Bingle, the ban was lifted and a 9pm watershed imposed.

The ad helped launch Bingle's career in modelling and she even landed a reality TV show. She is now married to actor Sam Worthington and they have one son together.

Paul Hogan's "Come and say G'day"

Paul 'Crocodile Dundee' Hogan urged Americans to visit the land Down Under by promising to "slip an extra shrimp on the barbie" for them.

Paul Hogan: "Come and say G'day".
Paul Hogan: "Come and say G'day".  Photo: Tourism Australia

It seemed to have worked. The 1984 advert seemed to get into the American psyche and they couldn't have enough of the actor. Three months later and Australia soared from number 78 on the most-desired holiday wish list to number seven. Most notable, US arrivals doubled in the first three years and for four years the growth rate was over 25 per cent annually.

Thirty years later, and it is still deemed one of the most successful Tourism Australia adverts to date.

Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure

Oprah Winfrey brought 302 audience members on an eight-day, seven-night trip to Australia, to film four episodes of her show in 2011.

The audience members broke up into groups and visited all eight Australian states and territories, while Oprah travelled to Queensland's Hamilton Island and Great Barrier Reef then on to Uluru in the Northern Territory. She also visited Melbourne where she met then Australian prime minister Julia Gillard. Oprah completed her Ultimate Australian Adventure in Sydney where she filmed two shows with a live audience which featured famous guests including Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Olivia Newton John.

The four episodes were first screened in the US in January 2011 and then re-screened in March 2011. They have also been broadcast around the world - The Oprah Winfrey Show is screened in 147 countries.

- AAP