TV host to broadcast live from Airlie
GEORGIE Gardner can't wait to get her feet in the sand at Airlie Beach Lagoon.
The Today show anchor and her team will broadcast live from the popular swimming spot on Wednesday , kicking off a week in north Queensland.
"We are so conscious of the area going through devastating drought, floods and cyclones,” Gardner said.
"We've been covering it extensively on the show, and it became pretty apparent to us we need to get up to the north and share some love and understanding.
"We also want to reiterate to the rest of the country that tourism has never been more important.”
It will be Perth native Gardner's first visit to Airlie.
"It's an opportunity to learn more about the area and meet up with some locals,” she said.
"We're really encouraging people to come down and see us.
"We'll have great entertainment and prizes to give away.”
The mother-of-two and her new Today co-host Deborah Knight, Australia's first all-female breakfast TV duo, have been under intense scrutiny since their debut this year.
Despite slumped ratings, with ABC News Breakfast surging into second place behind Seven's Sunrise, Gardner says she is running a marathon rather than a sprint.
"It's early days but I think we're tracking well; these things don't happen overnight,” she said.
"Breakfast TV is a very unique part of the day which is driven by on-air chemistry and relationships.
"Whilst we all knew each other we didn't know each other as an ensemble.
"We're all finding our groove, and from my perspective the show is getting more comfortable every week.”
A whirlwind trip to the Sunshine State will also be a chance for the new-look team - which also features Tom Steinfort and Brooke Boney - to bond.
"What a beautiful environment to do it,” Gardner said.
"We all lead really busy lives, and we work these ungodly hours, so there's not nearly as many opportunities as we'd like to catch up socially.
"And we love having that face-to-face contact with our viewers. We're on air from 5.30am so there's the opportunity to come before work and school.
"Come down and say hi.”