'Your destination is North Queensland': Karen Jacobsen, voice of Siri's advice for Kiwis in 2022

Over the next six months there are going to be many different voices telling you where you should go in 2022, but perhaps none of those voices will be as familiar as that of Karen Jacobsen.

Jacobsen is an actress and singer... as well as being the voice of Siri along with thousands of other automated voices around the world.

"I saw Olivia Newton-John on the TV and I knew what I wanted to do with my life, which was to become a professional singer and move to America. I lived in New York for 20 years until the pandemic," she told Newshub.

In 2002 Jacobsen saw an ad looking for an Australian female voiceover artist living in the northeast of the United States. 

"I saw that and I thought, that's a description of me, although I am a singer songwriter. I've done jingle work and voiceover work along the way, so I went to that audition and I got the job."

She then recorded for 50 hours to create a voice system.

"Since then it has ended up in over a billion jeeps and smart phones and elevators and cruise ships and software applications telling people where to go and what to do, and now here I am talking to you," she said. 

Now back in Queensland, Jacobsen has just released her tenth studio album as well as a single appropriately called 'Take me to Hayman Island'.

Much like how thousands of Kiwis have followed her command to turn left, right, go straight ahead or stop at their destination, when speaking to Newshub, Jacobsen said she hopes many of us will follow her recommendation to visit North Queensland.

"I'm originally from Mackay and it's near lots of beaches. My husband and I are huge fans of the tropical environment," she said.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Islands. Aerial view. Queensland, Australia
Photo credit: Getty Images

"I just have to say that the Whitsundays is absolutely my number one. I'm getting to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world right now, but the Whitsundays, the islands and Whitehaven Beach. 

"It's just all so, so very pristine and gorgeous around the Great Barrier Reef here, and Airlie Beach. It's stunning.

"There is a brand new attraction that's been custom-built by Red Cat Adventures, and it is launching any minute in Mackay. It's called Wild Cat. You get to take this fantastic boat out for a day trip and to the islands.

'Your destination is North Queensland': Karen Jacobsen, voice of Siri's advice for Kiwis in 2022
Photo credit: Wild Cat Adventures

"I think it is a great way for Kiwis to see North Queensland."

Speaking on the phone the voice which can be heard on devices like iPhones and GPS units around the world said despite the use of words like "wild" and "adventure", the boat ride is for everyone.

"It's not scary. It's not like your white-knuckle kind of trip, it's an excellent trip for all ages."

Jacobsen lives in one of the most talked about regions of the world when it comes to climate change, with the Great Barrier Reef located off northern Queensland's coast. She says the local people of the region should be and have been responsible caretakers of the delicate reef.

"I'm somebody who's very interested in preserving nature. And I feel like living in the Mackay, Whitsunday, region, I personally feel like those of us who live here are, by default, the caretakers of the reef," she said.

"But from the research and conversations I've had with people, I feel confident this is the best managed and cared for reef in the world. Due to the protection, rules and the guidelines in place to protect the reef, nobody is going anywhere where they could actually damage it."

Further inland, Jacobsen recommends Stanthorpe in the Granite Belt area.

"I have a very strong personal connection to this region. My grandparents emigrated from Denmark in the late 1920s and owned the only vineyard in that area."

Stanthorpe, Queensland.
Stanthorpe, Queensland. Photo credit: Getty Images

Although there is a Jacobsen Road named after her family, Karen says she is yet to drive through the area with her map application switched on.

"Yes, I think I need to take a trip there, Dan. You are now turning into Jacobsen Road, Central Queensland, Australia. I mean, how fun would that be?" 

Finishing off the interview, Jacobsen had just one instruction to give.

"In 2022, your destination is north Queensland."

And, as anyone who has tried knows: You can't argue with Siri.