Our story

Whitehaven Xpress was founded by Jill & Terry McNally in 1989.

A local business based in Airlie Beach, Whitehaven Xpress is one of the few pioneering companies in the Whitsundays that is still owner-operated.

In 1989 Lindeman Island Resort commissioned the M.V. Lindeman Pacific. The concept was to provide a seaworthy vessel to operate the open ocean between Hamilton Island and Lindeman Island, as well as provide the resort guests with day tours to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach.

In 1990 Jill & Terry relocated to Shute Harbour and started a three island cruise. They later dreamed of enjoying a BBQ each day at Whitehaven Beach! The vessel name was changed to Whitehaven Xpress and the Whitehaven Beach BBQ dream still continues to this day. 

Fast forward 30 years and Whitehaven Xpress is operated by Jill and Terry’s son – Captain Dan. The family tradition of the Whitehaven Beach BBQ day tour, with a uniquely Australian style of friendliness and professionalism, has been maintained and continues to this day.

We had the best time on Whitehaven Express, the staff were lovely and quite entertaining.

They made the kids feel very welcome. 10/10 recommend to everyone!

Kristie Paterson

Facebook Review

man holding a star fish on a boat

Captain Dan

Master 5 – MED3

Captain Dan has been a mariner since the age of 12, buying his first boat and cruising up the Nepean River hunting bass and trout almost every weekend!

After moving to the Whitsundays with his Mum (Jill) and Dad (Terry) in 1989, Captain Dan gained his first job in watersports as a Ski boat driver for Lindeman Island.

Dan worked as a deckhand (“deckie”) on various boats in the Whitsundays, including the famous Gretel, before proudly being appointed as the Captain for Whitehaven Xpress in 1996.  He continues to get our passengers to and from Whitehaven Beach safely, and cooks a mean steak on our beachfront BBQ!