Working in the Whitsundays - Personal Experiences

Working in the Whitsundays - Personal Experiences

Hill Inlet

So, you're thinking about moving to the Whitsundays but don't know where to start. This blog shares some of my personal experiences and tips on how I started working for a sailing company with no experience.


Hi, my name is Issy and I am a photographer on the Gold Coast. In September 2021, I moved to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays to experience working and playing in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I learned so many new skills and made some amazing friends. I want to share some of my experiences to inspire and help anyone who may be thinking of moving to the Whitsundays too.
South Whitehaven
 South Whitehaven Beach

My experience of finding a job

The Whitsundays thrives on tourism and jobs are always available. I applied for a job with Southern Cross Sailing Adventures, having no experience in the field whatsoever. After doing a volly (volunteer) trip on the Solway Lass (a 120 year old tall ship), I was quickly put to work on another boat. Southern Cross Sailing Adventures has a fleet of boats ranging from day boats to overnight boats. My first official trip was on a Catamaran called Whitsunday Blue. Because of my lack of experience, I started out as a host which involves preparing and cooking all meals for the guests and helping on deck. The meals are super easy to make and you don't need to be a chef to do it. This was a great way to start and familiarise myself with sailing. It also helped me learn about the 74 islands. Working on an overnight boat is a lot of work but the reward is definitely worth it. Being able to explore the islands is such a unique experience. From the large variety of hikes, to incredible snorkelling locations, there is so much to see. 



 Whitsunday Blue at Nara Inlet


My Advice

  • Many jobs aren't listed on the job sites, so it is best to email as many companies as possible for work. The most well known sailing companies are Southern Cross Sailing Adventures/Explore Whitsundays, Red Cat Adventures, Prosail, Ocean Rafting and GSL.


  • If you're thinking about joining one of the islands, I would recommend either Hamilton Island or Hayman Island, as they have the best reputation. Hamilton Island has excellent staff accommodation and staff are looked after well. Hayman Island is very similar. I wouldn't recommend working on Daydream Island as I have heard many negative staff experiences. 


  • Even if you have little to no experience, the right attitude and a willingness to learn will take you far in the industry. 


  • If you're looking for accommodation on the mainland as opposed to one of the islands (like I did), Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Cannon Valley and Jubilee Pocket are your best options. Accommodation is often hard to find. Look at or one of the Real Estate Agencies for rentals. It is also a good option to ask for accommodation on one of the community Facebook groups. 

*Disclaimer: I am no expert and am just sharing my own personal experiences.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the box below


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1 comment

Hi, I am Isa. Thank you for share your experience. I am just looking for work in QLD and Whitsundays it will be an option. I would love to work in boats or yatchs. Im a photographer and I have lot of experience in hospitality. But my question is if I need a course for start working there. Thank you


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