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Captain Kerry

Recognised as the only female Captain owning and skippering a
whale watching venture in the South Pacific Rim.


Captain Kerry Lopez

Kerry is a successful businesswoman, Captain and mother, working tirelessly on promoting local tourism and protecting our environment.

Kerry worked as a deckhand on board a spectator craft for the 1987 Americas Cup, before enrolling in the Fremantle Maritime College as the only woman in a class of 30. One of only five students who graduated from the 2 year course, Lopez was forced to do a practical exam and became the second woman in Australia to get her Class Five Master Mariners Certificate. Lopez left the west to search for work around Australia.

Two years later and she had enough sea time with tour operators and merchant marine work to study for and receive her Class Four Masters Certificate. Arriving in Brisbane, she began work as a skipper on the boat Cat O’Nine Tails taking people to St Helena Island and then on Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Kerry Lopez

kerry lopez whale sighting

With her crew of dedicated seamen who respect and understand the Humpback Whale, Captain Kerry
Lopez is the only woman captain operating a whalewatching venture in the South Pacific Rim.


Back in Brisbane, one day in 1990, Kerry noticed a pod of Humpback Whales in Moreton Bay. Her dream was to promote public awareness of the need to preserve these creatures and their environment. Kerry capitalized on her own love of whales, and current environmental interests, to establish Moreton Bay Whalewatching- now operating as Brisbane Whale Watching.

Kerry saw there was a need for an up-market, high-speed passenger boat that was different from the slow, wooden vessels that commonly operated in South-East Queensland waters. After negotiating a deal for a 16-meter catamaran and obtaining a whalewatching permit in 1996, Moreton Bay Whalewatching, now operating as Brisbane Whale Watching, was born.

Kerry holds one of only two commercial whalewatching cruise permits in Moreton Bay Queensland, Australia and is dedicated to the protection of Humpback whales. In 2000, Moreton Bay Whalewatching Tours – now operating as Brisbane Whale Watching hosted the International Humpback Whale Conference and ‘showcased’ the magnificent whalewatching waters of Moreton Bay to delegates from throughout the world.

Today, Kerry heads the team at Moreton Bay Whalewatching, now operating as Brisbane Whale Watching, which brings in excess of 12,000 visitors to the Redcliffe Peninsula during June-November. The tour is recognized both nationally and internationally.