‘It’s all part of the fun’

Born in Adelaide in 1955, Don McIntyre has been adventuring all his life.

In 1993 the Australian Geographic Society awarded Don a silver medal for his ‘Spirit of Adventure’ shown during the ‘Teddy Bears to Antarctica‘ expedition.

Thirteen years later, in 2006, he and then wife Margie, were both awarded a gold medal, as the Australian Geographic Society’s ‘Adventurers of the Year’ (the youngest ever to receive it) for their year living ‘Together Alone‘ in a box, in Antarctica.

Finally, in 2012, the Australian Geographic Society, recognising his many diving expeditions over the years and his ongoing efforts to promote adventure, presented him with its highest accolade, a gold medal for a ‘Lifetime of Adventure’. This was only the 12th time it had been presented in the 25 year history of the society. The inscription on this ultimate gold medal simply read ‘For a life spent encouraging Adventure and Discovery’. Humbled to receive it, Don thanked Margie, past sponsors, Dick and Pip Smith, and then boldly declared that he was not yet retired!

In October 2014, Don received the prestigious ‘Emerald Award’ from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) in honour of a lifetime of adventures that have done much to raise awareness of the marine environment and the need to protect it.

Don McIntyre

Professional History

Starting his first business while at high school selling 'teddy bears', Don McIntyre turned down a scholarship to a fine arts degree and instead trained as a photo-lithographer and photographer.

Between adventures, he eventually moved to Sydney marrying Margie and so started their BOC efforts. In 1983 they started a marine equipment importing business that would fund his BOC Challenge ambitions. This moved on to building yachts up to 16.3m.

Following on from his first Antarctica sailing expedition in 1993, Don then started professional expeditions sailing to Antarctica and around the world. Operating his helicopter equipped Ice ship 'Sir Hubert Wilkins' was all consuming and his other business interests began to slow down leading to the decision to take up adventuring full time. Completing a successful subdivision development in Hobart opened new horizons and the construction of 'ICE' began in 2005.

In 2004, Don accepted a position with Orion Expedition Cruises as Antarctic consultant, establishing the entire Antarctic program for the company and then acting as expedition leader on all future Antarctic expeditions for the next 10 years. The ship was sold and he moved to Heritage Expeditions in NZ during Antarctic summers. He is an industry representative on Antarctic issues for the Australian Government and sits on various Antarctic committees.

Don is a sought after media commentator and writes a regular adventure column and occasional features for Australia and New Zealand's largest selling Boating magazine, 'Tradeaboat'.

Over the past 30 years, Don has written hundreds of magazine articles and one book, produced a few documentaries and appeared in hundreds of national television segments, including five appearances on '60 Minutes'. He is an accomplished public speaker, always well received by any audience. Don is writing two new books, 'Chasing Bligh' and 'What Next', with the 'Talisker Bounty Boat' documentary due for completion soon. Don was project manager for a 24m high latitude explorer trawler yacht built in China.

In late 2011, Don formed a new company 'Tonga Blue Ltd' which was to assist Tongans recover their lost maritime history and archaeological treasures. In 2015 that included establishing the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club and a Marine Discovery centre on the island of Nomuka IKI. Five years of effort and over $500,000 was wiped out completely in January 2022 with the Volcanic explosion and Tsunami that destroyed everything.

In 2015 the 2018 Golden Globe Race was launched. It was a huge success and is on again in 2022. The 2023 Ocean Globe Race was launched in 2019. That same year the Class Globe 5.80 plywood amateur built 'One Design Mini Class' was launched with 180 sets of plans sold by the end of 2021 and boats building in 26 countries around the world. The first ever 2024 Mini Globe Race was also announced. In Nov 2021 the first Globe 5.80 TRANSAT was held and Don won the Seniors Class sailing his 19ft 'TREKKA' solo 3600 miles across the Atlantic in 28 days.

Don McIntyre is recognised as one of Australia's major adventurers and explorers.

  • 1973 Certified 'celestial navigator' with South Australian School of Navigation.
  • 1983 Awarded Australian Yachting Federation 'Yachtmaster Offshore' and 'Yachtmaster Ocean' certificates.
  • 1983 McIntyre Marine Services Pty Ltd, Marine equipment importers and boat builders established.
  • 1983 Founded the Short Handed Sailing Association of Australia and became the organiser/underwriter of the 1988 Bicentennial Around Australia yacht race.
  • 1991 2nd in Class BOC Challenge solo RTWR. Received BOC Communicators Award, Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron Youth Trophy, Middle Harbour Yacht Club Navigators Award.
  • 1995 Received the Boating Industry of Australia's 'Robert Grieves' Achievement award.
  • 1997 Ocean Frontiers Pty Ltd. takes over adventure activities from McIntyre Marine Services.
  • 1997 McIntyre Marine Composites Pty Ltd. takes over boat building activities from McIntyre Marine Services.
  • 1997 Appointed Ambassador of the AAP Mawson Hut's Foundation.
  • 1998 Appointed ongoing 'Australia Day Ambassador' by Australia Day Council.
  • 2000 Ran with the Olympic torch on the opening day of Sydney Olympics.
  • 2003 Commenced two x three year terms, sitting on the Board of Directors of the 'Young Endeavour' sail training ship, operated by the Royal Australian Navy.
  • 2004 McIntyre Marine Services business sold.
  • 2005 McIntyre Marine Composites Pty Ltd shuts down.
  • 2010 Talisker Bounty Boat Expedition, 4000 miles across the Pacific.
  • 2011 Tonga Blue Ltd formed in Tonga for wreck hunting.
  • 2015 Launched the 2018 Golden Globe Race. Launched the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club.
  • 2017 World first solo Gyrocopter flight around Australia.
  • 2019 Launched the 2023 Ocean Globe Race.
  • 2020 Launched the Class Globe 5.80 Mini One design yacht and 2024 Mini Globe Race.
  • 2021 Globe 5.80 Solo Transat winner of 'Seniors Class' - 3600 miles 28 days in 'TREKKA'
  • 2022 Launched GLOBE YACHT CLUB.

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