The first European to explore the area was Captain James Cook who travelled through the area on his journey up the eastern coast of Australia in 1770. He passed through Whitsunday passage, a narrow channel which lies between the mainland coast, South Molle and Daydream Islands to the west and Dent, Whitsunday, Hook and Hayman Islands to the east, on Sunday 4 June which happened to be Whit Sunday (the seventh Sunday after easter) - hence the name of the area.
Cook probably sighted Lindeman but he certainly didn't name it. It wasn't until the 1870s that Captain Bedwell, charting the Whitsunday waters in the Royal Navy HMS Virago, named the island after his sub-lieutenant, George Sidney Lindeman. Although other islands in the Whitsundays were settled during the 19th century, Lindeman remained unsettled because the local Aborigines saw it as a vital part of their fishing regime and were prepared to do battle with any possible settlers.
In 1905 Captain James Adderton took out a sheep grazing lease on the island. He established shearing sheds, a wool press, and did much to clear the island and fence it.
It is the oldest of all of the resort islands in the Whitsundays. As early as 1923 Angus Nicolson established a camp for visitors. It was very primitive and it is said that Angus used to advise his 'campers' "Anytime you run short of bread bring me your flour and I'll cook you some damper. If you want meat, then shoot a goat. But don't get shootin' them for sport."
Since then the island has developed progressively. Club Med took over the current site in 1992.