View of OIRS vessels on beach moorings

Orpheus Island Research Station has a fleet of various boats available for use by visitors. Each group is usually allocated a dinghy for their sole use during the visit provided there is an appropriately licensed and competent driver within the group. Use of a dinghy (excluding fuel) is included in the daily bench fees.

Use of the additional vessels will incur additional charges for vessel hire, engine hours and fuel usage and need to be booked in advance. All boats are equipped with safety equipment as required by Queensland Government regulations. In addition each vessel is equipped with a fully equipped first aid kit including oxygen and each group is issued with marine radio and a boating/diving record log sheet on arrival.

Challenger IV – 40088QC

Photo of Challenger VI

This 10.7m catamaran is the main vessel of OIRS and is used primarily for transfers to and from Dungeness/Lucinda for up to 24 passengers plus cargo.

Challenger IV is also available for charter operated by an OIRS skipper for visits to coastal habitats and sheltered fringing reefs within the Palm Island group for up to 24 passengers under a 1D survey and to exposed fringing reefs and mid shelf reefs for up to 12 passengers under a 2C survey.

Challenger IV is equipped with shower and toilet, inside seating for 19 persons, outside seating for 6 persons, chart/computer table, and freshwater and saltwater water supply on back deck, scuba tank racks and 2 x large saltwater holding tanks/cargo storage and manual crane on the back deck.

Inge – 40537QC


This 7.3m catamaran vessel is available for charter with OIRS skipper. Inge is 2C survey and can carry a maximum of 6 passengers + skipper.

Pioneer 1 (Barge) – 9764QD

View of Pioneer 1

This 7.2m vessel is available for charter with or without OIRS skipper. Skippers operating this vessel require a minimum of a coxswain’s certificate. Under its 2D survey this vessel can carry a maximum of 9 passengers + skipper.

Southwind (Research 5) – 12259QC

View of Southwind

This 5m vessel is available for charter with or without OIRS skipper. Skippers operating this vessel will require a minimum of a recreational marine drivers license. Under its 2C survey it can carry up to 5 passengers + skipper.

OIRS Dinghies (Research 1-4)

Photo of OIRS Research Dinghies

Suitable for activities closer to the station, these four 4.9m rigid hulled aluminum dinghies are capable of carrying a maximum of 5 passengers + skipper under its 2C survey to sheltered fringing reefs of the Palm Island Group.

Orpheus Island


The Orpheus Island Research Station actively seeks volunteers to assist with station duties throughout the year. See our Volunteer Program webpage for further information.

Research Station

Orpheus Island Research Station provides a range of excellent facilities to suit both research and educational groups.

Using the Station