Orpheus Education


University and senior high school students can be inspired by the principles of biology, ecology, and biodiversity with modern research facilities in the heart of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Only a 45 minute boat ride from Dungeness.

Education activities and programs are to be conducted within accordance with permission from relevant governing agencies, JCU’s Code of Conduct and OIRS Environmental Management Plan. All permits must be provided to OIRS before commencement of research.

Permits that may be required for a user to conduct their education activities are:

It is the responsibility of the user to ensure they apply and obtain the correct permits for their education program however OIRS will offer advice and assistance if requested by the user.

Risk assessments must be submitted to OIRS prior to commencement of visit.

Teaching facilities

Our modern teaching and conference facilities are right on the beach at Pioneer Bay, they offer access to a wide range of reef habitats and zones such as mangrove nurseries, sheltered reefs and giant clam gardens. The modern amenities, along with rich biodiversity and geographical remoteness, create a unique and inspirational learning environment.

Our teaching facilities include:

  • A lecture theatre with multimedia capabilities
  • Fast wireless internet access throughout OIRS
  • Laboratory facilities including microscopes, centrifuge and other basic testing equipment
  • A reference library
  • 15,000-litre coral reef display tank

Groups may provide their own teaching and field staff and design their own educational courses.

students looking into display tank


We have the capacity to accommodate up to 57 guests at one time in our two accommodation blocks: Havana and Pelorus. Visit our Facilities page for more information.

There are a range of subjects and courses that are hosted at OIRS: JCU Subjects and Courses

Classroom on the Reef is a collaboration between James Cook University, OIRS and Education Queensland to produce and provide online education resources. It features live streaming cameras from OIRS in Pioneer Bay and Rocky beach.

For more information visit Resources