With modern facilities in the heart of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, secondary students will be inspired by the principles of biology, ecology and biodiversity. Tertiary students will get exposure to field conditions in a working research station only a 45min boat ride from Dungeness, with all the facilities that are usually available to researchers.

Stay up-to-date with our Research Facilities & receive quarterly eNewsletters.

Our teaching facilities include:

  • A lecture theatre with multimedia capabilities
  • Fast wireless internet access throughout the station
  • Laboratory facilities, including microscopes, centrifuge and other basic testing equipment
  • A reference library
  • 15,000 litre coral reef display tank
  • Classroom on the Reef: underwater cameras and sensors and curriculum materials for secondary schools

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


We have living and learning resources which school groups have access to: beds and amenities, microscopes and lab space, and much more. Here are some of the experiential activities we offer.

Snorkelling tours We can arrange guided snorkelling trips to the inshore reefs just off the beach in front of the accommodation blocks. Students will see a huge variety of fish and coral species. Turtles are also commonly spotted just metres from the beach in this protected marine national park. Snorkel through the mangrove fish nurseries and visit our 3,000 giant clams in the warm shallow waters of Pioneer Bay.
Walking tours We offer walks through the eucalyptus forests that dominate the island’s national park. Students will get to experience the untouched natural beauty and biodiversity of the island’s inland regions, and the sandy beaches backed by strand vegetation, cobble and boulder beaches, and steep rock faces. Just bring your walking shoes and a good water bottle.
Magic Spots Magic Spots are an environmental education activity, where students sit by themselves for 10-15 minutes and simply observe their surroundings. For many teachers and students, finding 10-15 minutes to observe and reflect without distraction seldom happens during busy school days. During this structured reflection time, students can be encouraged to record their sensory observations through writing, drawing, or creating sound images.
Animal Spotlighting Many of the island’s animals are animals are nocturnal, so planning to go animal spotlighting gives students and teachers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of green tree frogs, bandicoots, carpet pythons, and spiders.

Plants & Wildlife

Orpheus Island is home to a range of Plants and Wildlife. Click on the below links for detailed lists:

  • Plants (credit: David Fell, + subsequent additions, 16/06/1989)
  • Wildlife (credit: Conrad Hoskin, May 2012)