Orpheus Facilities



We have the capacity to accommodate up to 57 guests at one time in our two accommodation blocks: Havana and Pelorus.

Each accommodation block has access to shared bathroom areas with composting toilets, showers and deep sinks for hand washing laundry. There is also a small entertainment area in each section with comfortable chairs, TV, stereo, and shared access to a small fiction library. Wireless internet is available throughout. In front of the accommodation blocks you’ll find two large communal BBQs and picnic tables.

All kitchen areas are equipped with large industrial gas ovens, microwaves, fridges and freezers. Additionally, the largest kitchen comes equipped with industrial-sized pots and pans for group meal preparation. All plates, glasses and cutlery are supplied.

Havana is a two story accommodation block that can house up to 48 guests in its eight rooms.

Each room has 6 bunk beds, wall fans and large floor to ceiling louvre windows that capture the sea breezes, keeping rooms at a comfortable temperature all year round. Pillows, mattress protectors, linen and a blankets are provided. All rooms are equipped with shelves, clothes hanger space, wall fans and floor-to-ceiling louvre windows.

TPelorushe Pelorus accommodation block offers 3 units with 3 single beds. Each room has fans and open wardrobes for storage of personal belongings. Pillows, mattress protectors, linen and a blanket are provided on each bed.

There is a central kitchen and lounge area the ablution block is located in a separate building at the rear of Pelorus House. It comprises two composting toilets, two showers and hand basins.

The communal building has two fully equipped kitchens stocked with all items necessary for catering for large groups and small. The deck area is sufficient in size to accommodate clients along a series of 7-8 banquet tables which can be arranged to suit individual group requirements.

At the rear of the facility is the ablution block offering six shower and toilet stalls, hand basins and mirrors, as well as three deep sinks for washing of clothes and several clothes lines.


Laboratories and Equipment

Orpheus Island Research Station is well equipped to cater for your research group.
In addition to a fully air-conditioned 50-seat lecture hall and a Microscope Room, research facilities include:

Equipment available:                                          Drylab

  • Small bench top centrifuge
  • -80 freezer
  • Microwave
  • Specimen freezer
  • Scales.

Microscope Room

OIRS has five (5) Temperature Control Room (TCR) laboratories connected up to our flow through saltwater system. The TCR Labs have air lines plumbed in as well as 2 separate water temperature lines.

The tables and bench located in these labs can be manipulated and moved to meet clients research and experiment needs.

Our Wet Lab area provides a range of aquaria options for users depending on their needs.

  • Two white round
  • Six raceways.
  • 15 Wet Lab tables
  • 6 raised oval tanks.

wetlabracewaysOval tanks

Research and education at OIRS regularly includes snorkeling and diving activities. OIRS has an extensive gear store of mask, snorkels, wetsuits, fins and booties that is available for hire. In addition we have limited SCUBA gear. If you have any questions about gear availability at OIRS please contact us.

Please submit your dive plan via the JCU Boating and Diving register.

All persons must be inducted by an OIRS Station Officer and deemed competent in boat operations prior to use. All boating operations must be conducted in accordance with the JCU Boating and Diving Manual.

Available Vessels

  • Challenger 4 - 24 pax + 2 crew, 2C area operation. Only to be operated by OIRS Station Staff.

Challenger IV

  • Pioneer - 9 pax + 1 crew, 2D area operation. Recreational Boat and Marine Radio licenses required.

Barge - Pioneer 1

  • Auriga - 6 pax + 2 crew, 2C area operation. Recreational Boat and Marine Radio licenses required.


  • Eurydice - 4 pax + 2 crew, 2C area operation. Recreational Boat and Marine Radio licenses required.


  • Research 1, 2, 3, 4 - 9 pax + 1 crew, 2D area operation. Recreational Boat and Marine Radio licenses required.

Research Dinghies

Fresh Water

OIRS relies on rainwater and water produced from the desalination plant on site. Please be water conscious while visiting OIRS.


In February of 2019 OIRS installed a Solar PV array consisting of 263 panels on various buildings around the station. During the day we run almost exclusively on solar and then a battery system that takes over operations out of daylight hours. The original generator system is still operational as a supplement and a backup.

Phone and Internet Access

OIRS has WIFi that is free and accessible all around the station. Most services also receive mobile phone reception.