One week expedition to learn to dive and learn about Indo-Pacific coral reef research at our Opwall marine research centre in the heart of the Coral Triangle.

  • Overview
  • Objectives
  • Skills you gain
  • Costs to Consider
  • Site Conditions

One Week Itinerary

The Indonesia one week marine expedition is based at South Buton marine research centre in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Students who are not yet dive trained will spend the week completing their Open Water SCUBA diving certification supervised by qualified PADI dive instructors, and participating in the Indo- Pacific Coral Reef Ecology lecture series. Those who are already qualified to dive, or opt to snorkel, will complete the same Indo – Pacific Coral Reef Ecology lectures series, which will be supplemented with a variety of land and water-based practicals designed to introduce students to coral reef biology and ecology and the survey techniques used by coral reef scientists.

  • PADI Open Water: this combines several theory classes, confined water sessions and open water dives to provide students with a SCUBA diving qualification that will remain with them for life.
  • Topics in the Indo – Pacific Coral Reef Ecology course include:
  • Introduction to marine environments
  • Diversity of coral reefs
  • Identification of key taxonomic groups
  • Mangroves and sea grasses
  • Threats to Indo- Pacific coral reefs
  • Conservation initiatives

Throughout the week, students will meet regularly with Operation Wallacea scientists who will give talks about the specifics of their research projects. Alongside the educational courses the students will be expected to complete an independent research project over the course of their expedition and will present their findings to the group.

Indonesia - Wallacea Marine Research Objectives

There is a triangle of reefs in Eastern Indonesia that have the highest diversity of hard coral genera, the proxy commonly used to assess overall diversity of coral reefs, anywhere in the world. The Hoga Island Marine Station is located in the heart of the Wakatobi Marine National Park. Over the last 20 years, a series of scientists have been based at this site during the Opwall survey seasons and as a result, this is now the most published site in the Coral Triangle. For the last 15 years a series of constant monitoring sites around Hoga and eastern Kaledupa have been monitored for macroinvertebrates, fish communities, coral cover and community structure. The 2021 season will complete this monitoring plus some additional projects.

  • Live and work with local people and learn about Indonesian culture, customs and language
  • Gain an internationally recognised SCUBA qualification
  • Dive or snorkel within some of the most diverse reefs in the world, at the centre of the Coral Triangle
  • Complete a week-long training course on Indo coral reef ecology
  • Attend evening lectures given by the science team on marine ecology
  • Learn how to collect data using a range of common ecological survey technique
  • Develop your understanding of the main priorities for Indo- Pacific coral reef conservation

The costs of a school group expedition can be highly variable. There is a standard fee paid to Opwall for all expeditions but the location you are flying from, the size of your group, and how you wish to pay all impact the overall cost.

You can choose to book the expedition as a package (which includes your international flights) or you can organise your travel yourself and just pay us for the expedition related elements.

If you are booking your expedition as a package, you also have the option of being invoiced as a group, or on an individual basis.


At the marine sites during the day, the weather is normally sunny and warm (around 30 degrees Celsius), and the night temperatures drop to around 20-25 degrees Celsius. Being on the coast means there is often a pleasant breeze so it does not always feel this hot. It rains rarely, but when it does it tends to be very heavy for short periods of time.

Fitness level required

At the marine sites some fitness is required for in water activities, but conditions are relatively easy.

Creature comforts

Facilities at Pantai Nirwana are very comfortable; shared dorm rooms have beds with a mattress, stand-up showers, and Western style toilets. There is very limited cell phone signal which can usually only be used with an Indonesian SIM card and no Wifi access.


  • Indonesia
  • Pantai Nirwana (Bau Bau)

Want to get involved with this project?


Want to get involved with this project?

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