Biorock Coral Reef Restoration

founded in 2004
Gili Eco Trust
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Coordinator | Sian
Coordinator | Sian
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Hands-on underwater action for our endangered oceans and corals.
Learn in-depth ecology and functioning of coral reef ecosystems
Learn and assist with marine and coastal management strategies on an Indonesian island
Help identify & rescue broken corals and become a coral gardener
Become certified in a globally recognized coral reef health monitoring & research method
Learn how to successfully restore damaged coral reefs using Biorock technology. Learn how to monitor and assess reef health using Reef Check methods. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

We run marine volunteer internships throughout the year which start with our ‘zero to hero’ 2 week intensive workshop in marine restoration, we run 6 of these courses every year. This course combines knowledge, lectures, theory, dives, and practical Biorock reef building and maintenance through a 2 week course where you will gain a Reef Check certificate and Introduction to Biorock reef technology specialty at the end. 

The first week of the course consists of detailed marine species identification and substrate identification in preparation for the Reef Check training and surveys. Reef Check is a scientific transect survey which is recognized globally and you get a certification in Reef Check research methods, that you can then take part in, in other places around the world as well in future. It gives a great insight in the functioning of a healthy coral reef ecosystem, and after extensive identification training dives, you can carry out at least two surveys on the reefs around Gilis that we already have long term data for. It is really important that we can compare data we have to assess health and speed of recovery of our reefs.

 The second week  is the start of the course Introduction to Biorock technology. After diving a few times on the Biorock and participating in a few presentations about the science behind the technology, and why it is more efficient than other forms of reef restoration on the Gilis, you work with the team of students to design and build structures to sink underwater to then transplant broken healthy corals from other reefs to give them a better chance at survival or to continue to maintain, repair, add to exisiting structures depending on which course in the year you join.

This week gives you the PADI Distinctive specialty : Introduction to Biorock Process. Along with lots of applicable experience such as coral gardening, removal of coral predators and underwater clean ups.

 Throughout the 2 week course you will dive twice a day every day (apart from Sunday – which is a day off to explore the island) and then have a lecture, or theory or Biorock maintenance in the afternoons.

 Once you have completed this prerequisit course, you will be assigned to check and maintain the Biorock structures – which needs to be done weekly. Whilst also taking out groups of tourists on snorkel tours, explaining about the shallow Biorocks and what aquatic life you can find on each. If you are here volunteering for a period of time after the course, then you will be checking weekly the health and status of all the Biorock structures, carrying out additional dives where maintenance is needed with our Blue Team.

Divers need to be minimum Padi Advanced with at least 20 dives. This is to ensure you have sufficient buoyancy skills as we are working very close to the reef and picking up heavy corals unlike regular recreational diving. It is a great course, with lots of information for those starting out with a passion to help save our oceans, all the way to Masters graduates in marine biology. If you are not yet certified, you can do this in less than a week leading up to the workshop.

After the 2 week training you will be assigned as a research assistant to interns of the Gili Eco Trust who are carrying out data collection and studies on the Biorock, species and abundance surveys are also included here, along with forwarding our efforts to ensure that boats are not illegally anchoring on the reefs. 

Typical day

Starting with the prerequisite 2 week training:

8:30 dive set up
9:00 dive to the Biorocks
10:30 coffee break
11:00 dive to the Biorocks
1pm lunch
2pm theory/maintenance/repairs
4pm finish

And after the training course is complete you will be participating and conducting in any number of the activities below (season dependant)

Monthly Reef check dives
Daily Biorock snorkel tours with tourists
Biorock maintenance and cable rewiring on land
Biorock weekly snorkel checks
Biorock maintenance dives and repairs
Research assistant to marine researchers
MPA and surface buoy management and monitoring
Anchor survey counts on the beach
Turtle nest watch (April - September only)
Weekly beach clean at Debris Free Friday

Free-time activities

Whilst Gili Trawangan is being fast recognized as the party central of Indonesia, there are plenty of free time activities to be getting on with that doesn't involve alcohol. 

  • Yoga
  • Freediving
  • Golf & Virtual golf
  • Gym & fitness
  • Eco paddleboard safaris
  • Sunset horse riding
  • Snorkelling 
  • Swimming
  • Eco movie nights
  • Sunsets
  • Volcano hikes
  • Boat tours
  • Lombok waterfall excursions
  • Paddleboarding
  • Water sports

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
PADI Advanced Open Water (or equivalent)
- you can complete this at the same dive shop if you arrive a week in advance.

- 20 dives logged to ensure you have good buoyancy and skills underwater
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:30 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by Gili Eco Trust
Prices can vary due to the exchange rate. 
15% Deposit to secure your place via Volunteer World. 
Remaining to be paid on site in local currency Indonesian Rupiah: 12,500,000IDR (cash/PayPal/CC)


  • 2 dives every day (apart from Sunday – which is a day off to explore the island)
  • All scuba diving equipment (excluding dive computer)
  • Biorock maintenance and theory in the afternoons
  • All reading materials
  • Reef Check eco pack incl. dry bag, Tshirt, USB key, underwater slates
  • Protective equipment for underwater gardening
  • PADI Distinctive specialty : Introduction to Biorock Process. Along with lots of applicable experience such as coral gardening, removal of coral predators and underwater clean ups
  • REEFCHECK certification

Divers need to be a minimum Padi Advanced with at least 20 dives. This is to ensure you have sufficient buoyancy skills as we are working very close to the reef and picking up heavy corals unlike regular recreational diving. If you are not yet certified, you can arrive on site a little earlier to complete your PADI dive training.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. Please arrange your own accommodation. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Lombok International Airport (LOP) in Praya. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Indonesia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Indonesia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Indonesia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

2022 Course Date Starts:

26th Sept 

7th Nov

2023 Course Date Starts:

6th February

10th April 

15th May

3rd July

2nd October

6th November

Our start date for the Intro-training is always a Monday, but it is nice to arrive a few days early to get used to the island, and find somewhere to stay. We have many recommendations of places to stay to suit almost any budget.
We will send you a 'Before Arrival' guide when you sign up, followed by a 'Welcome Pack' closer to arrival to guide you through what to expect, what to bring, how to obtain visas and transport to the island.
We are located on the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok so arrival by flight to Lombok (LOP) is easy and we can help to arrange transfers across to the island.
Bali is a short 2 hour boat ride away, with a larger international airport, Denpasar Airport (DPS) we can provide advice and assistance to you all the way from the airport.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
8 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
8 weeks (min. stay)
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
13 weeks
15 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$85 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Gili Eco Trust will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Gili Eco Trust during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Gili Eco Trust cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Gili Eco Trust.

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Biorock Coral Reef Restoration

Learn how to successfully restore damaged coral reefs using Biorock technology. Learn how to monitor and assess reef health using Reef Check methods.


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