Castle Hill High School: Borneo Reef Restoration & Conservation Adventure

Castle Hill High School: Borneo Reef Restoration & Conservation Adventure

Trip Highlights

  • First hand experience in a marine conservation service program and beach clean-up
  • Serve at the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre
  • A day of snorkeling among beautiful coral reefs
  • And much more

Trip Summary

This itinerary has been created exclusively for the students of Castle Hill High School. From Sydney we fly with Malaysian Airlines to Sabah, the ideal base to complete a two-day marine conservation service program and beach clean-up. We ascend high above the jungle canopy on a guided canopy walk gaining a greater understanding of this fragile environment. We then drive across the island to Sepilok Jungle where we spend a day at the Sepilok Forest Reserve, home to wild orang-utans, as well as at the Borneo Sunbear Conservation Centre, where we work alongside the carers and vets to assist them in their important conservation work. This adventure is jam-packed with learning, conservation service, amazing wildlife and most importantly fun.


This trip is graded as Introductory. Introductory graded trips involve walking and sightseeing for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. Being prepared for the heat and humidity will make your experience more comfortable and enjoyable.


After the months of planning and preparation the wait is finally over! You will need to check in at the International Airport 2 hours prior to your flight. On arrival you will be met at the airport by your guide and transferred to our centrally located hotel. Whilst in Kota Kinabalu we stay in a lodge which offers dormitory accommodation for the students. Overnight: Adventure Lodge (multi share dorm rooms)* Meals: NIL *The adventure lodge offers air conditioned dormitory style rooms accommodating 12 passengers comfortably. Toilet and bathrooms are communal. Rooms consist of bunk beds with hypoallergenic, memory foam latex mattress and pillow, LED reading light and storage area at the end of each bed. Rooms do not include towels; all travellers will be required to bring their own travel towel. MH122 16APR SYD KUL 13:05 19:55 MH2628 16APR KUL BKI 21:00 23:30 (flights are subject to change)

Meals:  Nil

Today we have breakfast and then travel by speedboat over the stunning Gaya Island for a snorkelling safari. This island has beautiful coral reefs without the crowds providing an ideal location for enjoying the tropical underwater world in a safe, comfortable environment. Our 3-session Snorkelling Safari is fully guided by PADI Professionals for safety and enjoyment. Snorkelling is easy and fun, just about anybody can participate in the sport of snorkelling regardless of age, skill and physical fitness. The objective for today’s activity is to learn the techniques required for the next two day Coral Conservation Program. Refreshments and a freshly cooked lunch, plus all snorkelling equipment is provided. This afternoon we return to Kota Kinabalu. Overnight: Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

‘Coral For Life’ is an initiative created to form appreciation and awareness for life under the sea, in particular coral life. During the next 2 day program the students will learn about the role coral plays within the environment and coral mapping, as well as learning about other marine life and fish sizing techniques. Students get to experience coral in their natural environment while snorkelling. The qualified and trained guide elaborates and show differences between healthy coral and damaged coral in its natural environment and students will collect broken coral for the purpose of re-planting - giving back life to the reef. Students learn how to re-plant broken coral that would otherwise perish. The treated corals are then placed in their new homes on our artificial house reef located in the bay just in front of the dive centre, until a time when environmental conditions are most suitable for re-planting. Students learn about coral mapping and other marine life that abounds in this area. The final afternoon is spent on a beach cleanup program called PROJECT AWARE – the perfect way to finish the day to see first-hand what impact rubbish has on our environment and what we can do to help keep our oceans clean. Dinner will be Asian buffet style with drinking water. Overnight: Adventure Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast we head inland to the dense jungle, driving (approx 335kms / 7 hours) passing by the World Heritage site Kinabalu National Park for a view of Mt Kinabalu at a height of 4,095meters above sea level. Upon arrival in Sandakan, have late lunch at a local restaurant before visit to the Rainforest Discover Centre which was established for the primary purpose of environment education. Visit main highlights which includes its exhibition halls, the Plant Discovery Garden and canopy walkway. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Lodge (twin share)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we visit the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre where you’ll meet a ranger and volunteer at the centre to learn about orang-utan behaviour, learn how to create an orang-utan nest and visit the nursery observation centre. We visit the Centre in the morning when the orang-utans are most active for the feeding session, and there’s the opportunity to return to the centre in the afternoon for the second feeding. The sanctuary is surrounded by virgin tropical lowland Dipterocarp forest. A short nature walk through the lowland forest will lead you to a viewing platform where you will be able to witness the wild orang-utans swing from branch to branch for their feedings. You can also view a short documentary about the orphaned orang-utans that were brought in for rehabilitation until they are ready to be return to the wild. Overnight: Sepilok Jungle Lodge (twin share)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we leave early and head to Sandakan Airport for the flight back to Kota Kinabalu and connecting to Sydney. MH2711 22APR SDK KUL 14:25 17:10 MH123 22APR KUL SYD 23:45 10:00 (23APR) (flights are subject to change)

Meals:  B

This morning at 10am we arrive home in Sydney, where our great adventure ends. MH123 22APR KUL SYD 23:45 10:00 (23APR) (flights are subject to change)

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Malaysian Airlines economy class flights from Sydney to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan to Sydney
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners (based on Asian Buffet Style or Set Menu with Soft Drinks)
  • Expert local bilingual guide (English speaking) throughout from day 1 to day 7 plus additional expert local guides for specialist commentary
  • All land transfers required within the program in private air conditioned minivans, including airport pick-up and drop off in Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan
  • Entrance fees to sites and activities as listed in itinerary
  • 4 nights at the Adventure Lodge (dorm share with communal bathroom)
  • 2 nights at the Sepilok Jungle Resort (twin share with en suite bathrooms)
  • 1 day Beach Clean Up & Coral Reef Conservation Program
  • 1 day Coral for Life Program
  • 1 day Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre
  • 1 day snorkel safari
  • Pre Departure Information kit and evening meeting to help you prepare and pack.

What's Not Included

  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Camera and video entrance fees
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory
  • Visa fees


Duration:8 Days
Starting Point:Sydney
Activities:Adventure Touring
Service Learning
Grade:Adventure touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5401