Gili Eco trust



As one of Indonesia’s top areas for scuba diving and a reputation for being the ‘turtle capital of the world’, with year round water temperatures about 28 degrees Celsius, the Gili islands have become popular for beginners and experienced divers alike.

There are about 18 dive sites around the three islands, with a variety of topography (slopes, walls, ridges and canyons) and an enormous amount of diverse marine life.

This includes black – and white tip reef sharks, lots of turtles (hawksbill and olive ridley), lionfish, scorpion fish, cuttle fish and octopus, moray eels, sea snakes, different types of rays (blue – spotted, eagle and, from December to March, manta rays)not to mention schools of bump head parrot fish every full moon and the occasional whale shark…plus countless varieties of hard and soft corals.

Haan’s Reef on Gili Air is fast becoming renowned for excellent “muck diving” where divers can see rare critters like frogfish, pink – leafed scorpion fish, flying gunard, mantis shrimp, nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, robust ghost pipefish, blue ringed octopus and ringed pipefish.


Underwater Photographs courtesy of James White


Concerns about conserving the Gili Island’s dive sites have led to the creation of the Gili Eco Trust. All dive centers operating in the Gili islands have a fixed price agreement and have agreed to charge a one – time Rp65,000 ‘reef tax’ to every diver. This money is then used to pay for beach cleaning, recycling and conservation of the reefs, including the 63 artificial reef regeneration BIO ROCK projects.






There are currently now 63 biorock structure projects on
Gili Trawangan, Meno and Air at this time, their aim to recreate a coral reef and regenerate marine life around the islands.
Two electrodes supplied with low voltage direct current are submerged in sea water. Electrolytic reactions at the cathode cause minerals naturally present in sea water to build up. At the same time a wide range of organisms on or near the growing substrate are affected by electrochemically-changed conditions, shifting their growth rate.
Stray or loose living corals are carefully collected from nearby damaged reefs and transplanted onto the structures. They are attached with wires or wedged between steel bars. These coral pieces are quickly cemented into place by growing minerals forming over the structure’s surface. The reefs are electrically charged to grow.

The reef restoration project is only one phase of a bigger overall plan. The timescale of the project is many years as coral grows slowly and releases spores only once a year to repopulate other areas. One of the many benefits of the reef restoration project is that reef fish, schooling fish and many other marine life forms gravitate to the area. It is a fish nursery as well as a coral nursery and therefore will become an excellent snorkeling and dive sites area.

The locations of the new artificial reefs on Gili Trawangan start in front of Villa Ombak hotel and are positioned all along the beach front up untill North Beach. They are all in water 8-16 metres deep, with structures made of steel bars, all vary in shapes and sizes from tunnels to domes and swim through’s, even an aeroplane and a starfish.

Go and have a look !

* January 2008 update [ click here ]

* August 2008 update     [ click here ]

* December 2008 update [ click here ]

* November 2012 update [ click here ]



Just along the beach a few hundred meters walk you will find Dino Café where the owner, Pak Dino, a keen conservationist has in front of his Warung a large turtle hatchery. Eggs are collected by the local people and rather than being sold to a market they are bought by the sanctuary and placed in secure incubation areas. After hatching they are kept in holding tanks until the turtles are large and healthy enough to be released into the sea.


Although the project is government sponsored donations are always appreciated to help meet the costs for foods and medicine. Pak Dino is always on hand to give friendly conversation information on the progress of turtles and eggs.
Please remember never to touch the turtles either in the tanks or in the sea.






[ click here ] for the more Turtles information

[ click here ] for the latest Turtle release update December 2009


Guinness Book of World Records TM – 15 April 2008
(Longest open salt water SCUBA dive attempt)

On this day Will Goodman started his record dive on Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia, Will smashed his old dive record with the unofficial new time of 33 hours and 30 minutes. Congratulations to Will and all the team that helped. The entire island of Gili Trawangan was with you and personnally think it was an amazing achievement in such a remote part of the world as well.

A great team effort by all involved, over 32 divers, 8 witnesses, film crews and a group of organisers, boat captains, tank fillers, and a lot of generall helpers, all helped to bring the islands community together.

And of course the money raised for the children in the school and awareness to the islands was also a great achievement by all involved.

For more information, pictures and videos   [ click here ]

See the latest update to Will Goodman and his new record breaking dive when on January 7th 2010 with the support of the Gili Trawangan community he stayed underwater for an incredible total of 48 hours and 9 minutes and 17 seconds.

Watch the video    [ click here ]