Mellish Reef Location
Mellish Reef is an uninhabited coral atoll in the Coral Sea located approximately 1,150 kilometers north-northeast of Brisbane, Australia. The above-water area of the reef is called “Herald’s Beacon” which is about 1.5 meters above sea level at high tide. Herald’s Beacon is a small cay measuring 600 meters by 120 meters. The surface is composed of crushed coral and pumice stone to a depth of about 12 inches (30 cm) over a coral base. The reef is home to thousands of surface nesting seabirds including boobies and petrels with an active population of hermit crabs. Surrounding the island are submerged coral heads which make navigation hazardous. The beauty of the white sand against the blue water and submerged coral is stunning. The sun reflecting off the water and coral produces some of the most beautiful colors in the spectrum. The coral heads required our boat to anchor about 500 meters offshore, we used a Zodiac to transit to and from the island, carefully navigating around the coral.