Holmes & Flores Reefs
Coral Sea of Australia
by Wolfgang Schippke, DC3MF


MapThe both Flora & Holmes Reefs are located on 16S35, and 148E00, about 50 miles offshore east of the Great Barrier Reef. Flores Reef (16S45, 147E45) is oval in shape and mostly awash, except some coralheads rising up to 3 ft above water.

13 miles north east lies Holmes Reef (16S28, 147E58), a group of three small partly drying reefs with two larger sandy cays on it. The largest Cay is Holmes Island, covered with low scrub and some trees. A second sandy cay, about 2 ft. High, lies on the south part of Holmes Reef, but is overflooted during bad weather. An abandoned ruined house stands on Holmes Islet, and a high iron tower on the other cay. It is reported that the tower is in ruines, but visible up to 10 miles in calm weather.

Both reefs were first discoverd by a British Capatain with the vessel Flores, in 1886. In 1961 the Gascoyne Expedition drawed the first maps of both reefs. The first scientific discovery to Flores and Holmes Reefs was made in the late 1950's by a British group. In the 1962 the American Smithonian Inst. visited the reefs and made the best photos of the two sandy cays on Holmes reef.

The Group of the Coral Sea Reefs and Islands is declared as a absolutely Nature Reserve, and there is a special governement for the Coral Sea Territory established in Canberra, Australia.