Coral Sea Islands
The Coral Sea is a marginal sea off the northeast coast of Australia. It is bounded in the west by the east coast of Queensland, thereby including the Great Barrier Reef, in the east by Vanuatu and by New Caledonia, and in the north approximately by the southern extremity of the Solomon Islands...
, northeast of Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
. The only inhabited island is Willis Island. The territory covers 780,000 km2, extending east and south from the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, and including Heralds Beacon Island, Osprey Reef, the Willis Group, and fifteen other reef/island groups.
The Coral Sea Islands were first charted in 1803; in the 1870 and 1880s the islands were mined for guano but the absence of a permanent supply of fresh water prevented long-term habitation.