Lighthouses of Fiji

Located in the central South Pacific Ocean, the archipelago of Fiji was a British colony from 1874 to 1970. There are more than 300 islands in the archipelago, more than 100 of them inhabited. However, most of the population lives on the two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. (The English name Fiji, introduced by the explorer Capt. James Cook, is the Tongan pronunciation of Viti.)

There are several historic lighthouses in Fiji, but almost no information is available about them. Photos and accounts of visits are certainly needed. A major problem is that most Fijian lighthouses are at remote locations not accessible except by boat.

Navigational aids in Fiji are managed by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), a "commercial statutory authority" established in 2011. The new authority must address the problem that many of the lights are reported to be out of action. In January 2013, shipping companies protested the government's failure to "provide proper beacons and lighthouses in the country after spending years operating without the essential maritime aid," according to the Fiji Times. Fortunately a new program of modernizing the system of navigational aids is getting underway. In late March 2013, a program to construct eight new lighthouses was announced, and in January 2014 a second program of nine lighthouses was announced.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume K of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 111.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Fiji
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
List of Lights in Fiji
List published by MSAF; it gives the coordinates and Admiralty numbers but no additional information.
Leuchttürme Australiens und Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Wailagilala Light
Welagilala Light, Lau Islands, 2006
Smugmug photo by Cheyenne Morrison
copyright Tui Tai Expeditions; used by permission
Northeastern Fiji Lighthouses
Welagilala (Wailagilala, Wailagi Lala) (2)
About 1909 (station established 1894). Reported extinguished as of 1997. 29 m (95 ft) cast iron tower, originally painted white but now rusted to a reddish color. Lantern removed. Cheyenne Morrison's photo is at right, Michel Forand has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is built on a small atoll of the same name (in its various spellings). The northernmost atoll of the Lau Group, Welagilala is placed dangerously in the middle of the Nanuku Passage, the primary entrance to the Fiji Islands from the northeast. The original lighthouse was a wood skeletal tower. The 1909 lighthouse has fallen on hard times. Although it is still carried on official light lists, it has not been lit in a number of years. In 2013, the Maritime Safety Authority listed this as one of eight sites for new lighthouses. According to Wikipedia, the island was sold in 2007 and will be developed as a "luxury private retreat," but there is no evidence of this development as yet. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS FIJ-005; Admiralty K4752; NGA 3260.
Qelelevu (Nggele Levu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (180 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 21 m (69 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, and cloud shadow may hide the tower in Google's satellite view. This light marks the extreme northeastern corner of the Fiji archipelago. Located at the east end of Qelelevu, an atoll in Macuata Province about 100 km (60 mi) east of Vanua Levu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS FIJ-014; Admiralty K4756; NGA 3264.

Vanua Levu and Taveuni Lighthouses
Cape Udu (Cape Undu) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); two white flashes every 25 s. 6 m (20 ft) white hexagonal tower on a concrete base. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was descibed as a hexagonal tower on iron piles. Located at the end of a long peninsula on the northeastern tip of Vanua Levu. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4748; NGA 3268.
Point Reef (Savusavu Bay)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7.5 m (25 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9 m (29 ft) hexagonal cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. Terry Gray's photo is at right, a distant view is available, the lighthouse is visible at the right in Richard Johnson's aerial photo of the reef, and Google has a distant satellite view. This is a very popular scuba diving site, but no one has posted a closeup photo of the lighthouse. Located near the western end of the reef fringing Savusavu Bay on the south side of the island of Vanua Levu. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-009; Admiralty K4744; NGA 3276.
Taveuni Island (Vuna Point)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Taveuni is a substantial island off the south coast of Vanua Levu. Located near the end of the reef off Vuna Point, the southwestern end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4750; NGA 3288.
Point Reef Light
Point Reef Light, Savusavu, August 2012
Blogspot photo copyright Terry Gray, Fishing Savusavu; permission requested

Lomaiviti Islands Lighthouses
Note: The islands of the Lomaiviti group lie in the Koro Sea, south of Vanua Levu and east of Viti Levu. Levuka, the largest town of the islands, was an early site of European colonization and the capital of Fiji from 1871 to 1877.
Korolevu (Koro, Muanivanua Point) (2)
1910 (station established 1902). Inactive. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern roof red. An undated photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The original light was on a square 9 m (30 ft) tower. The 1910 lighthouse appears abandoned and endangered. Koro is an inhabited island about 65 km (40 mi) south of Savusavu and a similar distance northeast of Levuka. Located on a promontory on Muanivanua Point at the south end of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS FIJ-010.
Korolevu (Koro, Muanivanua Point) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1902). Active (?); focal plane 62 m (203 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. An undated photo showing both lighthouses is available, but the tower is hard to see against the forest in Bing's satellite view. In 2013, the Maritime Safety Authority listed this as one of eight sites for new lighthouses. Located about 100 m (110 yd) east of the historic lighthouse. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4740; NGA 3292.
Wakaya Reefs
1902. Active; focal plane 22.5 m (74 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 25 m (83 ft) hexagonal tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. The crew of the schooner Seawanhaka has posted the distant view (first photo in the last row) also seen at right, and Google has a satellite view. This is probably the original lighthouse, which had the same height. Wakaya is a privately owned resort island off the northeast coast of Viti Levu. The lighthouse is located near the south end of the reef, roughly 15 km (9 mi) southeast of the island and 25 km (15 mi) due east of Levuka. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-004; Admiralty K4730; NGA 3312.
North Ovalau Island (Ovalau Reef, Loba Loba) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1977). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) post rising from a round concrete tower mounted on a round platform supported by three piles. The light is not seen in Google's cloudy satellite view. NGA describes a black skeletal tower on a concrete base. The light was covreted to a solar-powered LED light in 2013. Located at the entrance through the reef at the northeast corner of Ovalau Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-008; Admiralty K4719; NGA 3332.
Wakaya Reefs Light
Wakaya Reefs Light, 2005
photo copyright Bill Hanlon; used by permission
Na Tumbari Range Front (Levuka Harbour)
Date unknown (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 14.5 m (48 ft); continuous green light. 15 m (50 ft) square Gothic stone church tower carrying a green neon-lit tube on a red triangular slatted daymark as the front range light. Kirsti Medig has a photo of the church, a closeup shows the light and daymark well, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The light is located on the Sacred Heart (Catholic) Church, built in 1858, one of Fiji's most historic buildings. The rear range light is another neon sign on a building behind the church. Na Tumbari is opening in the reef east of Levuka. An earlier range, established in 1876, had two beacons high on the hill behind the town. Located in Levuka, Fiji's first capital, now a national historic site, on Ovalau Island east of Viti Levu. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-007; Admiralty K4722; NGA 3336.
Levuka Entrance
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 2 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with gallery supported by a robust concrete tripod. The lighthouse is unpainted white concrete. A 2008 photo and a second photo are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the Na Tumbari entrance through the reef east of Levuka. Accessible only by boat. Site open, and nothing prevents visitors from climbing the tower. Admiralty K4723; NGA 3352.

Eastern Viti Levu (Suva Area) Lighthouses
Nasilai Reef (2)
Date unknown (station established 1886). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two long (2 s) white flashes every 30 s. 16.5 m (54 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery, painted with horizontal red and white bands. A Fiji Ports Corporation photo is at right, a distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was on pilings. Nasilai Reef is a very dangerous coral reef off the southeast coast of Viti Levu, endangering ships on their approach to Suva. The lighthouse was built after the ship Syria wrecked on the reef in 1884 with the loss of 70 lives. Located at the southeastern extremity of the reef. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-001; Admiralty K4668; NGA 3368.
Suva North Side (Entrance) Range Front
Date unknown (station established 1899). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); quick-flashing blue light. Round tower rising from a square base. Tower painted red with a white horizontal band. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The tower height is not known, but the 1916 Pacific Islands Pilot (p. 299) describes these range lights as "conspicuous beacons." NGA notes that the range lights are "liable to be obscured by smoke," presumably from cooking fires. Located off Nakula Street in Lami, a residential area northwest of Suva and at the head of Suva Bay. Site status unknown, but the light should be visible from nearby streets. Admiralty K4672; NGA 3396.
Suva North Side (Entrance) Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 103 m (338 ft); blue light, 2 s on, 2 s off. Round tower rising from a square base. Tower painted red with a white horizontal band. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The tower height is not known, but the 1916 Pacific Islands Pilot (p. 299) describes these range lights as "conspicuous beacons." Located on a steep hillside about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) north northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4672.1; NGA 3400.
Suva West Reef
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); red flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) white concrete tower with one red horizontal band. The Fiji Times has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This is known as the best surfing location in the Suva area. Located on the west side of the entrance through the reef into Suva, Fiji's capital. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4676; NGA 3412.

Western Viti Levu (Momi Area) Lighthouses
Navula Reef (2)
Date unknown (station established 1886). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) post rising from a round concrete tower mounted on a round platform supported by three piles. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse had a listed height of 18 m (59 ft). This light marks the entrance through the reef for Nadi (Nandi), a port at the western tip of Viti Levu. Located at the south end of Navula Reef, about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Nadi. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4702; NGA 3424.
Nasilai Reef Light
Nasilai Reef Light, Suva
Fiji Ports Corporation photo
Momi Bay Range Front (2)
2012 (station established 1911). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); quick-flashing white light. 12 m (39 ft) light mounted on a round platform supported by three concrete piles. The tower carries a daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. A photo is available, the Fiji Sun has a photo of the new light as it was completed, and Google has a satellite view. This is an entrance range for the Navula Reef pass. In 2012 the light was relocated on a new structure; Google also has a satellite view showing the original platform, about 200 m (220 yd) to the west. Located at the water's edge in Momi Bay, about 8 km (5 mi) northeast of the Navula Reef light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-006; Admiralty K4704;
Momi Bay Range Rear
1911. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); quick-flashing white light. 7 m (23 ft) square white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a hilltop 1.9 km (1.2 mi) east northeast of the front light. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS FIJ-012; Admiralty K4704.1; NGA 3436.
Naikorokoro
Date unknown (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 16 m (52 ft) tower, described as a "white structure on black piles." No photo available; a Google satellite view shows what appears to be a post light with a large hexagonal white structure at the top. The light guides vessels approaching Lautoka on the northwest coast of Viti Levu. Located at the west end of the Naikorokoro reef. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4710; NGA 3440.
Viwa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 15 m (49 ft) white skeletal tower. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the station. Viwa is the westernmost island of Fiji. Located on the northwestern point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS FIJ-016; Admiralty K4714; NGA 3460.

Southern Fiji Lighthouses
** Vatulele
1953. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. The lighthouse is unpainted white concrete. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The British engineer Richard Whidborne mentions that he designed and built the lighthouse; the day after it was completed it survived a magnitude-6 earthquake. Vatulele is an island about 12 km (7.5 mi long from north to south, located about 50 km (30 mi) off the southwestern coast of Viti Levu. The island has several small resorts and is accessible by air from Suva. The lighthouse is located atop a vertical cliff on the northwestern point of the island. Site open; there are reports of visitors who were able to climb the tower. ARLHS FIJ-018; Admiralty K4661; NGA 3464.
Cape Washington (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. The light is on the ridge to the right of center in a 2009 distant view of the cape, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. NGA lists an 8.5 m (28 ft) "metal tripod" at this location. Located at the western tip of Kadavu, the fourth largest island of Fiji. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4662; NGA 3480.
Vanuatabu (Vanuatambu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white flash every 2 s. Skeletal tower, height unknown. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the southeast coast of Kadavu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4663; NGA 3484.
Solo (North Astrolabe Reef)
1888. Reported inactive; focal plane 29 m (96 ft); white light, 3 s on, 27 s off. 32.5 m (106 ft) cast iron tower, painted white with two red horizontal bands. Jason McCabe's photo is at right, and Bing has a satellite view. McCabe found the lighthouse inactive and in poor condition. Located on Solo Rock, a tiny island enclosed by the Great Astrolabe Reef, northeast of Kadavu Island about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Suva. Accessible only by boat. ARLHS FIJ-002; Admiralty K4666; NGA 3476.
Totoya
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 76 m (249 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Totoya is an island about 150 mi (240 km) southeast of Viti Levu. Located on heights at the southwestern end of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS FIJ-015; Admiralty K4758; NGA 3488.
Vatoa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Vatoa is a small island at the extreme southeastern end of the Fiji archipelago. Located at the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS FIJ-003; Admiralty K4759; NGA 3492.
Solo Reef Light
Solo Light, Great Astrolabe Reef, January 2008
Google Plus photo by Jason McCabe; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Wallis and Futuna | East: Tonga | West: Vanuatu

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Posted January 3, 2006. Checked and revised April 15, 2014. Lighthouses: 26. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.