Lighthouses of Indonesia: Northeastern Sundas

Indonesia has been independent since 1945, after having been the Dutch East Indies for more than 350 years. It is a huge country, stretching along both sides of the Equator for more than 46 degrees of longitude (roughly 5100 km or 3200 miles). Comprised of some 17,000 islands (more than 6000 inhabited islands), it has hundreds of major aids to navigation.

The arc of the Sunda Islands begins in the west with the major islands of Sumatra and Java, and continues eastward through a chain of smaller islands known in English as the Lesser Sunda Islands and in Indonesian as the Nusa Tenggara ("Southeastern Islands"). This page includes lighthouses at the eastern end of the arc, including the large island of Flores and several smaller, closely-spaced islands east of Flores. These islands are all included in East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur) Province.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar or (in two words) mercu suar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Tanjung and ujung are words for capes, gili or pulau is an island, selat is a strait, karang is a reef, and teluk is a harbor.

Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Directorate General of Sea Navigation.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volumes F and K of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Online List of Lights - Indonesia
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Ende Light
Ende Light, Flores, August 2011
Flickr photo copyright Juan Carlos Marín; used by permission

Flores Lighthouses

Note: Flores is a long and narrow island, about 360 km (225 mi) long. Komodo and Sumbawa lie to the west across the Sape Strait. To the east, the Lesser Sunda chain continues with a loose group of smaller islands including Solor, Lembata (Lomblen), Pantar, and Alor. Flores has a population of more than 1.8 million.
Ende Regency South Coast Lighthouse
* Ende
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 38 m (125 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Juan Carlos Marín's photo is at the top of this page, Rowan Castle has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Ende is a town of about 60,000 residents facing the Savu Sea on the southeastern coast of Flores. Located at the main, T-shaped quay on the Ende waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1337; NGA 25632.

East Manggarai Regency South Coast Lighthouse
Mberung (Mborong)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 1.5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located just off the beach at Mborong. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1330.4; NGA 25629.7.

Manggarai Regency South Coast Lighthouse
Pulau Mules (Pulau Gelinta)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); quick-flashing white light. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Roi Hosnan has a photo, a 2015 photo (2/3 the way down the page) is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This light and the Tanjung Sasar Light on Sumba frame the narrowest passage of the Sumba Strait. Located on the south side of Pulau Mules, a small island just off the southwestern coast of Flores. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1330.3.

West Manggarai Regency Lighthouses
Komodo (Tanjung Langkoi) (2?)
Date unknown (2011?). Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); two quick white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The Admiralty reported this lighthouse as "temporarily destroyed" in 2010, so it was probably being replaced at that time. Famous as a home of the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard, Komodo is a rather small, very rugged island between Sumbawa and Flores. The human population is quite small, about 2000 (roughly equal to the number of dragons). Located on a steep promontory at the southwestern tip of Komodo, marking the entrance to the Sape Strait. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1315; NGA 25626.
Pulau Sabolon (Saboloh, Sabolan) Kecil (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 1.5 s. The Admiralty and NGA list a "white beacon" with a focal plane height of 28 m (92 ft), but Henrik Tunriallu's aerial photo (zoom for enlargement) reveals a square skeletal tower, painted red, with a much higher focal plane. Google has a satellite view. Located on an islet about 15 km (9 mi) northwest of Labuan Bajo, the principal port at the west end of Flores. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1329; NGA 25628.5.
* Bajo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two white flashes every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) round barbell-shaped fiberglass tower colored blue. A distant view is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view of the location. Located on the waterfront of Labuhan Bajo. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1329.2.
Labuhan (Labuan) Bajo (?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Juan Carlos MarĂ­n's photo is at right. This lighthouse may have been replaced; it has not been found in Google's satellite view. Located near the northern end of the Labuan Bajo waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ID-4286; Admiralty K1329.3.
Labuhan Bajo Light
Labuhan Bajo Light, Flores, August 2011
photo copyright Juan Carlos Marín; used by permission

Manggarai Regency North Coast Lighthouses
Toro Besi (Tanjung Besi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) round fiberglass tower with gallery colored white. Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the northernmost point of Flores, about 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Reo. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1329.5; NGA 25629.
* Reo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Reo. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1330; NGA 25629.2.

Nagekeo Regency Lighthouse
* Marapokot
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) (?) square skeletal tower. Patrix Djaga has a distant view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The tower appears taller than the listed height. NGA misspells the name as Marapoko. Located on the quay at Marapokot. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1331.5; NGA 25630.

Ende Regency North Coast Lighthouse
Tanjung Karterbileh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 127 m (417 ft); white flash every 3 s. "White beacon," according to NGA. No photo available, but Google's satellite view reveals a substantial white tower. Located on a very prominent cape in northeastern Flores, about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Waka. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1332; NGA 25631.

Sikka Regency Lighthouses
Gosong Unjuran
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) concrete tower, painted green. No photo available; the light is one of the two square platforms seen in Google's satellite view. Located on the east end of a shoal about 18 km (11 mi) northwest of Maumere. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1334.5; NGA 25639.
* Maumere (Teluk Maumere)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 110 m (361 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 41 m (135 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Maumere, in northeastern Flores, is the largest town on the island. Located on an isolated hill on the south side of the city. Site probably open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-338; Admiralty K1335; NGA 25639.3.
* Maumere Pierhead
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous red light. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. A closeup partial photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the ferry pier at Maumere (ferries from here sail for Kupang, Timor). Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1334.8.
Gosong Boni
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) round red fiberglass tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the southwest side of a reef about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Pulau Pamana Besar. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1334; NGA 25639.5.

East Flores Regency (Flores Strait) Lighthouses
Pulau Sarbete (Tanjung Mas)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower mounted atop a building. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on an island embedded in a large complex of reefs about 15 km (9 mi) north of the entrance to the Flores Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1341.6 NGA 25650.
* Tanjung Sarbete (2)
Date unknown (2009?). Active; focal plane 32 m (102 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. A 2014 photo is available, a distant view from the sea shows the extinct Ile Mandiri volcano in the background, and Google has an indistinct satellite view and a street view through trees. This light guides vessels approaching Larantuka through the narrow strait to the north. The earlier tower was only 15 m (49 ft) high. Located about 6 km (3.5 mi) northeast of the Larantuka waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1341; NGA 25648.
* Larantuka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Jusuf Alfred Adoe's 2012 photo is at right, Joez Deralf has a similar photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront in Larantuka, a town on the east coast of Flores. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1340; NGA 25640.
Pulau Lobetobi (Nusa Lobetobi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); quick-flashing white light. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Google has a satellite view. Located on a tiny island in the center of the southern entrance to the Flores Strait, off the southeastern tip of Flores. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1339; NGA 25642.
Tanjung Lawawolo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); quick-flashing white light. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) white concrete post with gallery, mounted on a square base. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the southwestern tip of Pulau Solar, the southernmost of the Solar Islands, marking the southern entrance to the Flores Strait. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1339.5; NGA 25643.


Larantuka Light, East Flores, May 2012
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Jusuf Alfred Adoe

Lembata and Alor Lighthouses

Lembata Regency Lighthouses
Note: Lembata is the easternmost and largest of the Solar Islands, which lie to the east of Flores, across the narrow Flores Strait. The island is about 80 km (50 mi) long and up to 30 km (19 mi) wide.
Tanjung Tuak
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) white concrete post with gallery, mounted on a square base. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the western tip of Lembata, marking the Boling Strait, the narrow passage between Lembata and Adonara at the northern end of the Lembata Strait. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1342.5; NGA 25651.7.
Kawula (Tanjung Uhowutun)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the north coast of Lembata near Lebewala. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1343; NGA 25651.
Tanjung Atadei
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); white flash every 7 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Cape Atadei is a prominent cape on the southeast coast of Lembata. The lighthouse is not at the tip of the cape; it is near a village about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northeast of the cape. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1342.8.

Alor Regency (Pantar and Alor) Lighthouses
Note: Alor is a rugged island located north of Timor Leste, from which it is separated by the Ombai Strait. The island has a population of about 170,000. Pantar is an island located between Lembata and Alor.
Pulau Lapan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (111 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on an island in the northern entrance to the strait between Lembata and Pantar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1343.5; NGA 25651.5.
* Blang Merang (Baranusa)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 2 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A 2014 photo and a view from the sea are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the quay at Blang Merang, the seaport associated with Baranusa, the largest settlement on Pantar. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1343.7; NGA 25651.6.
Tanjung Jolono
2008(?). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 5.5 s off. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the entrance to the bay of Kalabahi (see next entry). Site status unknown, probably open. Admiralty K1345; NGA 25711.7.
* Kalabahi (2)
2006(?). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Mujiono Leo's 2008 photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. NGA formerly listed a short post light. Kalabahi, on Alor's northwestern peninsula, is the capital of Alor Regency. The town lies at the head of a long, fjord-like bay. Located on the quay at Kalabahi. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1344; NGA 25712.
Pulau Sika (Sikka)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Sika is a low island off a prominent cape on the north coast of Alor. Located at the eastern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1348; NGA 25711.5.
Tanjung Babi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) white concrete post with gallery mounbted on a square base. Bing's distant satellite view appears to show a masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Located on a prominent cape on the eastern north coast of Alor. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1347.5; NGA 25711.
Tanjung Manomani
2004. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on the northeastern tip of Alor. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1347.3.
Kalabahi Light
Kalabahi Light, Alor, September 2008
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Mujiono Leo
Tanjung Lisomu (Laisumbu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (97 ft); two white flashes every 28 s. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Keeper's house and other station buildings. Jhon Nggadas has a photo, and Google has a good satellite view. This lighthouse guides vessels through the Ombai Strait separating Alor from Timor Leste. Located in Maritaing at the southeastern tip of Alor. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1347; NGA 25710.
Tanjung Koyiek
2004. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); two white flashes every 16 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the central south coast of Alor. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1346.5.
Tanjung Margeta
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. Approx. 37 m (121 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Andreas Muljadi has a distant view from the sea, and Google has a good satellite view. Located on the southwestern point of Alor. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-360; Admiralty K1346; NGA 25714.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southern Sulawesi | Northeast: Southern Maluku | South: Southeastern Sundas | West: Lombok and Sumbawa

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Posted January 10, 2009. Checked and revised March 2, 2017. Lighthouses: 33. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.