Lighthouses of Indonesia: Papua

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 lighthouses on this page are in Indonesian Papua (western New Guinea). The Dutch extended their claim to western New Guinea, the world's second-largest island, in 1828, but they established no major settlements until nearly 1900. The western half of the island remained under Dutch control until 1963, when it was ceded to Indonesia. Most of the Indonesian half of the island is included in Papua Province. West Papua Province includes the oddly-shaped Doberai or Bird's Head (Vogelkop) Peninsula at the northwestern corner of New Guinea. This page includes the lighthouses of Papua Province, and there is a separate page for West Papua Province.

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

Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Indonesian Directorate of Marine Navigation (Indomarinav).

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 Publications 111 and 112.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
 

Oinake Light, Jayapura Regency, November 2007
Flickr photo copyright Billy Sumuan; used by permission

South Coast (Arafura Sea) Lighthouses

Merauke Regency Lighthouses
Note: A town founded by the Dutch in 1902, Merauke has a population of about 70,000 and is the principal settlement on Papua's south coast.
Sungai Tomasi (Tomasi River)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white, mounted atop a border patrol building. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the mouth of the Tomasi River, within a few meters of the Papua New Guinea border. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3336; NGA 25887.
* Tanjung Mimiabe (Merauke) (3)
2007(?) (station established 1905). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. An excellent closeup photo is at right, and Google has a good satellite view. The original lighthouse was located at the mouth of the Merau River about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of the present station. This is the landfall light for Merauke. NGA lists a 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower; the 40 m tower was announced by the Admiralty in 2007. Located on the oceanfront about 3 km (2 mi) southwest of downtown Merauke. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-316; Admiralty K3338; NGA 25888.
Merauke Inner
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted green and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 600 m (0.37 mi) off the east side of the entrance to the Merau River estuary. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3338.7; NGA 25899.
* Sungai Merauke (Merau River)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Lighthouse painted white. The tower is visible in an aerial photo of Merauke, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the Merau River estuary adjacent to the docks at Merauke. Easily seen from the waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-284; Admiralty K3339.2; NGA 25890.
Merauke Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white and mounted on a square concrete base. The tower also carries a triangular slatted daymark, point up. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Merau River estuary leading to the port of Merauke. Located on the west side of the entrance to the estuary. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3339; NGA 25892.
Merauke Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower also carries a triangular slatted daymark, point down. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the estuary about 3.5 km (2 mi) northwest of the town and 300 m (330 yd) northeast of the front light. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-169; Admiralty K3339.1; NGA 25896.
Yatum (Matara)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) iron skeletal tower, probably with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but a Google satellite view probably shows the lighthouse in the center of the frame. Located on the beachfront at Matara, about 10 km (6 mi) north of Merauke. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-355; Admiralty K3339.6; NGA 25900.

Tanjung Mimiabe Light, Merauke, November 2008
Panoramio photo copyright
Indonesian Children's Newspaper
; used by permission
Tanjung Mawal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) concrete post with gallery mounted on a square concrete pier supported by piles. Entre lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located off a river entrance about 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Merauke. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3339.8; NGA 25902.
* Kimaan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, mounted on a square equipment building. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the base of the town pier at Kimaan, a settlement on Dolok Island, about 165 km (100 mi) west of Merauke. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-148; Admiralty K3340.52; NGA 25906.3.
Pulau Kolepon (Ujung Salah)
2009. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. No photo available, and the tower is probably too new to appear in Bing's satellite view of the listed location. Apparently located on a shoal or platform off the southwestern tip of Dolok Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3340.53.

Mappi Regency Lighthouse
Modderhock
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. Entire lighthouse is green. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 3 km (2 mi) offshore on the south side of an estuary entrance about 30 km (19 mi) north of Dolok Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3340.68; NGA 25907.2.

Asmat Regency Lighthouses
Sungai Utumbuwe
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) triangular skeletal tower. A photo is available (tower at upper left), but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the area. Located on the south side of an estuary in the district town of Agats on the southwest coast of Papua. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3340.87; NGA 25907.62.
Pulau Laag
2009. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. No photo available, and the tower is probably too new to appear in Bing's satellite view of the listed location. Apparently located on a shoal or platform off a swampy promontory about 50 km (30 mi) west of Agats. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3340.98.

Mimika Regency Lighthouse
Sungai Keakwa (Nime)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 12.5 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view of the area. Located at Keakwa, near the western border of Papua Province. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3343; NGA 25908.

North Coast (Pacific Ocean) Lighthouses

Biak Numfor Regency: Mapia Atoll Lighthouses
Note: The Mapia atoll (Kepulauan Mapia) is located far out in the Pacific, about 200 km (125 mi) north of Manokwari. These islands represent the northeasternmost extension of Indonesian territory.
Pulau Fanildo
2007. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 30 m (98 ft) "white beacon." No photo available; Google has a distant satellite view of the islet. The lighthouse marks the northwestern corner of the Mapia atoll. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2111.98.
Pulau Bras
2007. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 40 m (131 ft) "white tower." No photo available; Google has a distant satellite view of the islet. This new lighthouse marks the northeastern corner of the Mapia atoll. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2111.95.
Pulau Pegun
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) "white beacon." No photo available; Google has a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Both NGA and ARLHS have placed the light erroneously in Palau. Located on the southern tip of Pulau Pegun, marking the southern end of the Mapia atoll. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAL-002; Admiralty F2111.9; NGA 111-10932.

Biak Numfor Regency: Biak Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Biak Islands (known under Dutch rule as the Schouten Islands) are spread across the entrance to the Cenderawasih Bay above the "neck" of the Bird's Head Peninsula. Pulau Biak is the largest of the islands.
Pulau Numfoor (Yerunana)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and clouds block Bing's satellite view of the area. Pulau Numfoor is an island about 25 km (15 mi) in diameter in the northwestern corner of the Cenderawasih Gulf. Located near Kameri on the northwestern side of the island, about 65 km (40 mi) east of Manokwari. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-179; Admiralty K3392; NGA 26052.
Pulau Bepondi North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 30 m (98 ft) "white beacon," possibly a concrete tower. No photo available, and the lighthouse may be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Pulau Bepondi is a small island about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of the large island of Pulau Biak and 160 km (100 mi) northeast of Manokwari. Located on the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3391.7; NGA 26053.
Pulau Misombi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. "White beacon," probably a skeletal or fiberglass tower on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but the light is apparently too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located on a reef at the eastern tip of Pulau Biak. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3392.8; NGA 26058.
Pulau Rasi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (43 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located on a small island at the southeastern end of the Biak Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3393.6; NGA 26088.
Pulau Rani
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) "white beacon." No photo available, but Google has a satellite view that may show the light station. Located on a small island off the southwestern coast of Pulau Biak. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3392.7; NGA 26056.

Nabire Regency Lighthouse
Ujung Kimbo (Teluk Kimi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on a headland sheltering the harbor of Kimi, a town on the east side of the Cenderawasih Gulf. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3395.8; NGA 26104.

Yapen-Waropen Regency Lighthouses
Note: Pulau Yapen is an island about 170 km (105 mi) long but only about 25 km (15 mi) at its widest; it lies east to west across the northeastern Cenderawasih Bay southeast of Pulau Biak. Waropen is the mainland region on the east coast of Cenderawasih Bay.
Tanjung Kamengsenu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on a prominent cape on the east side of the Cenderawasih Gulf. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3395.9; NGA 26104.5.
Pulau Naufi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); one long white flash every 10 s. Described by NGA only as a beacon, this is probably an octagonal concrete tower around 20 m (66 ft) high. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the northern tip of an island off the east coast of the Cenderawasih Gulf. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3396; NGA 26105.
Tanjung Woka (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) (?) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The tower appears to be taller than the 10 m listed by NGA. Located on the west end of Pulau Yapen. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3395; NGA 26096.
* Serui (2)
2009(?). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. A photo is at right, and Bing has a satellite view. Indonesian Wikipedia has a photo of the former light. Serui is the principal town on Pulau Yapen. Located at the head of a short pier on the waterfront of Serui, on the south side of Pulau Yapen. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3394.5; NGA 26084.
Tanjung Rainbawi (Tanjung Rainbawa)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. The lighthouse may have been replaced recently, since NGA lists a 16 m (52 ft) tower. Located at the eastern tip of the island of Yapen, marking the east entrance to the Cenderawasih Gulf. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-322; Admiralty K3393.7; NGA 26108.
Serui Light
Serui Light, Serui, May 2010
Panoramio photo copyright danank.ar.io; permission requested

Sarmi Regency (Philippine Sea) Lighthouses
Mamberamo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available; the tower might be visible in a Google satellite view. Located on the west side of the entrance to the Mamberamo River about 5 km (3 mi) west of Tanjung Perkam (Cape D'Urville), the northwestern "shoulder" of New Guinea. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3396.6; NGA 26112.
Pulau Kumamba Liki
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (141 ft); one long white flash every 5 s. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on the northern tip of Pulau Liki, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Sarmi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDN-210; Admiralty K3396.8; NGA 26092.
Sarmi (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This light recently replaced a much shorter tower. Located on a promontory near Sarmi, about 140 km (225 mi) west northwest of Jayapura. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3397; NGA 26116.
Pulau Armo (Pulau Nirumoar)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); six quick white flashes and one long white flash every 15 s. 16 m (52 ft) post with gallery mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef at the southern end of Pulau Nirumoar, an island about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Pulau Liki. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3396.9; NGA 26115.
Pulau Yamna (Jamna)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 6 s. No description and no photo available, and Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located Pulau Yamna, an island about 50 km (30 mi) east of Sarmi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 26118.

Jayapura Regency (Philippine Sea) Lighthouses
Tanjung Kamdara
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white light, 5 s on, 5 s off. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 120 km (75 ft) west of Jayapura. The area is accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3397.8; NGA 26119.
Tanjung Suaja (Soeadja Moko)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 215 m (705 ft); three white flashes every 24 s. 20 m (66 ft) white concrete tower. Keeper's houses and other station buildings. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Tanjung Suaja is a mountainous promontory that shelters the approach to Jayapura, about 4 km (2.5 mi) east of the city. Located atop the mountain, but accessible by road. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDN-081; Admiralty K3398; NGA 26120.
Jayapura Entrance North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped green tower, mounted on a square concrete platform supported by concrete piles. Ralph Sanderson's photo is at right, he has a second photo taken from the other side of the bay, and Google has a satellite view. Jayapura, known as Hollandia under Dutch rule, has a beautiful semicircular harbor framed by mountains. Located just offshore near the Swiss-Belhotel Papua, marking the north side of the entrance to the harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3398.8; NGA 26123.5.
Jayapura Entrance South (Hollandia Baai)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped red tower, mounted on a square concrete platform supported by concrete piles. The light is in the lower left of an aerial photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal, marking the south side of the entrance to Jayapura harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3398.9; NGA 26123.
* Oinake
Date unknown (1990s?). Active; focal plane 200 m (656 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 37 m (121 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. The lighthouse is unpainted white concrete. Billy Sumuan's photo is at the top of this page, Ashley Zoch has a 1999 photo, a 2010 photo is available, and Google has a good satellite view. This lighthouse is located at the border between Indonesian Papua and the independent nation of Papua New Guinea, near the town of Watung, Papua New Guinea, and about 50 km (30 mi) east of Jayapura, the capital of Indonesia's Papua province. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K3399.8; NGA 26129.

Jayapura Entrance North Light, Jayapura, March 2007
Flickr photo copyright Ralph Sanderson; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Papua New Guinea | Southwest: Maluku | West: West Papua

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Posted December 31, 2008. Checked and revised March 6, 2014. Lighthouses: 38. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.