Lighthouses of Indonesia: Southeastern 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 of the islands at the southeastern end of the arc, including Sumba, the Savu Islands, Rote, and West Timor. 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.
Lighthouses in Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Online List of Lights - Indonesia
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Tanjung Undu Light
Tanjung Undu Light, Sumba, June 2005
Panoramio photo copyright agusdangiovani
permission requested

Sumba Lighthouses

Note: Sumba is an island about 240 km (150 mi) long, lying southeast of Sumbawa and southwest of Flores. The Sumba Strait separates Sumba from Flores. The island has a population of more than 600,000, but it is one of Indonesia's least developed major islands.
Southwest Sumba Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Karaso
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); one long white flash every 8 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view of the cape. Located at the western tip of Sumba. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1321.5; NGA 25653.2.
* Waikelo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 2 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A 2016 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Waikelo, a new port on the northwest coast of Sumba. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1318.7; NGA 25653.1.

East Sumba Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Sasar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); three white flashes every 22 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Several keeper's houses and other station buildings. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the northern tip of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1318; NGA 25653.
* Waingapu (2)
2016. Active; focal plane approx. 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 7 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal tower with lantern and galley, painted white. Budi Setiawan has a September 2016 photo of the new lighthouse, and Sasmudi Blora has a 2017 photo, but the tower is too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Achmad Rabin Taim has a distant view of the original lighthouse, a skeletal tower. Waingapu is the largest town on Sumba and the terminal for ferries from Bima on Sumbawa and Ende on Flores. NGA mangles the name as "Maingapoe." Located on the waterfront near the ferry quay. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1320.2; NGA 25660.
Tanjung Undu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. A photo is at the top of this page, and Matthias Jungk has a 2015 photo. Google's satellite view of the station shows several buildings as well as the tower. NGA misspells the name as Umdu. Located on the eastern tip of Sumba. Probably accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1317; NGA 25653.5.
Tanjung Ngaru Mangigit
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. Approx. 36 m (118 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Several keeper's houses and other station buildings; this appears to be a staffed station. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on a prominent cape near the southeastern tip of Sumba. Site status unknown, probably open; tower closed. Admiralty K1317.5.
Pulau Mangudu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); one long white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower, mounted on a square concrete pad. Entire lighthouse is white. Taufik Hidayatullah's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the west end of a small island about 10 km (6 mi) off the south coast of Sumba. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1321; NGA 25656.
Pulau Mangudu Light
Pulau Mangudu Light, Sumba, April 2013
photo copyright Taufik Hidayatullah; used by permission

Savu Islands Lighthouses

Sabu Raijua Regency Lighthouses
Savu (Sawu, Sabu) is an island at the northern edge of the Timor Sea, halfway between Sumba and Timor. The island has a population of about 30,000 and has become a popular destination for adventure tourism. Raijua is a small island off the western tip of Savu.
Tanjung Wuimahi (Ujumahi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); two white flashes, separated by 5 s, every 16 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA lists the light as "Ria Jua." Located at the west end of Pulau Raijua. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1354; NGA 25678.
Pulau Raijua (Namo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (43 ft); white flash every 1.5 s. 12 m (39 ft) (?) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view of the listed location. This lighthouse appears to be taller than the listed focal plane. Located in Boedae, the only settlement on Raijua, near the eastern end of the island. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty K1353; NGA 25677.
Seba
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 6 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on the northern side of Savu in Kota Boddo. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-359; Admiralty K1352; NGA 25676.
Kali Menia (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Several station buildings. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. NGA describes a 10 m (33 ft) white stone pyramid at this location. Located on a bluff near the northern tip of Savu. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1350; NGA 25672.
Tanjung Liegeta
2004. Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); white flash every 7 s. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on a promontory on the east coast of Savu. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1352.5; NGA 25676.2.

Rote and Timor Lighthouses (see also Timor Leste)

Rote Ndao Regency Lighthouses
Note: Rote (Roti) is Indonesia's southernmost major island. Located off the southwestern tip of Timor, the island is about 80 km (50 mi) long and has a population of about 100,000.
Pulau Ndana (Pulau Dana)
2004. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Dandi Ratri Antoro has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located off the southern tip of Rote, the uninhabited Pulau Dana is Indonesia's southernmost island (making this the country's southernmost lighthouse). Located on the south side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1356.8.
Pulau Ndao (Dao) Besar
2004. Active; focal plane 108 m (354 ft); white flash every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Several keeper's houses and other station buildings. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on on an island off the western end of Rote. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1356.2.
Teluk Ndao
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane about 18 m (59 ft); light characteristic (if any) unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery mounted on a concrete platform supported by four massive legs. A 2013 photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The tower is in poor condition. Located at the base of the pier at the settlement on the north side of Pulau Ndao Besar. Site open, tower closed. Not listed by the Admiralty.
Pulau Rote (Pulau Roti, Baa) (2?)
2014 (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 45 m (148 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Iwan Budi Santoso's photo is at right, Sonny Saban has a photo, Sandro Ferraz has a view from the nearby pier, and Google has a satellite view of the town. A November 2013 photo shows the lighthouse under construction. The previous light was on a 14 m (46 ft) iron skeletal tower; we do not know if it has been demolished now that the new lighthouse is in service. Located in the port of Baa on the north side of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-243; Admiralty K1356; NGA 25680.
Tanjung Pukuafu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 5.4 s. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower painted white and mounted on a square concrete platform. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the northern tip of Pulau Rote. Admiralty K1358; NGA 25681.

Baa Light, Rote Ndao, March 2014
photo copyright Iwan Budi Santoso; used by permission

Kupang Regency and City (West Timor) Lighthouses

Note: Timor is located at the southeastern edge of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Unlike the others, it is oriented northeast-southwest. Historically, the eastern 60% of the island was the Portuguese colony of East Timor, with the rest of the island being included in the Dutch East Indies. Indonesian forces occupied East Timor when the Portuguese withdrew in 1975. This led to an extended struggle ending in 2002 with the independence of East Timor as Timor Leste. West Timor, the Indonesian section of the island, has a population of about 1.6 million.
Tanjung Oisina
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 4 s. 17 m (56 ft) white concrete post with gallery centered on a square base. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on the southwestern tip of Timor. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1365.5; NGA 25682.
* Tenau
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. Google has a street view and a distant satellite view. Tenau is the modern port for Kupang; it faces the narrow Semau Strait between Timor and Semau about 6 km (3.5 mi) southwest of the city. Located on the hillside above the dock area. (The Admiralty's location for K1365.2 matches this light, but NGA lists it as K1365.) Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1365.2; NGA 25700.
Tanjung Kurong (Pulau Semau)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 127 m (417 ft); white light, 12 s on, 12 s off, 3 s on, 3 s off. 16 m (52 ft) iron skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Several keeper's houses and other station buildings. Sapto Pandugo has a photo of the station and the base of the tower, and Google has a good satellite view. This light serves as a landfall light for Kupang, the capital of West Timor. Located on heights at the northern end of Pulau Semau, about 13 km (8 mi) west northwest of Kupang. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-304; Admiralty K1360; NGA 25684.
Pulau Kera
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. A distant view from the sea is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Pulau Kera is an island about 8 km (5 mi) north of Kupang. Located on the northwest side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty K1360.5; NGA 25686.
* Kupang (Koepang, Fort Concordia) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1883). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. A photo is at right, and Google has a distant street view, but the slender tower is not very conspicuous in a Google satellite view. The original Dutch lighthouse had a focal plane height of 19 m (62 ft). Located near historic Fort Concordia in Kupang, near the southwestern tip of Timor. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-140; Admiralty K1362; NGA 25688.
* Tanjung Gumuk
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Eriko Utama has a beach view, and Google has a good satellite view. Located at the tip of a promontory facing the Savu Sea about 80 km (50 mi) north of Kupang. Accessible by road. Site status unknown, probably open. Admiralty K1365.69.
Pulau Batek (Fatu Sinai) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 100 m (328 ft); white flash every 6 s. Square skeletal tower, height unknown, painted white. Keeper's quarters and other station buildings. A distant view is available, another distant view shows the top of the tower, and Google has a distant satellite view. Indonesia and Timor Leste have an ongoing dispute over ownership of this island, which lies near the border between West Timor and the Timor Leste exclave of Oecussi. Indonesian forces occupied the island in 2004. The island is called Fatu Sinai in Timor Leste. Located in the Savu Sea about 10 km (6 mi) offshore from the northernmost point of West Timor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown, probably closed (Indonesian military post). Admiralty K1365.6.
Kupang Light
Kupang Light, West Timor, July 2004
Wikimedia public domain photo by Chrisdev

North Central Timor Regency Lighthouses
* Wini
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The tower is at the left in Ayudya Saint's photo, and Google has a good satellite view. Wini is a town on the north coast of Timor a short distance east of the Timor Leste exclave of Oecussi. Located near the piers in Wini. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1365.75.
Tanjung Batu Putih (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3.5 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal (?) tower, painted white. No photo available; Google's satellite view seems to show a round tower, possibly fiberglass. This light marks the most prominent cape between the Oecussi enclave and the main portion of Timor Leste. Located on a promontory facing the Ombai Strait about 20 km (12.5 mi) west of Atapupu. Admiralty K1365.8; NGA 25703.
* Atapupu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. Hari Handay has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located next to the customs house on the waterfront of Atapupu, a small port about 10 km (6 mi) west of the Timor Leste border. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1366; NGA 25704.
Atapupu Entrance West
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower, painted green and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. The tower is at the far left of Abu Nidal's photo of the harbor, and Google has a satellite view. This light and the next one frame the narrow entrance through the reef into the harbor of Atapupu. Located on the west side of the entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1366.2; NGA 25705.
Atapupu Entrance East
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower, painted red and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. The tower is second from the left in Abu Nidal's photo of the harbor, and Google has a satellite view. This light and the previous one frame the narrow entrance through the reef into the harbor of Atapupu. Located on the east side of the entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1366.4; NGA 25705.5.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northeastern Sundas | East: Timor Leste

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Posted January 10, 2009. Checked and revised March 3, 2017. Lighthouses: 29. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.