Lighthouses of Indonesia: Western Sulawesi (Celebes)

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. This page includes the lighthouses of the southern half of Sulawesi (Celebes), a major island in the northern part of the country.

Shaped like an artistically drawn letter K, Sulawesi consists mostly of four narrow peninsulas. The Makassar Strait separates Sulawesi from Kalimantan (Borneo) to the west. The Celebes Sea is north of the island, the Banda Sea is to the east and southeast, and the Flores Sea is on the south. Makassar, also called Ujung Pandang, is the major port. This page covers the west side of the island, including the provinces of South Sulawesi and West Sulawesi plus the west coast of Central Sulawesi Province.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Pulau is an island and karang is a reef.

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
Indonesian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views from the collection of Michel Forand.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Karang Takarewataya Light, Java Sea, November 2008
photo copyright Damien Loong; permission requested

South Sulawesi Province Lighthouses

Gulf of Boni Lighthouse
Tanjung Lameriki
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) octagonal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse faces the Gulf of Boni, the arm of the Flores Sea that separates the southern and southeastern peninsulas of Sulawesi. Located on a promontory about 45 km (28 mi) north of Macoppe. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-306; Admiralty K1541.3; NGA 25473.

Selayer Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Selayer Islands extend south and then southeast from the southeastern tip of Sulawesi's Southern Peninsula. The islands separate the Flores Sea to the east from the Java Sea to the west.
Pulau Pasitanete (3)
Date unknown (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The original lighthouse had a focal plane height of only 45 m (148 ft), so it must have been built at a lower location. Located on a small island off the northern end of the much larger island of Selayar, about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Bulukumba. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-234; Admiralty K1536; NGA 25408.
* Pamatata
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 30 m (98 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Taufik Hidayatullah has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the ferry terminal at Pamatata, on the northeast coast of Pulau Selayer. Site open, tower closed.
Pulau Bonerate
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on an island in the Flores Sea near the southeastern end of the Selayer group. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1328; NGA 25663.

South Coast Lighthouses
* Bulukumba (Kalumeme)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (30 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located adjacent to the ferry terminal in Bulukumba. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1532.5; NGA 25411.
Tanjung Papanambeja (Bulukumba) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 24 m (79 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. The original tower had a height of 13 m (43 ft). Located on a promontory on the southwest side of Bulukumba. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-121; Admiralty K1532; NGA 25412.
Pulau Pasitanete Light
Pulau Pasitanete Light, Selayer, May 2007
Panoramio photo copyright MACTAK; used by permission
* Kaili
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 22 m (72 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white, mounted on a square concrete base supported by piles. Asrul Noer's photo is at right, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the base of a long pier at Kaili. Site open, tower closed.
* Tanjung Bulu Bulu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 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 at the southern tip of the Southern Peninsula near Binamu. Accessible by road. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty K1528; NGA 25414.

Java Sea Island Lighthouses

Pulau Banawaja (Banawawa) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1913). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two white lights every 5 s. Approx. 27 m (89 ft) "white beacon." No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. The original lighthouse had a focal plane height of 20 m (66 ft). Located on a small island on the east side of the Sabalana atoll, in the middle of the Java Sea about 150 km (90 mi) south of the southern point of Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1325; NGA 25416.5.
Pulau Jailamu (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. NGA describes this as a 10 m (33 ft) fiberglass tower, but two very distant views (no longer online) suggest a taller, possibly skeletal tower. The light is not seen in Google's satellite view of the island. Located on a small island about 210 km (130 mi) south southwest of Makassar and 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Banawaja. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1325.3; NGA 25416.6.
Pulau Longkoitang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 275 km (170 mi) south southwest of Makassar and 80 km (50 mi) west southwest of Pulau Jailamu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1325.5; NGA 25416.7.
Kaili Light
Kaili Light, Kaili, February 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Asrul Noel; permission requested
Pulau Kapoposangbali
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island of the Satengar group, far across the Java Sea, roughly 360 km (225 mi) southwest of Makassar and only 80 km (50 mi) off the north coast of Lombok in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-203; Admiralty K1322; NGA 25578.
Karang Takarewataya (De Bril, Den Bril)
1887. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 10 s. 23 m (75 ft) octagonal cast iron tower with lantern and three galleries, painted with red and white horizontal stripes. Damien Loong's photo is at the top of this page, Lightphotos.net has a historic closeup photo, the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum has a 1929 distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view of the reef. This is the only survivor among several lighthouses of this class built in the Dutch Indies. Located at the south end of a reef in the Java Sea about 120 km (75 mi) south southwest of the southern point of Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat; fishing tours to the reef are available. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-009; Admiralty K1524; NGA 25416.

Southern Strait of Makassar Lighthouses
Dewakang Besar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) white iron skeletal tower. Taufik Hidayatullah has an excellent photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on a small island about 105 km (65 mi) west southwest of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-125; Admiralty K1522; NGA 25420.
Pulau Tanakeke
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Pulau Tanakeke is a populated island about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Patalasang, on the southwestern tip of Sulawesi. ARLHS IDO-250; Admiralty K1518.5; NGA 25421.
Pulau Dayangdayangan (2)
Date unknown (station established 1893). Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A distant aerial view is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The original lighthouse had a focal plane height of 32 m (105 ft). Located on a small island about 50 km (30 mi) south southwest of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-196; Admiralty K1518; NGA 25424.
Pulau Kalu Kalukuang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); four white flashes every 30 s. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Taufik Hidayatullah's closeup photo is at right, he also has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the north end of a small but inhabited island in the middle of the south entrance to the Makassar Strait, about 180 km (110 mi) west of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-139; Admiralty K1442.7; NGA 24982.
Kudingareng (Kodengarang) Lompo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); four white flashes every 27 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Arham Muhammad has a 2012 photo (first photo on the page), a small photo is available (3/4 the way down the page), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the south end of a small but densely populated island about 15 km (9 mi) west of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-023; Admiralty K1517; NGA 25432.
Pulau Kalu Kalukuang Light
Pulau Kalu Kalukuang Light, Makassar Strait, May 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Taufik Hidayatullah
used by permission
Pulau Lanyukang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) round white concrete tower with 8 ribs, lantern and gallery. A photo (a little over halfway down the page) is available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on an islet about 40 km (25 mi) northwest of Makassar (the outermost of a large group of small islands). Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1508.5; NGA 25461.
Pulau Kapoposang (1)
1906. Inactive since 1957. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Andika Ferial's photo at right shows this historic Dutch lighthouse and its modern replacement, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. This important light station marks the westernmost of a large group of islands and reefs in the southeastern quadrant of the Makassar Strait. Site open, tower closed.
Pulau Kapoposang (2)
1957 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 5 s. 33 m (108 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted red (?). Andika Ferial's photo is at right, and S. Budiarto has a very distant photo, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the area. Kapoposang is a popular destination for scuba divers. Located at the west point of an island in the Makassar Strait, about 100 km (60 mi) northwest of Makassar in southwestern Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-022; Admiralty K1508; NGA 25468.

Kapoposang Lights, Makassar Strait, May 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Andika Ferial; permission requested

Makassar Harbor Lighthouses
Pulau Samalona
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two green flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Rendy Chandraditya Suryo has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the north end of the reef surrounding Pulau Samalona, an islet about 8 km (5 mi) west of the Makassar waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1511; NGA 25436.
[Makassar Entrance South Side]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) concrete post with gallery mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The entrance to the harbor of Makassar is through a narrow opening in a fringing reef that protects the port from storms. Located on the south side of this entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1514; NGA 25448.
[Makassar Entrance North Side]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (39 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post with gallery mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the harbor entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1513; NGA 25444.

West Sulawesi Province Lighthouses

Central Strait of Makassar Lighthouses
Tanjung Rangasa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 105 m (344 ft); white flash every 5 s. 21 m (69 ft) white iron skeletal tower. No photo available, but a Bing satellite view probably shows the station. Located on a prominent cape in Banggae, a town about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Majene (Madjene). Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-325; Admiralty K1496; NGA 25492.
Tanjung Binanga
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at Palangpalang, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Majene (Madjene). Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty K1494; NGA 25494.
Tanjung Rangas
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 99 m (325 ft); white flash every 6 s. 21 m (69 ft) white iron skeletal tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Mamuju. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-324; Admiralty K1490; NGA 25500.
Tanjung Lalereh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 38 m (125 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a cape about 80 km (50 mi) north of Mamuju. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1485; NGA 25503.8.
Tanjung Pasangkayu (Pasaugkajoe)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); three white flashes every 24 s. 37 m (131 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) west of Pasangkayu. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-044; Admiralty K1484; NGA 25504.

Central Sulawesi Province West Coast Lighthouses

Northern Strait of Makassar Lighthouses
* Teluk Palu (Palu Gulf)
1907. Active; focal plane 82 m (269 ft); four long (2 s) white flashes every 25 s. 21 m (69 ft) octagonal (?) white iron skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. No closeup photo available; the light station is seen in a distant aerial view, and Google has a good satellite view of the station. It appears that the original lighthouse survives here. Located on a prominent cape on the west side of the entrance to the narrow Palu Gulf, about 25 km (15 mi) northwesr of Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi. Site status unknown, but it should be possible to drive to this station from Palu. ARLHS IDO-339; Admiralty K1476; NGA 25508.
Manimbaya
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery; tower painted white, lantern red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. This lighthouse is built almost precisely on the Equator. Located at the tip of a long promontory extending into the Strait of Makassar about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Mapaga. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2040; NGA 25114.
Pulau Tuguan (Pulau Tugguan, Noordwachter)
1902. Active; focal plane 92 m (302 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) white iron skeletal tower. The modern description is consistent with the Dutch original. No photo available, and a cloud hides the station in Google's satellite view of the island. Not to be confused with another, better known Noordwachter in the Java Sea. Located on an island in the strait about 25 m (15 mi) northwest of Munte in northwestern Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-031; Admiralty F2044; NGA 25120.
Pulau Simatang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. NGA has no description of this light, but a tall tower would be needed here. No photo available, and a cloud hides the light in Google's satellite view. Located at the northern tip of Pulau Simatang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown, but probably open. Admiralty F2046; NGA 25118.
Pulau Kabetan (Tanjung Paligisan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower with lantern, gallery and central cylinder. Lighthouse painted white. A distant view is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the southeastern tip of Pulau Kabetan, an island on the approach to Botakna Bunga. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2047; NGA 25121.
Pulau Kabetan Light
Pulau Kabetan Light, June 2010
Panoramio photo copyright takashidezign; permission requested
Pulau Latungan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the northern tip of Pulau Latungan, an island in the entrance to the harbor of Botakna Bunga. Site status unknown. Accessible only by boat. Admiralty F2047.5; NGA 25122.
Tanjung Labuan Dedeh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a pier projecting from a point of land sheltering the harbor of Botakna Bunga. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2048; NGA 25116.
Tanjung Malagka (Pulau Salando Timur, Stroomenkaap) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1913). Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white flash every 5 s. 25 m (82 ft) white iron skeletal tower. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the northeastern entrance to the Strait of Makassar. The original lighthouse had a focal plane height of 46 m (151 ft). Located on an island just off Tanjung (cape) Malagka, the northwestern corner of Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-312; Admiralty F2050; NGA 25112.
Pulau Dolongan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) "white beacon." No photo available, but Google has a satellite view; it appears to show a skeletal tower mounted on a concrete pier or platform. This light faces the Celebes Sea, marking the extreme northwest corner of Sulawesi. Located off the northern tip of an island about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Tanjung Malagka. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2051; NGA 25111.7.
Pulau Malagka Light
Pulau Malagka Light, August 2013
Panoramio photo copyright Roly R; used by permission
Tanjung Kandi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 120 m (394 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. Approx. 65 m (213 ft) square skeletal communications tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Simon Potter has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a very prominent cape about 65 km (40 mi) east of Pulau Dolongan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2052; NGA 25113.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Sulawesi | East: Eastern Sulawesi | South: Lombok and Sumbawa | West: Kalimantan

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Posted December 18, 2008. Checked and revised December 24, 2015. Lighthouses: 37. Site copyright 2015 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.