Lighthouses of Indonesia: Northern 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 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. This page covers the northern peninsula of the island, including the provinces of Gorontalo and North Sulawesi. North Sulawesi Province also includes the Talaud and Sangihe Islands to the north of Sulawesi; lighthouses of thise islands are described on a separate page.

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 volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Online List of Lights - Indonesia - Vol. F
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Indonesian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views from the collection of Michel Forand.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Bitung Light and VTS, Bitung, January 2016
Google Plus photo by Mayada Limbong

Gorontalo Province North Coast Lighthouses

Gorontalo Utara (North Gorontalo) Regency Lighthouses
* Anggrek
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 2 s. 12 m (39 ft) white barbell-shaped fiberglass tower. Nurulhaqi Asri has a photo, Buyung Dharma has an aerial photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Anggrek, a new port in western Gorontolo. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2061.9.
Karang Otilade
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 12 s. 12 m (39 ft) round white concrete tower with gallery, mounted on a square concrete pier. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 15 km (9 mi) north of Kwandang. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2061.1; NGA 25129.
Pulau Hulawa (Lito Lampu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 3 s. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on an island off the north coast of Sulawesi, about 25 km (15 mi) north of Malingkapoto. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2060; NGA 25128.

North Sulawesi Province: Minahasa Peninsula North Coast Lighthouses

Note: North Sulawesi Province includes the final third of the sinuous Minahasa Peninsula plus the Sangihe (Sangir) Islands, a chain that stretches north almost to Mindanao in the Philippines. The islands separate the Celebes Sea on the west from the Molucca Sea on the east.
Bolaang Mongondow Utara (North Bolaang Mongondow) Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Bongkil (Bangkil, Bangkit)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 16 km (10 mi) off the coast at the border between Gorontalo and North Sulawesi provinces. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2062.5; NGA 25134.
* Tanjung Sidupa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) square white skeletal tower mounted on a 1-story white equipment building. Asy-syura Ailani Setyawan has a view from the harbor, and Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Tanjung Sidupa. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2062.8.

Bolaang Mongondow Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Tikus
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) round white fiberglass tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef in an estuary entrance off the ferry port of Labuan Uki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2063.3; NGA 25137.
Tanjung Lobu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower. 1-story keeper's cottage or equipment building. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2063.8; NGA 25139.

Minahasa Selatan (South Minahasa) Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Sangket
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round white fiberglass tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located off the low cape about 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Amurang. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2063.84.
* Amurang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) square white skeletal tower mounted on a 1-story white equipment building. Eric Pajow has a closeup photo, another photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Amurang ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2063.85.

Manado City Lighthouses
Note: Manado is the capital of North Sulawesi and the second largest city of Sulawesi, after Makassar, with a population of about 450,000.
* Manado (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. Lantern mounted atop a tall tower. Walter Mosca's photo is at right, another photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. NGA descibes this light as a 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower. Located on Kampus Unsrat Street in downtown Manado. Site open, tower status unknown. Admiralty F2066; NGA 25144.
Manado South Mole
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped green fiberglass tower. Google has a street view but only a fuzzy satellite view. Located on the south mole at the entrance to the ferry and small boat harbor of Manado. Site and tower closed, but the light is easy to see from the harbor bridge. Admiralty F2068; NGA 25148.
Manado North Mole
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped red fiberglass tower. Google has a street view but only a fuzzy satellite view. Located on the north mole at the entrance to the ferry and small boat harbor of Manado. Site and tower closed, but the light is easy to see from the harbor bridge. Admiralty F2070; NGA 25152.
Tanjung Pisok
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) red skeletal or fiberglass tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located off a cape about 8 km (5 mi) north of the Manado waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2070.3.

Manado Light, Manado, November 2012
Flickr photo copyright Walter Mosca; used by permission

Minahasa Utara (North Minahasa) Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Manterawu
2006. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) "white tower," probably skeletal. No photo available, and the tower may be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located on an island about 30 km (19 mi) west of Tanjung Arus and 40 km (25 mi) north of Manado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2070.5; NGA 25156.2.
Tanjung Arus (Pulau Talisei, Talise)
Date unknown (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 108 m (354 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) white iron skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. The original lighthouse was an octagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, and this lighthouse may still be standing. Tanjung Arus is the extreme northeastern tip of Sulawesi, at the end of the Minahasa Peninsula. The lighthouse is not on the cape, but on the northern tip of Pulau Talisei (Talise), an island off the cape, about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Manado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-290; Admiralty F2072; NGA 25156.

North Sulawesi Province: Minahasa Peninsula East Coast Lighthouses

Bitung City Lighthouses
Note: Bitung is a city of nearly 200,000 residents at the eastern tip of the Minahasa Peninsula. Pulau Lembeh, an island 25 km (15 mi) long but only 2 km (1.25 mi) wide over most of its length, is parallel to the coast opposite Bitung. The Lembeh Strait separates the island from the Bitung waterfront.
Selat Lembeh (Tanjung Batuangus, Lembeh Strait)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower mounted on a square platform on a rock. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the west side of the northern entrance to the narrow Lembeh Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2077; NGA 25158.
Batukapal (Batu Kapal)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round hourglass-shaped white concrete tower. A photo (halfway down the page) is available, Bing has a satellite view. Pulau Lembeh is a long, narrow island off the east side of Tanjung Arus. This light is atop a steep rocky islet off the northeastern tip of Pulau Lembeh, about 20 km (13 mi) northeast of Kota Bitung. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2079.57; NGA 25157.
Pulau Susulina
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. Described only as a "white beacon" by NGA; Google's satellite view shows a white fiberglass tower. Located on a tiny island just off the southeast side of Pulau Lembeh. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2079.55; NGA 25162.
Karang Napokering (Pulau Lembah Southwest)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two green lights every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower standing on a square platform supported by four piles. Entire lighthouse is green. Semuel Muhaling's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west (outside) edge of a reef off the southwestern tip of Pulau Lembah, marking the south entrance to the Lembah Strait. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2079.5; NGA 25164.
Tanjung Labuan Kompeni (Compenie)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The town of Bitung is on the east side of the peninsula about 65 km (40 mi) south of Tanjung Arus; its harbor is sheltered by Pulau Lembeh. Located on a promontory of Pulau Lembeh opposite the Bitung waterfront. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2079; NGA 25172.
* Bitung
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 25 m (82 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 22 m (72 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted atop the a square VTS (harbor control) tower. Mayada Limbong's closeup photo is at the top of this page, and Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located at the south end of the main wharf at Bitung. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2078.8.
Pulau Lembah Southwest Light
Karang Napokering Light, Bitung, December 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Semuel Muhaling; permission requested

Minahasa Regency Lighthouses
Lilang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at Lilang, on the east coast of the Minahasa Peninsula about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Manado. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-159; Admiralty F2079.6; NGA 25168.
Pulau Pakolor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 126 m (413 ft); white flash every 4.5 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a good satellite view of the station. This unusually high light has a listed range of 50 km (30 mi). Located on a small island off the east coast of the peninsula about 55 km (35 mi) southwest of the Lembah Strait entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-176; Admiralty F2079.7; NGA 25169.

Bolaang Mongondow Timur (East Bolaang Mongondow) Regency Lighthouse
Pulau Pondang (Pulau Pardana)
Date unknown (station established 1912). Active; focal plane 73 m (240 ft); white flash every 4 s. 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Simon Potter has a distant view from the sea, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a small island just offshore on the northern entrance to the Gulf of Tomini from the Molucca Sea. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-233; Admiralty F2082; NGA 25228.

Bolaang Mongondow Regency Lighthouse
* Taboyangan (Torosik)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 17 m (56 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) square white skeletal tower. The tower is partially obscured in a 2018 photo of the harbor entrance, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at a small harbor on the north coast of the Gulf of Tomini about 40 km (25 mi) south of Kotamobagu. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2082.5.

Gorontalo Province South Coast Lighthouses

Gorontalo City Lighthouses
Note: The provincial capital of Gorontalo is a city of about 180,000 residents.
* Pelabuhan Gorontalo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 18 m (59 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square white skeletal tower. Google has a closeup street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located at the Gorontalo ferry terminal. Site open, tower closed. Not listed by the Admiralty.
Gorontalo (2?)
2016. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft) (?); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Ardin Yeyen has a December 2016 view from the sea (a portion is seen at right), Abdul Aziz also has a view from the sea, Google's December 2015 street view shows the lighthouse under construction, and Google also has a satellite view of the location. This light is still described by the Admiralty and the NGA as a 6 m (20 ft) white skeletal tower. Almost certainly the new light has a higher focal plane. Located on a promontory on the east side of the approach to Gorontalo. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2083; NGA 25232.
* Teluk Gorontalo ("Harbormaster's Office") (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Google has a closeup street view, Irfan Ali has a view from the sea, Marwan Saleh has a view showing this light on the left and the Gorontalo lighthouse on the right, and Google has a satellite view. Apparently the light was formerly on one of the neighboring buildings; it's not clear if one of them is currently the harbormaster's office. Located at the quay on the east side of the narrow entrance to Gorontalo harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2083.3; NGA 25234.

Gorontalo Light, Gorontalo, December 2016
Google Plus photo by Ardin Yeyen

Boalemo Regency Lighthouses
Tilamuta Reef
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 18 m (59 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower, probably painted green, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Qyara Pramudhita has a distant sea view, but the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view of the reef. Located on a reef on the east side of the entrance to the harbor of Tilamuta, the capital of the regency. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2083.8.
Pulau Tapatada
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 18 m (59 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower, probably painted red, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Qyara Pramudhita has a very distant sea view, but the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view of the location. Located on a reef on the west side of the entrance to the harbor of Tilamuta. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2083.9.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Talaud and Sangihe Islands | East: North Maluku | South: Eastern Sulawesi | Southwest: Western Sulawesi | West: Eastern Kalimantan

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Posted December 18, 2008. Checked and revised March 3, 2018. Lighthouses: 30. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.