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.

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.
Pulau Miangas Light
Pulau Miangas Light, May 2008
photo copyright Ferdi Rosman; permission requested

Gorontalo Province North Coast Lighthouses

Pulau Hulawa
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.
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 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.

North Sulawesi Province: Minahasa Peninsula 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.
Minahasa Peninsula North Coast 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 about 110 km (70 mi) west of Manado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2063.3; NGA 25137.
Tanjung Lobo
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.
Manado
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. NGA descibes this light as a 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower, but a photo suggests that the light has been moved atop a large shopping mall. Google has a satellite view. Manado, with a population of about 400,000, is the capital of North Sulawesi and the second largest city of Sulawesi, after Makassar. Located on the Manado waterfront. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2066; NGA 25144.
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, and 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.

Minahasa Peninsula East Coast Lighthouses
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 2006 photo is available, and 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 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.
Selat Lembah (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 a satellite view. Located on the west side of the northern entrance to the narrow Lembeh Strait, which separates Pulau Lembeh from the mainland of Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2077; NGA 25158.
Tanjung Labuan Compenie (Bitung)
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.
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 good 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 Lembah Southwest Light
Pulau Lembah Southwest Light, December 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Semuel Muhaling; permission requested
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.
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, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. 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.

North Sulawesi Province: Talaud and Sangihe Islands Lighthouses

Talaud Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Talaud Islands are the northeasternmost islands of North Sulawesi, located northeast of the Sangihe Islands and southeast of Mindanao in the Philippines. The islands are quite remote but they are well populated, with a population of more than 80,000. Pulau Karakelong is by far the largest of the islands and has most of the population.
Pulau Miangas (Isla Palmas) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 130 m (427 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Ferdi Rosman's photo at the top of this page came from a portfolio of photos that is no longer online; this collection suggested that the present tower is relatively new. Ferdi Rosman's photo is at the top of this page, the tower is visible in David Vilabella's distant view of the island, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Pulau Miangas is a small island in the Philippine Sea about 125 km (75 mi) east of the southern tip of Mindanao. The island, known as Isla Palmas in the Philippines, was claimed by the U.S. as part of the Philippines in the early 1900s, but in 1928 the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Netherlands. Indonesia maintains sovereignty as successor to the Dutch. Located at the highest point of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2138; NGA 15156.
Pulau Marampit
2006. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white and mounted atop a 2-story coast guard station building. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the northern tip of an island about 10 km (6 mi) northeast of Keratung. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134.2.
* Karatung
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower, mounted on a square concrete base. Ferdi Rosman Feizal has a photo, and the shadow of the tower is seen in Google's satellite view. This light is similar to many harbor lights in Indonesia's out islands. Pulau Karatung is a small but inhabited island about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of the northern tip of Pulau Talaud. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134; NGA 25199.
Pulau Intata
Date unknown (2006 or later). Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Ferdi Rosman Feizal's early 2006 photo of the island does not show a lighthouse, but it is seen at the left in Dandi Ratri Antoro's 2012 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 15 km (9 mi) south of Pulau Marampit. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2133.9.
Pulau Kakarutan (Kakorotan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of a small island only 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of the Pulau Intata lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2133.8.
Tanjung Salonggaka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. No description available, but this appears to be a skeletal or fiberglass tower about 15 m (49 ft) high. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the northwestern tip of Pulau Salebabu, a smaller island southeast of Pulau Karakelong. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2132.5; NGA 25198.5.
* Lirung
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower. The lighthouse is at the far left (behind the white building) in a photo and a second photo of the harbor, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the town. Located on the waterfront of Lirung, a town on the east coast of Pulau Salebabu. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2133; NGA 25198.
Pulau Marampit Light
Pulau Marampit Light, Talaud Islands, July 2012
photo copyright antorology; permission requested
Tanjung Palle
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); white flash every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) "white beacon," presumably a square skeletal tower. No photo available; Google has a very distant satellite view of the cape. Located at the southern tip of Pulau Kaburuang, an island at the south end of the Talaud islands. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-318; Admiralty F2133.5; NGA 25197.8.

Sangihe Islands Lighthouses
Pulau Marore (Pulau Maru)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 180 m (591 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Ferdi Rosman Feizal has a distant view and second view, David Vilabella also has a distant view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Pulau Marore is the Indonesia's northernmost island in the Celebes Sea, located about 90 km (55 mi) south of Mindanao in the Philippines. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2135; NGA 25200.
Pulau Kawio
2006. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) "white beacon," probably skeletal. No photo available, and Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on a small island about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Pulau Marore. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2134.8; NGA 25200.2.
Pulau Matutuang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 107 m (351 ft); white flash every 5 s. "White lighthouse," according to NGA. No photo available, and Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on an isolated high island at the northern end of the Sangihe chain, about 130 km (80 mi) south of Mindanao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-220; Admiralty F2135.5; NGA 25201.
Pulau Buang (Salehe)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. The lighthouse is a ghostly presence in Ferdi Rosman Feizal's distant view of the island, and also in a second view. The island is only a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on an island about 35 km (22 mi) northeast of the northern point of Pulau Sangihe, the central island of the archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2128; NGA 25197.
Pulau Manipa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. David Vilabella's view from the sea is at right, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on the southern tip of a small island off the north end of Pulau Sangihe. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-218; Admiralty F2127.5; NGA 25196.5.
Pulau Beng
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 106 m (348 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the east end of Pulau Beng, a small high island off the southeast coast of Pulau Sangihe. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2127; NGA 25194.
Pulau Manipa Light
Pulau Manipa Light, August 2010
Panoramio photo copyright David Vilabella; used by permission
Tanjung Bunakeng (Tahuna, Pulau Sangihe)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 130 m (427 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. The lighthouse is barely visible in an aerial photo, and Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on heights near Tahuna, the principal town on the west coast of Pulau Sangihe. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2123; NGA 25190.

Sitaro Islands (Southern Sangihe Islands) Lighthouses
Pulau Makalehi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 150 m (492 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white and mounted on a large station building. Ronny Buol's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Makalehi is a tall, currently inactive volcanic cone about 25 km (15 mi) west of Pulau Siau, one of the larger islands of the Sangihe chain. Located on the southern slope of the volcano. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2120.3.
* Ulu (Pulau Siau)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower, mounted on a square concrete base. Ferdi Rosman Feizal has a photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. This light is similar to many harbor lights in Indonesia's out islands. Located on the waterfront of Ulu, a settlement on the east coast of Pulau Siau. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2120; NGA 25184.
Pulau Mahora
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 80 m (262 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the eastern tip of Pulau Mahora, a small island off the southeast end of Pulau Siau. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2119; NGA 25186.
Pulau Pasige
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round hourglass-shaped white fiberglass tower, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef off the southwest side of a small island near the south end of the Sangihe chain, about 90 km (55 mi) north northeast of Tanjung Arus. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2114; NGA 25176.
Pulau Makalehi Light
Pulau Makalehi Light, Sitaro Islands, November 2008
photo copyright Ronny Buol; used by permission

Gorontalo Province South Coast Lighthouses

* Gorontalo (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) round barbell-shaped white tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Hermit Parwoto has a view from the sea, a photo is available, Darius Hendra has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the quay on the east side of the narrow entrance to Gorontalo. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2083; NGA 25232.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southern Philippines | East: North Maluku | South: Eastern Sulawesi | Southwest: Western Sulawesi | West: Kalimantan

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Posted December 18, 2008. Checked and revised December 31, 2015. Lighthouses: 35. Site copyright 2015 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.