Lighthouses of the Solomon Islands
Islands are an archipelago in the western South
Pacific Ocean, off the east coast of New Guinea. The islands were colonized
by Britain in the late 1800s. During World War II, Japanese forces invaded
from the north and were stopped by Allied forces in prolonged and heavy
fighting in and around the island of Guadalcanal. The islands became independent
in 1978. In recent years tourism in the Solomon islands has been limited
by civil unrest in many parts of the country.
Bougainville, the largest and northwesternmost island of the Solomons
chain, is not part of the nation of the Solomon Islands. Instead, it is
a province of Papua New Guinea.
As far as I know, there have never been any traditional masonry lighthouses
in the Solomon Islands, but there are a number of large skeletal towers
that deserve to be regarded as lighthouses. A postage stamp issue in 2000,
depicted at right, has made lighthouse fans aware of two of these lights.
Honiara and Noro are the two international ports in the Solomon Islands. These ports are operated by the Solomon Islands Ports Authority, which is probably responsible for aids to navigation in the islands.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume K of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers
are from Publication 111.
Tulagi Harbor Front Light (left) and Munda Rear Light
2000 postage stamp minisheet
- New Georgia Lighthouse
[Munda Range Rear]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three quick white flashes
every 15 s. 10 m (33 ft) square steel skeletal tower with gallery, painted
with red and white horizontal bands. The tower also carries a large white
triangular daymark. A 2000 postage stamp depicts the light tower (right stamp
of the pair above), but Google has only a very distant satellite view of the area. Located off Munda on the south side of the island of New
Georgia. Accessible only by boat. ARLHS SOL-001; Admiralty K4896.41; NGA 10740.
Russell Islands Lighthouse
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (59 ft); white flash every 10 s.
16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. The light
guides vessels in what became known during World War II as The Slot: the
channel between Santa Isabel and New Georgia pointing towards Guadalcanal.
Located on a small island at the northeastern corner of the Russell Islands,
about 65 km (40 mi) west northwest of Cape Esperance. Accessible only by
boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS SOL-005; Admiralty K4920; NGA 10724.
- Tulagi Harbor Range Front
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every
5 s. 9 m (30 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted
white; lantern painted black. A 2000 postage stamp depicts the lighthouse
(left stamp of the pair above), and Google has a satellite view. Located off the harbor of Tulagi in Iron Bottom
Sound, the scene of many naval battles during World War II. Accessible only
by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SOL-007; Admiralty K4901; NGA 10660.
- Tulagi Harbor Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two white flashes every
10 s. 12 m (39 ft) square steel skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted
white; lantern painted black. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the tip of a promontory of the mainland, 1145 m (3750 ft) north of the front light. Accessible only
by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SOL-002; Admiralty K4908.1; NGA 10664.
- Cape Esperance
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 10 s.
Skeletal tower, painted white. The tower height is not known, but this location
would require a tall tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite
view. Located near the northwestern tip
of Guadalcanal. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4932; NGA 10652.
- Rere Point
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flash every 5 s.
18 m (59 ft) square steel skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal
bands. No photo available, but a Google satellite
view may show the station.
Located on a promontory on the northeast coast of Guadalcanal. Site status
unknown. ARLHS SOL-004; Admiralty K4946; NGA 10608.
San Cristobal Lighthouse
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s. Skeletal
tower, painted white. The tower height is not known, but this location would
require a tall tower. No photo available, and Bing's satellite
view may show the light station but fails to show the tower. Located on a promontory near Wango
on the north coast of San Cristobal. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4947.6;
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: South: Vanuatu | West: Papua New Guinea
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Posted January 5, 2006. Checked and revised February 24, 2013.
Lighthouses: 6. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.