Lighthouses of Vanuatu
Vanuatu is an independent nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean, west
of Fiji and northeast of New Caledonia. During the colonial period,
Britain and France maneuvered inconclusively to gain control of the archipelago.
Finally, in 1906, the two countries worked out a joint arrangement for
administering the islands as the Condominium of the New Hebrides. The
country became independent in 1980 under the name Vanuatu.
Vanuatu has some 65 inhabited islands in a loose, volcanic chain about
1300 km (800 mi) long. The capital is Port Vila on the island of Efate
in the central part of the chain. The second largest town is Luganville
on the island of Espiritu Santo near the northern end of the country.
During World War II, Luganville was an important base for Allied naval
forces fighting the Japanese at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
Many of Vanuatu's lighthouses were knocked out of action by Tropical
Cyclone Uma in 1987, and we do not have good information as to which of
them are in service today.
Aids to navigation in Vanuatu are the responsibility of the Ports and Marine Department. Port Vila and Luganville are the only international ports.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume Kof the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. Light List numbers
are from NGA Publication 111.
Eretoka (Hat) Island Light, September 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Peter
& Shelly; used by permission
- Santo (Espiritu Santo) Lighthouses
- Palikoulo Point (Naoreure Point)
- Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 23 m (75 ft); three white flashes
every 15 s. 21 m (69 ft) square pyramidal square skeletal tower, painted
white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite
view. Located on a promontory at Pêcherie, about 8 km (5 mi) east
of Luganville near the southeastern corner of Espiritu Santo. Site probably
open, tower closed. ARLHS VAN-004; Admiralty K4880; NGA 3496.
- Tutuba Island
- Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 24 m (79 ft); one long white flash
every 5 s. 21 m (69 ft) round concrete tower. No photo available. In a Google satellite
view the tower appears abandoned in dense forest. Located on the southeast
side of Tutuba Island, where it serves as a landfall light for Luganville.
Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS VAN-005; Admiralty
K4877; NGA 3512.
- * Million Dollar Point (2)
- Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 12 m (39 ft); four white flashes every
60 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. A photo is at right, and Google
has a satellite
view. NGA lists a 10 m (33 ft) square concrete tower. The light marks the north side of the eastern entrance to Luganville.
The promontory came to be called Million Dollar Point after the U.S. military
sank a fortune in surplus equipment offshore at the end of World War II.
This underwater junkyard is now a very popular site for scuba divers. Located
about 5 km (3 mi) east of Luganville. Accessible by road. Site open, tower
closed. Admiralty K4880.4; NGA 3500.
- Aore Island
- Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 24 m (79 ft); two flashes every 10
s, white, red or green depending on direction. 20 m (66 ft) white skeletal
tower. Google has a satellite
view, and the tower is visible on the shore near the center of an aerial
photo (click on the photo for enlargement). The light marks the south
side of the eastern entrance to Luganville. Located on Chapuis Point
at the northeastern corner of Aore Island. Accessible only by boat. Site
status unknown. ARLHS VAN-002; Admiralty K4880.6; NGA 3504.
Million Dollar Point Light, Luganville, August 2011
Blogspot photo copyright FireCat14; permission requested
- Lamap Point
- Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash
every 10 s. Skeletal tower, height unknown, painted white. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite
view. Malekula is the second largest island of Vanuatu. Located on a headland at the entrance to the bay of Lamap, near the southeastern end of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4868; NGA 3524.
- Cape Foreland
- Date unknown. Active(?); focal plane 207 m (679 ft); four white flashes
every 20 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Red-roofed
keeper's house. No photo available, but Google has a satellite
view. Located atop a high promontory on the west side of the island
of Epi. Site status unknown. ARLHS VAN-001; Admiralty K4862; NGA 3540.
- 2010 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 22
m (72 ft); white flash every 6 s. 22 m (72 ft) two-stage tower, including
a 7 m (23 ft) aluminum skeletal tower mounted atop a 15 m (49 ft) square
cylindrical concrete tower. The tower is unpainted. A photo of the
lighthouse nearing completion is at right, and Google has a satellite
view of the location. Built by local contractors without heavy
equipment, this lighthouse replaced a 22 m (72 ft) skeletal tower toppled
by Tropical Cyclone Uma in 1987. Located on a promontory on the east
side of the entrance to the natural harbor of Port Vila. Site open,
tower closed. Admiralty K4852; NGA 3572.
- Eretoka Island (Retoka Island, Hat Island)
- 1960s. Reported inactive; focal plane 96 m (315 ft); two white flashes
every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. A distant
view of the lighthouse is at the top of this page, but the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. The island does
resemble a hat from a distance. According to comments on the original
of the photo,
the lighthouse was built privately by Ernie Reid, who held a lease
on the island. It has been abandoned and inactive since sometime in
the 1970s. In 1967, the grave of the legendary 13th century Melanesian
chieftain Roi Mata was discovered on the island, and as a result the
island is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located atop
an island off the west coast of Efate. Accessible only by boat. Site
status unknown. ARLHS VAN-003; Admiralty K4858; NGA 3560.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Solomon Islands | East: Fiji | South: New Caledonia
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Posted February 14, 2009. Checked and revised February 25, 2013.
Lighthouses: 8. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.