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.

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, and clouds block Google's 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
Million Dollar Point Light, Luganville, August 2011
Blogspot photo copyright FireCat14; permission requested

Malekula Lighthouse
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.

Epi Lighthouse
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.

Efate Lighthouses
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.
Pango Point (2)
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. 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.
Pango Point Light
Pango Point Light, January 2010
photo copyright Vanuatu Daily Post
permission requested

Erromango Lighthouse
Ountovin Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 167 m (548 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the lighthouse is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located atop a high promontory on the west side of the island of Erromango. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4847; NGA 3576.

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 April 7, 2014. Lighthouses: 9. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.