Lighthouses of Samoa

The Samoan Islands are an archipelago of Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean. The islands were partitioned in 1900; the large western islands of 'Upolu and Savai'i were assigned to Germany and the smaller eastern islands to the United States. German Samoa, as it was called, was occupied by troops from New Zealand early in World War I, in 1914. Renamed Western Samoa, it remained under New Zealand administration until it became the independent nation of Samoa in 1962. The eastern islands, American Samoa, remain a U.S. territory.

The capital of independent Samoa is Apia, on the north coast of 'Upolu. Aids to navigation in the country are maintained by the Maritime Division of the Ministry of Works, Transport & Infrastructure.

Special thanks to Michel Forand for his research on Samoan lights.

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.

General Sources
Samoa Country Map
A useful map posted on Wikipedia.

Lighthouses
* Apolima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 85 m (279 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 7 m (23 ft) round metal tower with gallery, painted white. Stephan Petaia has a 2012 closeup photo, Wikipedia has a view of the island from the sea (at highest magnification the light can be seen on the ridge at right), the light can also be seen in another view from the sea (click on the photo for magnification), and Google has a satellite view. Apolima is an inhabited island in the center of the Apolima Strait, which separates 'Upolu from Savai'i. The lighthouse is accessible from the one island village by a trail that ends with a very long staircase; the view is worth the climb, according to at least one visitor. Island accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4614; NGA 3140.


Apia Range Front Light, July 2008
Flickr photo copyright Kerstin C.; permission requested

* Apia Range Front (2)
Date unknown (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 16.5 m (54 ft); green light, 1.5 s on, 1.5 s off. 16 m (52 ft) steel post, painted with red and white horizontal bands, adjacent to a small 1-story equipment shelter. A photo is above right, the tower is at the right in Amy and Turgay Yildizli's view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. This modern light replaced a 16.5 m (54 ft) wood tower that is still listed by NGA. Located on the waterfront in front of the Samoan Government Building. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SAM-001; Admiralty K4598; NGA 3112.
* Apia Range Rear (2)
Date unknown (station established 1888). Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); white flash every 4 s. 6 m (20 ft) steel post, painted with red and white horizontal bands, adjacent to a small 1-story equipment shelter. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the lower slopes of Mt. Vaea south of Apia, about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) south of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K4598.1; NGA 3116.
[Fanuatapu]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); white flash every 5 s. 3 m (10 ft) aluminum tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located atop Fanuatapu, a small island off the eastern tip of 'Upolu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K4594; NGA 3108.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Kiribati | East: French Polynesia | South: Tonga | West: Wallis and Futuna

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Posted August 22, 2010. Checked and revised March 18, 2013. Lighthouses: 3. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.