Lighthouses of Indonesia: Southern Kalimantan (Borneo)

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. Unfortunately, we have no idea how many of these aids can be considered lighthouses. Information about them is scarce, and photos are even scarcer. Official light lists contain dozens of entries for "framework towers" and "white beacons," providing little guidance for the lighthouse fan.

Borneo, known as Kalimantan in Indonesia, is the world's third largest island. 73% of the island is Indonesian; the remaining portion includes the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah and the independent sultanate of Brunei. This page describes lighthouses of southern Kalimantan including the provinces of South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and West Kalimantan.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Tanjung and ujung are words for capes, pulau is an island, selat is a strait, karang is a reef, gosong is a shoal or sandbar, and teluk is a harbor.

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 Q of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.


Gunung Belingkar Light, Kotabaru, February 2014
photo copyright Harmiyono Utomo; permission requested
General Sources
Online List of Lights - Indonesia - Vol. F and Vol. Q
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Indonesian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views from the collection of Michel Forand.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.

Kalimantan Selatan (South Kalimantan) Province Lighthouses

Kotabaru Regency Lighthouses
Note: Kotabaru is a city of about 250,000 residents. It is located on Pulau Laut ("Sea Island"), an island about 55 km (35 mi) long that lies just off the southeastern tip of Kalimantan. The northern half of the island is separated from the mainland by a narrow strait (Selat Laut). The city is near the northern end of the island facing west on the strait.
Pulau Larilarian (Lari Larian)
2007(?). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. This island was claimed by South Kalimantan and East Sulawesi provinces; a 2011 ruling by the Indonesian Supreme Court confirmed South Kalimantan's jurisdiction. Located on an isolated island in Makassar Strait about 145 km (90 mi) due east of Pulau Laut. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-212; Admiralty Q1445; NGA 24947.
Tanjung Pemancingan Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower painted white and carrying a triangular daymark, point up. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side near the northeastern tip of Pulau Laut. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1438; NGA 24952.
* Gunung Belingkar (Balingkar Hill, Tanjung Pemancingan Range Rear, Kotabaru)
1901. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) hexagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at the top of this page, another photo shows the base of the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. It seems likely that this is the original Dutch lighthouse, but we need information on its history. Located on a ridge in Kotabaru, near the northern tip of Pulau Laut. Site status unknown, but the lighthouse must be easy to see from nearby. ARLHS IDO-105; Admiralty Q1438.1; NGA 24956.
Sambergelap (Samber Gelap)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft) (?); three white flashes every 15 s. 14 m (46 ft) (?) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Two photos are available, but Bing's satellite view fails to show the lighthouse islet. The lighthouse appears taller than the listed height. The Sambergelap Islands are a small group of islands located about 30 km (19 mi) east of Pulau Laut. The lighthouse is on the westernmost island, which also has a turtle conservation station. Ecotours to the island are available. Accessible only by boat. Admiralty Q1444; NGA 24948.
Pulau Aur
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Pulau Aur is a small, uninhabited island off the southeast coast of Pulau Laut and south of the much larger island of Pulau Sebuku. Located near the southern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1444.2; NGA 24987.5.
Tanjung Kunyit (Pulau Kunit)
Date unknown (early 1900s). Active; focal plane 135 m (443 ft); white flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) hexagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Two 1-story station buildings. A photo (1/2 the way down the page) is available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on the heights of Pulau Kunyit, an island just off the southern tip of Pulau Laut. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1430; NGA 24968.
Tanjung Pangebalan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white flashes every 5 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) round white concrete or fiberglass tower. No photo available, but Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the foot of a headland on the southwestern coast of Pulau Laut. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1431; NGA 24966.
Suwangi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 3.5 s. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, but Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Suwangi is a forested, uninhabited island in the Laut Strait off Batulicin. Located near the south end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1434; NGA 24972.

Kotabaru Regency: Java Sea Islands Lighthouses
Note: These islands form a ragged chain extending southwest inot the Java Sea from Pulau Laut. They are known collectively as the Kepulauan Laut Kecil, "Small Sea Islands."
Pulau Birabirahan (Birah Birahan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) round white fiberglass tower with a flared top. A photo is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. Located on an island about 15 km (9 mi) south of the southern tip of Pulau Laut. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1442.1; NGA 24970.
Pulau Payong Payongan (Payung Payungan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft) (?); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. A photo appears to show a focal plane higher than the listed value. Bing has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on the southernmost of group of small islands about 30 km (19 mi) southwest of the southern tip of Pulau Laut. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1427.4; NGA 24974.
Sambargalang (Samber Galang, Brothers Islands)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Done Husen has a photo, but the island is only a blur in Bing's satellite view. Located on an island in the southwestern entrance to the Makassar Strait, about 175 km (110 mi) east of Tanjung Selatan and about 40 km (25 mi) south of the southeastern corner of Borneo at Pulau Laut. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-017; Admiralty Q1442; NGA 24976.
Pulau Kalambau (Kelambau)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. Described only as a "white beacon," most likely a square white skeletal tower. No photo available, and Google has only a very distant satellite view of the location. NGA misspells the location as Kelambu. Located at the southwestern tip of Pulau Kalambau, the outermost of the Laut Kecil islands. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1426.5; NGA 24978.

Tanah Bumbu Regency Lighthouses
* Batulicin
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Batulicin, on the west side of the Laut Strait opposite Kotabaru, is an important ferry port. Located at the base of the ferry pier in Batulicin. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1435; NGA 24973.
Tanjung Petang
1901. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 5 s. 19 m (62 ft) hexagonal cast iron skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. 1-story keeper's houses. Done Husen's photo is at right, Mocha Putri has a 2015 photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. This light is a twin of the Belingkar Hill lighthouse. Located near Pagatan, on the west side of the southern entrance to the narrow Laut Strait separating Pulau Laut from the mainland of Borneo. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-289; Admiralty Q1432; NGA 24964.
Tanjung Petang Light
Tanjung Petang Light, Tanah Bumbu, 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Done Husen; used by permission

Tanah Laut Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Selatan (South Cape)
Date unknown (station established 1905). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); one long white flash every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) hexagonal cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. 1-story keeper's houses. Lighthouse painted white. Done Husen's closeup photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Tanjung Selatan (South Cape) is the southernmost point of Borneo. Located on the point of the cape, about 80 km (50 mi) south of Banjarmasin. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-328; Admiralty Q1422; NGA 24988.
Tekisung (Batu Layang Layang)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); yellow flash every 3 s. 19 m (62 ft) beacon, painted yellow. No photo available, and Google has only an indistinct satellite view. Located off the Tekisung beach about 50 km (30 mi) north of Tanjung Selatan. Accessible only by boat but probably visible from shore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1420; NGA 24989.
Sungai Barito Outer
Date unknown (lightship station established 1901). Inactive since 2013. This was a 25 m (82 ft) " white beacon." No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's distant satellite view of the area. The lighthouse was probably replaced by a buoy. Located about 18 km (11 mi) southwest of the mouth of the Barito River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty K1413.1; ex-NGA 24996.

Banjar Regency Lighthouses
Sungai Barito Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower painted with black and white horizontal bands and mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Barito River, which leads to the provincial capital Banjarmasin. Located south of the mouth of the river. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1413.7; NGA 25000.
Sungai Barito Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower painted with black and white horizontal bands and mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located in the mouth of the Barito River 1.7 km (1 mi) north northeast of the front light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1413.71; NGA 25004.
Tanjung Selatan Light
Tanjung Selatan Light, Tanah Laut, 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Done Husen; used by permission

Kalimantan Tengah (Central Kalimantan) Province Lighthouses

Pulang Pisau Regency Lighthouse
Sungai Kahayan Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); white light, 2 s on, 3 s off. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar skeletal tower with a focal plane of 10 m (33 ft). Located on the east side of the entrance to the Kahayan River. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1412.51; NGA 25026.1.

Kotawaringin Timur (East Kotawaringin) Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Bandaran
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the tower. Located at the end of a spit on the west side of the entrance to the bay of Setriruk. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1411.6; NGA 25032.
Ujung Pandaran
2007 (?). Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 5 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. Google has a distant street view, but the lighthouse is not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view. Located near the base of the spit on the west side of the entrance to the bay of Setriruk. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1411.5.

Seruyan Regency Lighthouse
Tanjung Siamok
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two quick white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Jito Djail's photo is at right, Google has a very fuzzy satellite view. Located on the east side of the entrance to the Seruyan River about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of Segintong. Accessible only by boat but easily seen from shore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1411.4; NGA 25036.

Kotawaringin Barat (West Kotawaringin) Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Putung (Tanjung Puting)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); three white flashes every 14 s. Approx. 28 m (92 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Tanjung Putung is a prominent cape about 55 km (35 mi) southwest of Segintong. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1411.2; NGA 25040.
Tanjung Kluang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located near the end of a long spit on the west side of the entrance to Kumai Bay. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1411.25; NGA 25046.

Tanjung Siamok Light, Seruyan, March 2017
Google Plus photo by Dito Djail

Kalimantan Barat (West Kalimantan) Province Lighthouses

Ketapang Regency Lighthouses
Gosong Mangkut
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available, and the islet is barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. Located on a shoal about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of the southwestern tip of Kalimantan. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1410.3; NGA 25049.
Pulau Bawal (Tanjung Rotan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available; Google has a very distant satellite view of the cape. Pulau Bawal is an island about 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Tanjung Simbar, the southwestern corner of Borneo. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1410; NGA 25050.

Kayong Utara (North Kayong) Regency: Karimata Islands Lighthouses
Gosong Mampango (Discovery East Bank) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1903). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Lightphotos.net has a historic photo of the original Dutch lighthouse, said to have been destroyed in World War II. (This photo is from a Java Post article.) In Jaunary 2010 the Irish racing yacht Cork Clipper wrecked near the light, bringing it briefly to international attention. Located on a dangerous reef far out in the northwestern corner of the Java Sea, about 200 km (125 mi) southwest of the southwestern corner of Kalimantan. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-132; Admiralty Q1034; NGA 25052.
Karang Ontario (Ontario Reef)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) tower, painted black with one red horizontal band. No photo available. Located on a coral reef 31 km (19.5 mi) south southwest of Palau Serutu; the safe shipping channel of the Karimata Strait lies between these lights. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1405.5; NGA 25058.
Pulau Serutu
1902. Active; focal plane 175 m (574 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal cast iron skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo is at right, and Google has a partially clouded satellite view of the station. This is a major light with a range of 36 nautical miles (67 km, 42 mi). There is a proposal to protect the light station as a heritage area. Pulau Serutu anchors the southwest end of the Karimata Archipelago, which extends into the Karimata Strait separating Kalimantan from Sumatra. The light is an important landmark for ships sailing between Singapore and Jakarta. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-181; Admiralty Q1406; NGA 25060.
Pulau Layah Kecil
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 72 m (236 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. The Coast Guard has a small photo, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. This lighthouse is in Sukadana Bay, a broad embayment on the southwest coast of Kalimantan. Located on a small island about 80 km (50 mi) west of Tanjung Baikbudi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-213; Admiralty Q1407.5; NGA 25064.1.

Pulau Serutu Light, Karimate Strait, March 2017
Western Karimata Province Cultural Survey Team photo
Pulau Lemanbudi (Lemen Boedi)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and Google has only an indistinct satellite view of the island. Located on the outermost of a group of small islands at the north edge of the Karimata Archipelago. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1407; NGA 25064.

Kabu Raya Regency Lighthouse
Tanjung Padangtikar (Padang Tikar)
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 platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The range guides vessels into the Bangkolan River estuary leading to the port of Batu Ampar. Located on the north side of the river mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1402; NGA 25068.

Pontianak Regency Lighthouses
Sungai Kapuas Kecil (Pontianak) Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); quick-flashing white light. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The range guides vessels into the Little Kapuas River estuary leading to Pontianak, the capital of West Kalimantan. The rear light is on a smaller tower on a hillside onshore. Located on the north side of the river mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F1872; NGA 25072.
Pulau Datu (Dato)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); three white flashes every 9 s. 30 m (98 ft) white skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on an uninhabited island about 65 km (40 mi) west northwest of the Kapuas River mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1879; NGA 25081.
Pulau Pengiki
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 206 m (676 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 15 m (49 ft) white 16-sided skeletal tower. The Coast Guard has a small photo, but the tower is not seen in Google's fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an island about 65 km (40 mi) west northwest of Pulau Datu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1880; NGA 25080.
Pulau Sitinjan (Sitijan) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. The Coast Guard has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square white skeletal tower with lantern and gallery. NGA lists a concrete tower. Located on an island about 75 km (45 mi) northwest of the Kapuas River mouth. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1883; NGA 25082.
Pulau Lemukutan (Lemoekoetan)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 314 m (1030 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 19 m (59 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view. Pulau Lemukutan is a mountainous island about 18 km (12 mi) off the westernmost point of Kalimantan. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-214; Admiralty F1885; NGA 25084.

Sambas Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Batu (Pemangkat)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) tower. No photo available, and the tower is hard to distinguish in Google's satellite view. Located at the tip of a promontory on the south side of the entrance to the Sambas River. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1890; NGA 25088.
Bukit Kalangbau (Kalang Bahu, Sungai Sambas)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 132 m (433 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The Coast Guard has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. NGA lists the station as Pulau Pekak, although it is not on an island. Located on a steep-sided hill on the north side of the entrance to the Sambas River opposite the port of Pemangkat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1891; NGA 25092.
Tanjung Datu (2)
2004 (station established 1988). Active; focal plane about 200 m (656 ft); two long (1.5 s) white flashes every 12 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white, centered on a 2-story station building. Yus Ran's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view of the station. This staffed lighthouse marks the border between Indonesia and the Sarawak state of Malaysia. At least since 1988 this border has been the site of dueling lighthouses, one on the Malaysian side and one on the Indonesian side. A photo posted by Greenfinder.asia shows the Malaysian 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower (focal plane 171 m (561 ft; white flash every 15 s) as well as the original Indonesian light. A chain link fence separates the Indonesian light station from the Malaysian light. In 2014 Malaysia began construction of a new light on a platform off the point of the cape; construction was halted when Indonesia protested that the location was in Indonesian waters as provided by a 1969 treaty. Located on a promontory at the tip of the Datu Peninsula about 50 km (30 mi) northwest of Sematan, Malaysia. Site status unknown. Admiralty F1893.2.

Tanjung Datu Light, Sambas, October 2016
Google Plus photo copyright Yus Ran

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: East Malaysia | Northeast: Eastern Kalimantan | East: South Sulawesi | South: Northern Java | West: Bangka-Belitung Islands

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Posted December 9, 2008. Checked and revised February 16, 2018. Lighthouses: 41. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.