Lighthouses of Indonesia: North Maluku (Northern Moluccas)

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.

Maluku (the Moluccas) includes the islands traditionally known in the West as the "Spice Islands." Maluku lies east of Sulawesi (Celebes), south of the Philippines, and west of New Guinea. The Portuguese established a settlement in the islands at Ambon in 1526. They were replaced in 1609 by the Dutch, who established a second colonial settlement at Ternate. Today Ambon is the capital of Maluku province, and Ternate was until recently the capital of North Maluku province.

North Maluku (Maluku Utara) includes the large island of Halmahera and nearby islands, notably Morotai to the north, Bacan and Obi to the south, and the Sula Islands to the southwest. On the west, the Maluku Sea separates Halmahera from Sulawesi (Celebes). To the northeast is the open Philippine Sea, and on the southeast the Halmahera Sea separates Halmahera from Papua (New Guinea). On the south, the narrow waters of the Seram Sea separate Halmahera from Seram (Ceram) and the other islands of Maluku Province. The population of the province is barely one million, a small population for Indonesia. The largest settlement, Ternate, is on a small island off the west coast of Halmahera. The provincial capital was moved in 2010 from Ternate to Sofifi on the west coast of Halmahera.

Photos of lighthouses in North Maluku are extremely rare on the Internet. Please let me know if you have or can locate additional photos. Special thanks to Michel Forand for his research in support of this page.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. 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.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Online List of Lights - Indonesia - Vol. F and Vol. Q
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
 

Sanana Light, Sula Islands, October 2016
Google Plus photo by Giga Nusantara
Tidore Regency and City Lighthouses
Note: Tidore is an island off the west coast of Halmahera, south of the more populous island of Ternate. Historically a rival to Ternate, Tidore today has a population of about 50,000. Tidore Regency includes a large section of the west coast of Halmahera.
* Gita Bandar
2017. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available, and the tower does not yet appear in Google's satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Gita, a small port on the southwestern coast of Halmahera. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2107.2.
* Trikora Tidore (Trikora Bandar, Tidore)
2017. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower. Micky Isima has a photo, Zulfikar Lesmana also has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the ferry terminal on the east side of Pulau Tidore. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2106.8.

Ternate City Lighthouses
Note: Ternate is an island off the west coast of Halmahera. The Sultans of Ternate ruled most of the spice islands in the centuries before Europeans arrived, and from the early 17th century Ternate was the principal Dutch base in the area. With a population of around 200,000, the city of Ternate is the largest city of North Maluku. It was the provincial capital until 2010, when the capital was moved to the mainland town of Sofifi.
Ternate Pier
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. A photo is at right, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located beside the main passenger terminal at Ternate. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2100; NGA 25208.
Tanjung Kahu Merah
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 27 m (89 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the south waterfront of Ternate. Site status unknown (the lighthouse is in a commercial port area). Admiralty F2105; NGA 25212.
Pulau Hiri
2003. Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); white flash every 4 s. 30 m (98 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but a Google satellite view shows this station. Pulau Hiri is a small island off the northern tip of Pulau Ternate. Located on the west side of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2106; NGA 25217.

Pulau Mayu Lighthouses
Note: Pulau Mayu is a high island in the Maluku Sea about halfway between Halmahera and the northeastern tip of Sulawesi. The island is attached administratively to the city of Ternate.
Tanjung Mayu
2003. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the eastern tip of Pulau Mayu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2107.56; NGA 25222.8.

Ternate Pier Light (far right), Ternate, September 2014
Wordpress photo copyright yosgama; permission requested
Pulau Mayu (Tanjung Lelew, Pasirputih)
2006. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 3 s. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the western tip of Pulau Mayu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-221; Admiralty F2107.5; NGA 25222.7.

Halmahera Barat (West Halmahera) Regency Lighthouse
Tanjung Bobo
2003. Active; focal plane 210 m (689 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 40 m (131 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on a promontory near the base of Halmahera's northern peninsula, about 25 km (15 mi) north of Ternate. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2107.8; NGA 25222.45.

Halmahera Utara (North Halmahera) Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Sidanga
2003. Active; focal plane 93 m (305 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's too-bright satellite view. Located on the west side of a small island off the northwestern coast of Halmahera, about 160 km (100 mi) north of Ternate. This island is known as a scuba diving site. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2110.3; NGA 25222.4.

Pulau Morotai Regency Lighthouses
* Morotai Bandar
2017. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the base of the pier at Morotai harbor on the north coast of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2111.4.
Tanjung Sopi (Pulau Morotai)
2003. Active; focal plane 93 m (305 ft); white flash every 6 s. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The top of the tower also carries a slatted daymark. Laszlo Wagner's photo is at right, a small photo is available (halfway down the page), and Google has a satellite view of the station. Pulau Morotai, the northernmost major island of Maluku, is best known as the base for the U.S. invasion of the Philippines in early 1945. Package tours of the island sometimes include a visit to the lighthouse. Located at the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, and nothing prevents visitors from climbing the tower. Admiralty F2111.3; NGA 25222.55.
* Berebere Bandar
2017. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available, and the light is too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located at the ferry terminal of Berebere on the northeast coast of Pulau Morotai. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2111.1.

Halmahera Timur (East Halmahera) Regency Lighthouse
Pulau Leleve
2006. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on a small island in Buli Bay, off the east coast of Halmahera about 20 km (13 mi) north of Bicoli. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2109.6.
Tanjung Sopi Light
Tanjung Sopi Light, Pulau Morotai
photo copyright Laszlo Wagner, East-Indonesia.info; used by permission

Halmahera Tengah (Central Halmahera) Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Yiew (Jiuw)
2006. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of the eastern tip of Halmahera's eastern peninsula, marking the northern entrance to the Halmahera Sea. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2109.8; NGA 25222.65.
Tanjung Sofa (Jailolo Strait)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 71 m (233 ft); white flash every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) square white skeletal tower. Several 1-story station buildings. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. This lighthouse is less than 5 km (3 mi) north of the Equator. Located at the northwestern tip of Pulau Gebe, marking a narrow passage around the eastern tip of Halmahera. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2111.8; NGA 25222.6.
* Pelabuhan Weda
2016. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. Indra Satya Nagari has a 2017 photo, Rustam Gebsy also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Weda is the capital of the Central Halmahera Regency. Located at the foot of the ferry pier in Weda. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F2109.85.

Halmatera Selatan (South Halmahera) Regency: Bacan Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Bacan Islands lie off the west coast of Halmahera's southern peninsula. Pulau Bacan itself is the largest of the islands.
Tanjung Gegoru
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) round barbell-shaped tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the western tip of Pulau Mandioli, marking the southwestern point of the Bacan Islands. Probably accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1585.5.
Pulau Sarangburung (Lata Lata)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 2 s. 10 m (33 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island at the northwestern point of the Bacan Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1582; NGA 25771.
* Pelabuhan Busua
2017. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower. Sultan Bosthon has a January 2018 photo, but the tower is not yet seen in Bing's satellite view. Located at the foot of the ferry pier in Basua, a small port at the northeastern end of Pulau Muari. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1583.
Pokal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 110 m (361 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small island in the center of the narrow strait separating southwestern Halmahera from the neighboring Pulau Bacan. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1588; NGA 25770.
* Babang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top and buttressed at the base. Merky Bolung's distant view is at right, and Google has a street view and an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Babang, a town on the east coast of Pulau Bacan, the largest of the Bacan Islands. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1587.5; NGA 25769.
Babang Light
Babang Light, Bacan Islands, September 2009
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by merky.bolung

Halmatera Selatan (South Halmahera) Regency: Pulau Makian Lighthouse
Pulau Makian
2003. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) tapered square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Pulau Makian is a volcanic island off the west coast of Halmahera about 60 km (38 mi) south of Ternate. Located on the western tip of the island. Site status unknown. Admiralty F2107.3; NGA 25210.

Halmatera Selatan (South Halmahera) Regency: Obi Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Obi Islands lie to the south of Halmahera and north of Seram. Obira (also called Obi and Obi Mayor) is by far the largest of the islands.
Pulau Laiola (Pulau Lawin)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Several 1-story station buildings. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the light station. Located on Pulau Laiola, a small island off the southeast side of Pulau Lawin, in the Halmahera Sea about 55 km (35 mi) east of the island of Obira. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1603; NGA 25764.
* Jikotamo Bandar (Pelabuhan Laiwui)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (60 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Januar Retristian's photo is at right, Viktor Rendra has a 2018 photo, Pardi Laapo has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the Jikotamo ferry port on the north coast of Pulau Obira. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1589.
Tanjung Wok (Woka)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 5 s on, 7 s off. 17 m (56 ft) "white beacon." No photo available. The Admiralty's position data for this light appears to be incorrect. The tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view of the area. Located (apparently) at the tip of a promontory on the north coast of Pulau Obira. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1591; NGA 25766.
Pelabuhan Wayaloar ("Wai Lower")
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The Admiralty interpreted the name of this village as "Wai Lower." Located at the ferry terminal at Wayaloar, a small port on the south coast of Pulau Obira. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1590.8.
Tanjung Akelamo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 10 s. 40 m (131 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with gallery. Several 1-story station buildings. No photo available, but Bing has a good satellite view of the station. Located on the southwestern tip of Pulau Obira, marking the east side of the southern entrance to the Maluku Sea. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1590.5.

Pelabuhan Laiwui Light, Pulau Obira, June 2017
Google Plus photo by Januar Retristian

Sula Islands Regency Lighthouses
Note: The Sula Islands are to the west of the Obi islands. Of the three largest islands, Taliabu and Mangole are in a west-east line, while Sanana is at right angles south of Mangole. Taliabu became a separate regency in 2013.
Tanjung Dehekalano (Pulau Lifumatola)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. Several 1-story station buildings. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the eastern tip of Pulau Lifumatola, at the extreme eastern end of the Sula Islands, marking the west side of the southern entrance to the Maluku Sea. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1592; NGA 25742.
* Falabisahaya (Pulau Mangole)
Active; focal plane about 23 m (75 ft); flashing white light. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. Giga Nusantara has a November 2016 photo, but the tower is too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located at the foot of the pier in Falabisahaya harbor on the central north coast of Pulau Mangole. Site open, tower closed. Not listed by the Admiralty.
Sanana Entrance North
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower painted red and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to Sanana harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1601; NGA 25756.
Sanana Entrance South
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) round green barbell-shaped fiberglass tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the entrance to Sanana harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1601.3; NGA 25756.5.
* Pelabuhan Sanana
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. Giga Nusantara's October 2016 photo is at the top of this page, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the foot of the pier in Sanana harbor, near the northeastern corner of the island. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1601.2.
Tanjung Waka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. Approx. 45 m (148 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. Four 1-story station buildings. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Located on the southern tip of the narrow island of Sanana, marking the passage between that island and Buru. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1601.15; NGA 25754.5.
* Malbufa Inner
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (56 ft); red flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower painted green and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 800 m (1/2 mi) off Malbufa, a village on the northwest coast of Pulau Sanana. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1601.16.
* Malbufa Outer
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (56 ft); green flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower painted green and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 1.6 km (1 mi) off Malbufa. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1601.17.

Taliabu Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Sehu (Seku)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. Tower described only as a white beacon. No photo available, but the light has not been found in Google's satellite view of the area. This light and the Pulau Buangbuang Light (see the Northeastern Sulawesi page) frame the entrance to the Maluku Sea from the Banda Sea. Located on a promontory on the west side of Pulau Sehu, an island off the southwestern tip of Pulau Taliabu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1569.5; NGA 25384.
* Bobong (2?)
Active; focal plane about 23 m (75 ft); flashing white light. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. Eriko Utama's beach view is at right, but the tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view of the waterfront. Bobong, at the western end of Pulau Taliabu, is the capital of the Taliabu Regency. Located on the waterfront harbor of Taliabu. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1570.

Bobong Light, Pulau Taliabu, February 2016
Google Plus photo by Eriko Utama

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: West Papua | South: Central Maluku | Southwest: Southeast Sulawesi | West: Northeastern Sulawesi

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Posted December 31, 2008. Checked and revised May 28, 2018. Lighthouses: 37. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.