Lighthouses of Indonesia: Papua Province South Coast

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.

The lighthouses on this page are in Indonesian Papua (western New Guinea). The Dutch extended their claim to western New Guinea, the world's second-largest island, in 1828, but they established no major settlements until nearly 1900. The western half of the island remained under Dutch control until 1963, when it was ceded to Indonesia. Most of the Indonesian half of the island is included in Papua Province. West Papua Province includes the oddly-shaped Doberai or Bird's Head (Vogelkop) Peninsula at the northwestern corner of New Guinea. This page includes the lighthouses of the south coast of Papua Province, and there are separate pages for West Papua Province and Papua Province North Coast.

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, and teluk is a gulf, bay, or 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 Publications 111 and 112.

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

Tanjung Mimiabe Light, Merauke, November 2008
Panoramio photo copyright T. Palgunadi; used by permission
Merauke Regency Lighthouses
Note: A town founded by the Dutch in 1902, Merauke has a population of about 90,000 and is the principal settlement on Papua Province's south coast.
Sungai Torasi (Torasi River) Entrance
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white and mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located just off the east side of the mouth of the Torasi River, within a few meters of the Papua New Guinea border. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3336; NGA 25887.
Sungai Torasi (Torasi River)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 35 m (115 ft); white light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, mounted atop a border patrol building. John Davidson's is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the mouth of the Torasi River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3335.
Tanpa Nama Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 14 m (46 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white and mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal (not an island) about 11 km (6.5 mi) southwest of the mouth of the Torasi River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3333.
* Merauke (Tanjung Mimiabe) (3)
2007(?) (station established 1905). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. T. Palgunadi's excellent closeup photo is at the top of this page, and Google has a good satellite view. This is the landfall light for Merauke. The original lighthouse was located at the mouth of the Merau River about 4 km (2.5 mi) northwest of the present station. NGA formerly listed a 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower; the 40 m tower was announced by the Admiralty in 2007. Located on the oceanfront about 3 km (2 mi) southwest of downtown Merauke. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-316; Admiralty Q3338; NGA 25888.

Sungai Torasi Light, Merauke, January 2017
Google Plus photo by John Davidson
Sungai Merauke (Merau River)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The light marks the beginning of the channel leading to Merauke. Located about 3 km (2 mi) off the mouth of the Merau River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3338.4; NGA 25897.5.
Merauke Inner
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted green and mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 600 m (0.37 mi) off the east side of the entrance to the Merau River estuary. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3338.7; NGA 25899.
Merauke Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white and mounted on a square concrete base. The tower also carries a triangular slatted daymark, point up. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Merau River estuary leading to the port of Merauke. Located on the west side of the entrance to the estuary. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q3339; NGA 25892.
Merauke Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower also carries a triangular slatted daymark, point down. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the estuary about 3.5 km (2 mi) northwest of the town and 300 m (330 yd) northeast of the front light. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-169; Admiralty Q3339.1; NGA 25896.
* Pelabuhan Merauke
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Lighthouse painted white. The tower is visible in Brawijaya Mandiri's aerial photo of Merauke, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the Merau River estuary adjacent to the docks at Merauke. Easily seen from the waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-284; Admiralty Q3339.2; NGA 25890.
Yatum (Matara) (?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) iron skeletal tower, probably with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available. It is not clear that this light exists. If it does, then there is a Google satellite view showing an odd 4-legged tower that may carry the light; another satellite view is a second possible location. Located near the beachfront at Matara, about 10 km (6 mi) north of Merauke. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-355; Admiralty Q3339.6; NGA 25900.
Tanjung Mawal
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) concrete post with gallery mounted on a square concrete pier supported by piles. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located off a river entrance about 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Merauke. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3339.8; NGA 25902.
Pulau Habee (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallert, painted white. No photo available, but a visitor has several views from the top of the tower and Bing has a satellite view. NGA lists an 8 m (26 ft) tower for this location, but has the higher focal plane. Located on an island about 8 km (5 mi) off the coast southeast of Gelib. Accessible only by boat. Site open, and apparently the tower can be climbed. Admiralty Q3340; NGA 25904.
Kimaan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, mounted on a square equipment building. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the base of the town pier at Kimaan, a settlement on Dolok (Kimaan) Island, about 165 km (100 mi) west of Merauke. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-148; Admiralty Q3340.52; NGA 25906.3.
Waan (Wan)
2009. Active (?); focal plane 45 m (148 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. Approx. 42 m (138 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery mounted on a square tower atop a coast guard station. Rafael Kapura's photo is at right, amateur radio operators have a more distant view (halfway down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located at Waan, a small settlement near the southwestern tip of Dolok (Kimaan) Island. Site open, tower closed. Not listed by the Admiralty.

Waan Light, Merauke, July 2011
Google Plus photo by Rafael Kapura

Mappi Regency Lighthouses
Ujung Lumpur (Modderhock)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower. Entire lighthouse is green. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located about 3 km (2 mi) offshore on the south side of the Digul River estuary entrance about 30 km (19 mi) north of Dolok Island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3340.68; NGA 25907.2.
Habeeaman
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) "beacon.". Entire lighthouse is green. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on the south side of the Digul River channel about 35 km (22 mi) east of the Ujung Lumpur light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3340.67; NGA 25907.15.

Asmat Regency Lighthouses
Sungai Utumbuwe (Agats)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 3 s. 23 m (75 ft) square white skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. A photo is at right, and Ojhon Belite has a 2017 photo, but the tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view of the waterfront. Located on the south side of the Asewets (Utumbuwe) River estuary in the regency capital of Agats on the southwest coast of Papua. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3340.87; NGA 25907.62.
Teluk Flamingo
2015. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 4 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to the Asewets River estuary. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3340.92.
Pulau Laag
2009. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. No photo available, and the tower is probably too new to appear in Google's satellite view of the listed location. Apparently located on a shoal or platform off a swampy promontory about 50 km (30 mi) west of Agats. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q3340.98.

Mimika Regency Lighthouse
Sungai Keakwa (Nime)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 12.5 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and the tower has not been found in Google's satellite view of the area. Located at Keakwa, near the western border of Papua Province. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q3343; NGA 25908.

Agats Light, Agats, March 2018
photo copyright 'I Made Genta' courtesy of Indri Juwono; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Papua New Guinea | Southwest: Southern Maluku | West: West Papua

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Posted December 31, 2008. Checked and revised May 25, 2018. Lighthouses: 20. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.