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 an arrangement for
jointly administering the islands as the Condominium of the New Hebrides. The
country became independent in 1980 with 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.
Vanuatu suffered heavy damage from Typhoon Pam in March 2015; it is not known if any of the lights were damaged by the storm.
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.
- General Sources
- World of Lighthouses - Vanuatu
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- South Pacific Lighthouses
- Photos taken in 2017 by Larry Myhre.
- Online List of Lights - Vanuatu
- Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- Navigational chart information for Vanuatu.
Pango Point Light, Efate, April 2017
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Larry Myhre
- Santo (Espiritu Santo) Lighthouses
- Note: Espiritu Santo is the largest island of Vanuatu. Its principal settlement, Luganville, is located at the southeastern corner of the island.
- Palikoulo Point (Naoréuré Point) (2?)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); three white flashes
every 15 s. 21 m (69 ft) "white pylon," according to NGA. No photo available and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the location. Previously described as a white skeletal tower. 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) "white pylon," according to NGA. No photo available and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. 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 with one red horizontal band. A 2011 photo is at right, B.J. Hughes has a 2018 photo, Nick Gent has a photo, 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.
- Chapuis Point (Aoré 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. No photo available but Google has a satellite
view. 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, Luganville, August 2011
Blogspot photo copyright FireCat14; used by permission
- #Lamap Point (1)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash
every 10 s. Formerly described as a skeletal tower but now as a white post, height unknown, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. It appears that the post is centered on the square foundation of the earlier tower. Malakula 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.
- 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, in central Vanuatu. Site status unknown. ARLHS VAN-001; Admiralty K4862; NGA 3540.
- Note: Efate is the most populous island of Vanuatu; about 2/3 of its 66,000 inhabitants live in the national capital, Port Vila.
- Pango Point (3)
- 2014 (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. Larry Myhre's photo is at the top of this page, 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.
- * [Port Vila (Directional Light)]
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); continuous white, red or green light, depending on direction. 6 m (20 ft) triangular slatted daymark, painted orange, standing on an octagonal white concrete pedestal. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff overlooking the harbor of Port Vila. Site open. Admiralty K4854; NGA 3552.
- Érétoka 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. Peter Watts's distant
view of the lighthouse is at right, 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 Panoramio.com 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.
Eretoka (Hat) Island Light, September 2007
Panoramio photo copyright Peter
Watts; used by permission
- 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, a large but sparsely populated island in southern Vanuatu. 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 October 28, 2018.
Lighthouses: 9. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.