Lighthouses of Indonesia: South Sulawesi (Celebes) Islands

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. This is one of six pages for lighthouses of Sulawesi (Celebes), a major island in the northern part of the country.

Shaped like an artistically drawn letter K, Sulawesi consists mostly of four narrow peninsulas. The Strait of Makassar separates Sulawesi from Kalimantan (Borneo) to the west. The Celebes Sea is north of the island, the Banda Sea is to the east and southeast, the Flores Sea is on the south, and the Java Sea is to the southwest. Makassar, also called Ujung Pandang, is the major port. This page covers two island regencies of South Sulawesi Province, the Selayer Islands Regency and the islands of the Pangkajene and Islands Regency.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is often used instead. Pulau is an island, tanjung or ujung ("end") is a cape or headland, karang is a reef, teluk is a bay, and pelabuhan is a port.

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
Online List of Lights - Indonesia
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.
Pulau Pasitanete Light
Pulau Pasitanete Light, Selayer, May 2007
ex-Panoramio photo copyright MACTAK MC; used by permission

Kepulauan Selayar (Selayer Islands) Regency Lighthouses

The Selayer Islands extend south and then southeast into the Flores Sea from the southeastern tip of Sulawesi's Southern Peninsula. Pulau Selayer, a long island extending north and south, is the largest and northernmost of the islands.

Pulau Selayer Lighthouses
Pulau Pasitanete (Menara Indah) (3)
Date unknown (station established 1898). Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 20 m (66 ft) square white skeletal tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. Several coast guard buildings. A photo is at the top of the page, Pariyati Yati has a 2019 closeup, Lili Waly has another 2019 closeup, and Google has a satellite view of the station. The 2019 photos show that the lantern has been removed. The original lighthouse had a focal plane height of only 45 m (148 ft), so it must have been built at a lower location. The lighthouse marks the narrow Selayer Strait separating the Selayer Islands from Tanjung Bira, the southern tip of Suluwesi. Located on a small island off the northern end of the much larger island of Selayar, about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Bulukumba. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-234; Admiralty Q1536; NGA 25408.
* Pamatata
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 30 m (98 ft); white light, pattern unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Taufik Temanggung's photo is at right and Google has a satellite view. Located at the ferry terminal at Pamatata, on the northeast coast of Pulau Selayer. Site open, tower closed. Not listed by the Admiralty.
* Patumbukang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 18 m (59 ft); white light, pattern unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Muh Rajih Musdar has a photo and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the ferry terminal at Patumbukang, a ferry terminal on the southeast coast of Pulau Selayer. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1539.
* Benteng
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white and mounted on a square 1-story equipment shelter. Swas Harimurti has a photo, another photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Benteng, the regency capital and ferry port on the central west coast of Pulau Selayer. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1538.
Pulau Belangbelang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. This light warns ships away from a large area of reefs and shoals east of Pulau Selayer. Located on a small island about 80 km (50 mi) east of Pulau Selayer. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1327.2; NGA 25662.2.

Pamatata Light, Selayer
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Taufik Temanggung; used by permission

Pulau Jampea Lighthouses
* Pelabuhan Tanah Jampea
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 17 m (56 ft); white light, pattern unknown. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) square white skeletal tower with gallery mounted on a concrete base supported by piles. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located at the ferry terminal at the west end of Pulau Jampea, a large island about 65 km (40 mi) south of Pulau Selayer. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1327.55.
Ujung Perumang (Tanjung Ringgi, Pulau Jampea)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) "white beacon." No photo available; Google's distant satellite view suggests a white fiberglass tower. Located at the southeastern tip of Pulau Jampea. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1327.5; NGA 25662.5.

Pulau Kalao and Pulau Bonerate Lighthouses
Pulau Kalao (Lambego)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 12 m (39 ft); green light, pattern unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal white skeletal tower mounted on a square platform supported by piles. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located just off the northeastern tip of Pulau Kalao, where it marks the narrow passage between Kalao and Bonerate. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1327.9.
Pulau Bonerate
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. Several coast guard station buildings. No photo available but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on the southwest side of Pulau Bonerate, an island in the Flores Sea near the southeastern end of the Selayer group. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1328; NGA 25663.
Bonerate
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); red light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower, painted red and mounted on a platform support by piles. Ardi Suhardi has a photo and Google has a distant satellite view. Located off the pier at Bonerate harbor, on the west side of the island. Not listed by the Admiralty.
* Bonerate Harbor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 16 m (52 ft); white light, characteristic unknown. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white and mounted on a platform support by piles. Sandas Block has a distant view (the tower is seen just to the right of the yellow waterfront building), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the waterfront at Bonerate harbor. Not listed by the Admiralty.

Pulau Bonerate Light, Selayer Islands
Google Maps photo by Ardi Suhardi

Southeastern Islands Lighthouses
* Pulau Raja
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 2 s. 12 m (39 ft) round barbell-shaped white fiberglass tower mounted on a concrete platform supported by piles. A 2018 photo is available and Google has a satellite view. Located on the beach near the south end of Pulau Raja, a small inhabited island about 25 km (15 mi) north of Pulau Bonarate. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1327.7; NGA 25664.
Pulau Kakabia
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 2 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a distant satellite view. Located near the south end of Pulau Kakabia, an uninhabited island at the extreme southeastern end of the Selayer group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1328.5 NGA 25666.

Pangkajene Dan Kepulauan (Pangkajene and Islands) Regency: Island Lighthouses

Spermonde (Sangkarang) Islands Lighthouses
The Spermonde Islands include some 120 islands and sandy reefs in the Strait of Makassar northwest of Makassar City.
Pulau Lanyukang (Lanjukang)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) round white concrete tower with 8 ribs, lantern and gallery. A photo is at right, another photo (a little over halfway down the page) is available and Bing has a satellite view. Located on an islet about 40 km (25 mi) northwest of Makassar (the outermost of a large group of small islands). Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1508.5; NGA 25461.
Bone Penambungan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white and mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 20 km (13 mi) north of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1510; NGA 25460.
Batu Bayangan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white and mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a shoal about 10 km (6 mi) north of the Bone Penambungan light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1509.5; NGA 25464.
Pulau Kapoposang (1)
1906. Inactive since 1957. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Andika Ferial's view from the sea below right shows this historic Dutch lighthouse and its modern replacement. This important light station marks the westernmost of the Spermonde Islands and reefs in the southeastern quadrant of the Makassar Strait. Site open, tower closed.

Pulau Lanyukang Light, Spermonde Islands
Indonesian Ministry of Tourism photo
Pulau Kapoposang (2)
1957 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 5 s. 33 m (108 ft) skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted red (?). Several coast guard station buildings. Andika Ferial's view from the sea is at right, S. Budiarto has a very distant photo, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Kapoposang is a popular destination for scuba divers. Located at the west point of an island in the Makassar Strait, about 100 km (60 mi) northwest of Makassar in southwestern Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-022; Admiralty Q1508; NGA 25468.
Karang Takabakang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) square white skeletal tower on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the north side of a reef about 50 km (30 mi) west of Pulau Lanyukang. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1509; NGA 25425.

Strait of Makassar Southern Entrance Lighthouses
These lighthouses mark a rough chain of reefs and islands dangerously obstructing the southern entrance to the Strait of Makassar.

Kapoposang Lights, Makassar Strait, May 2008
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Andika Ferial; permission requested
Pulau Sabaru
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); three white flashes every 16 s. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. No photo available but Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on the southeast side of Pulau Sabaru about 100 km (60 mi) west northwest of Pulau Kalu Kalukuang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-026; Admiralty Q1442.5; NGA 24980.
Pulau Kalu Kalukuang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); four white flashes every 30 s. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Taufik Temanggung's closeup photo is at right, he also has a view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located at the north end of a small but inhabited island in the middle of the south entrance to the Makassar Strait, about 180 km (110 mi) west of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-139; Admiralty Q1442.7; NGA 24982.
Pulau Doangdoangan Besar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 41 m (148 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Located at the south end of a small but inhabited island in the middle of the south entrance to the Makassar Strait, about 150 km (90 mi) west of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-126; Admiralty Q1443.5; NGA 24986.
Pulau Dewakang Besar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) sqaure white skeletal tower with gallery. Several coast guard station buildings. Taufik Temanggung has a closeup photo and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on the north end of a small island about 105 km (65 mi) west southwest of Makassar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-125; Admiralty Q1522; NGA 25420.
Pulau Bangkauluang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located near the south end of an island about 20 km (13 mi) east of Dewakang Besar. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1523; NGA 25423.
Pulau Kalu Kalukuang Light
Pulau Kalu Kalukuang Light, Makassar Strait, May 2009
ex-Panoramio photo copyright Taufik Temanggung
used by permission
Karang Takarewataya (De Bril, Den Bril)
1887. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 10 s. 23 m (75 ft) octagonal cast iron tower with lantern and three galleries, painted with red and white horizontal stripes. Damien Loong's photo is at right, Joejenk Abdullah has a 2018 view, Lightphotos.net has a historic closeup photo, the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum has a 1929 distant view, and a fuzzy spot marks the lighthouse in Google's fuzzy satellite view of the reef. This is the only survivor among several lighthouses of this class built in the Dutch Indies. Located at the south end of a reef in the Flores Sea about 120 km (75 mi) south southwest of the southern point of Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat; fishing tours to the reef are available. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-009; Admiralty Q1524; NGA 25416.

Sabalana Islands Lighthouses
The Sabalana Islands comprise an atoll in the Java Sea far to the southwest of Sulawesi. They are administered as part of the Pangkajene Dan Kepulauan (Pangkajene and Islands) Regency.

Pulau Banawaja (Banawawa) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1913). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two white lights every 5 s. Approx. 27 m (89 ft) "white beacon." No photo available and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view. The original lighthouse had a focal plane height of 20 m (66 ft). Located on or just off a small island on the east side of the Sabalana atoll, in the middle of the Flores Sea about 150 km (90 mi) south of the southern point of Sulawesi. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1325; NGA 25416.5.
Pulau Jailamu (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. NGA describes this as a 10 m (33 ft) fiberglass tower, but two very distant views (no longer online) suggest a taller, possibly skeletal tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island at the north end of the Sabalana Islands about 210 km (130 mi) south southwest of Makassar and 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Banawaja. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1325.3; NGA 25416.6.


Karang Takarewataya Light, Java Sea, November 2008
photo copyright Damien Loong; permission requested

 
 
Pulau Longkoitang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a small inhabited island on the northwest side of the Sabalana atoll about 80 km (50 mi) west southwest of Pulau Jailamu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty Q1325.5; NGA 25416.7.
Pulau Sarege
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. Tower painted yellow with a black horizontal band. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located off the southern tip of Pulau Serege, a small island on the south side of the Sabalana atoll. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1324.5; NGA 25586.
Pulau Pelokang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane13 m (43 ft); quick-flashing white light. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available and the tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view. Located just off the east end of an atoll lying between the Sabalana and Tengah Island groups. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1324; NGA 25585.

Tengah Islands Lighthouses
The Tengah islands are scattered to the southwest of the Sabalana Islands; they are quite far away from Sulawesi and rather close to Sumbawa in the Lesser Sunda Islands. They are administered as part of the Pangkajene Dan Kepulauan (Pangkajene and Islands) Regency.
Karang Satunggul
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); quick-flashing white light. 15 m (49 ft) white barbell-shaped fibergalss tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located just off the extreme eastern tip of the Tengah atoll. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty Q1323; NGA 25584.5.
Pulau Kapoposangbali (Kapoposang Bali)
1996. Active (?); focal plane 34 m (112 ft); white flash every 10 s. 30 m (98 ft) white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. A photo is at right and Google has a satellite view. In November 2016 residents were complaining that the lighthouse had been out of service for at least a year. Located on a small island of the Tengah group, far across the Java Sea, roughly 360 km (225 mi) southwest of Makassar and only 80 km (50 mi) off the north coast of Lombok in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-203; Admiralty Q1322; NGA 25578.
Gosong Sakunci
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available and the light is not seen in Bing's distant satellite view of the reef. This light marks the southwest end of the extensive reef system that extends from the Sabalana and Tengah Islands. Located on a reef about 65 km (40 mi) north of Utan, Sumbawa. Accessible only by boat. Admiralty Q1303; NGA 25580.

Kaposang Bali Light, Pulau Kaposang
photo by Munjiyah Dirga Gazali for tribunpangkep.com; permission requested

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: South Sulawesi Mainland | South: Sumbawa

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Posted December 18, 2008. Checked and revised March 22, 2019. Lighthouses: 33. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.