Lighthouses of Northern Papua New Guinea

The nation of Papua New Guinea includes the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the island of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. The colonial history of this area is complex. During the 1880s the southern half of the country was colonized by Britain as the Papua colony and the northern half by Germany as German New Guinea. In 1905 Britain transferred the Papua colony to the new Commonwealth of Australia. In 1914, at the start of World War I, Australian and other British Commonwealth troops quickly captured German New Guinea. After the war German New Guinea was assigned to Australia as a League of Nations mandate known as the Territory of New Guinea. In World War II much of the northern territory was occupied by Japan. After World War II the two halves of the country were united under Australian administration as the Territory of Pupua and New Guinea. The united terrirory then became independent as Papua New Guinea in 1975.

This page describes lighthouses of the northern half of the country, the former German New Guinea. There is a separate page for Southern Papua New Guinea.

Aids to navigation in Papua New Guinea are maintained by the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA).

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. PNG numbers are from the NMSA light list. Admiralty numbers are from volume K of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 111 for Bougainville and the Bismarck Archipelago and from Publication 112 for New Guinea.

General Sources
National Maritime Safety Authority
The authority has a map showing the location of the major lights in the country.
Nawae Construction
Based at Alotau in Milne Bay Province, this company holds contracts to maintain and upgrade navigational aids in Papua New Guinea; its web site has a number of lighthouse photos. Special thanks to the company for its permission to reproduce several of these photo.
World of Lighthouses - Papua New Guinea
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Online List of Lights - Papua New Guinea
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
GPSNavigationCharts
Navigation chart information for Papua New Guinea.

Madang Light
Coastwatchers Light, Madang, July 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kahunapule Michael Johnson

 

Momase Region (New Guinea North Coast) Lighthouses

Note: The name of the Momase Region is an acronym combining the provincial names of Morobe, Madang, and Sepik.

Sandaun (West Sepik) Province Lighthouses
* Wutung
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 10 s. 9 m (30 ft) round barbell-shaped fiberglass tower colored white with a red horizontal band. No photo available but Google has an indistinct satellite view. This light marks the border between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; it is located about 120 m (150 ft) north of Indonesia's much taller Oinake lighthouse (see the Papua Province North Coast page). Site open, tower closed. PNG-001; Admiralty K3400.1.
* Cape Concordia (Vanimo)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located in a residential area atop a headland at Vanimo, the provincial capital, about 25 km (15 mi) southeast of the Indonesian border. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. PNG-002; Admiralty K3400; NGA 112-26130.

East Sepik Province Lighthouses
Cape Samein (Mushu Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); white flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) mast rising from or adjacent to a steel service hut, mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. The light guides vessels in the narrow pasage between Mushu Island and the mainland. Located on a shoal off the southwestern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. PNG-006; Admiralty K3400.4; NGA 112-26140.
Cape Moem (Wewak)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 15 m (49 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Wewak is the provincial capital and the location of a World War II Japanese airbase, now converted to a civilian airport. Located at the tip of a peninsula about 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Wewak. Site status unknown, probably open. PNG-009; Admiralty K3401; NGA 112-26144.

Madang Province Lighthouses
Condor Point (Awaro)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 16 m (52 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. The light guides vessels in the Stephen Strait between New Guinea and Manam Island. Located on a forested promontory at Awaro. Site status unknown. PNG-011; Admiralty K3401.4; NGA 112-26152.
Cape Gourdon (Malala)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); three white flashes every 9 s. 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 12 km (7.5 mi) northwest of Malala. This area is accessible by road. Site status unknown. PNG-012; Admiralty K3401.6; NGA 112-26156.
Cape Croisilles
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. The light guides vessels in the strait between New Guinea and Kar Kar Island. Located on a prominent cape about 50 km (30 mi) north of Madang. Site status unknown. PNG-013; Admiralty K3401.8; NGA 112-26160.
Dallman Passage (Madang Entrance) Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) square white skeletal tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. The range guides vessels into Madang harbor. Located on an island northwest of the Madang waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-015; Admiralty K3403.1; NGA 112-26168.
* Madang (Coastwatchers Memorial, Kalibobo Point)
1959. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 15 s. 27 m (89 ft) octagonal concrete tower with four buttresses and lantern. The entire lighthouse is white. Kahunapule Michael Johnson's photo is at the top of this page, Stephen Permezel has a 2013 photo, Jan Messersmith has an aerial photo, Alex Roalakona has a 2017 street view, and Google has a good satellite view. The lighthouse is a memorial to the Coastwatchers, volunteers organized by the Royal Australian Navy during World War II to spy on Japanese ship and troop movements on the coasts of New Guinea and nearby islands. The building was designed to resemble a torch, but engineers added the buttresses for stability. The resulting tower looks more like a rocket than a torch. Located at Madang, a port on the northeastern coast of New Guinea. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS PAP-008; PNG-020; Admiralty K3402; NGA 112-26172.
Kiau Point (Long Island)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white flash every 5 s. 23 m (75 ft) skeletal tower, painted white and mounted on a square platform. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view of the lighthouse. Long Island is an actively volcanic island off the west end of New Britain; it is actually round rather than long. Located just off the northern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-019; Admiralty K3478; NGA 111-10888.

Morobe Province Lighthouses
Note: Lae, the capital of Morobe Province, is the second largest city of Papua New Guinea and the principal port for the north coast. It is located at the head of the Huon Gulf, a large embayment of the Solomon Sea protected on the north by the Huon Peninsula.
Tuam Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. No description available; probably this is a small fiberglass tower. No photo available and the tower is not conspicuous in Bing's satellite view. This light marks the southern entrance to the Vitiaz Strait, a deepwater passage between the Huon Peninsula and New Britain. Located at the southern tip of Tuam, a small island on the east side of the entrance to the strait. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K3405.3.
Fortification (Kitumala) Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 6 m (20 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a prominent cape at the northeastern corner of the Huon Peninsula. PNG-020; Admiralty K3405.4; NGA 112-26184.
Nussing Island (Cape Cretin)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 6 s. 20 m (66 ft) white tower, described by NMSA as a fiberglass tower, by NGA formerly as a steel tower on a concrete base and currently as a skeletal tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island just off Cape Cretin, the eastern tip of the Huon Peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-027; Admiralty K3406; NGA 112-26188.
Cape Gerhard
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 24 m (79 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view of the station. Located on a prominent cape on the south side of the Huon Peninsula, about 65 km (40 mi) east of the port of Lae. Site status unknown. PNG-028; Admiralty K3408; NGA 112-26192.

Islands Region (Bismarck Archipelago) Lighthouses

Note: These islands are arranged in an ellipse surrounding the basin of the Bismarck Sea. The listings here run counterclockwise around this basin,

West New Britain Province Lighthouses
Note: New Britain is the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago, which formed the heart of German New Guinea before World War I (the Germans called the island Neupommern, "New Pomerania"). The principal towns on the island are Rabaul and Kokopo at the northeastern end and Kimbe on the central north coast. The crescent-shaped island is quite large: more than 500 km (300 mi) long and as much as 145 km (90 mi) wide.
Ablingi (Abligini) Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 103 m (338 ft); white flash every 10 s. 3 m (10 ft) (?) white fiberglass tower. No photo available; the tower seems taller in Bing's satellite view and it would need to be taller to clear surrounding vegetation. Located on a small island off the central south coast of New Britain. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-138; Admiralty K3506.5; NGA 111-10890.
Cape Hollman (1) (?)
Date unknown. Inactive. This was a 20 m (66 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available and the tower is not seen in Bing's satellite view. According to the NMSA light list, this light has been replaced by an 8 m (26 ft) fiberglass light (focal plane 8 m (26 ft); white flash every 6 s) on a pile structure on a reef about 1 km (0.6 mi) northeast of the cape; Bing has a distant satellite view of the new light. Located at the end of a long peninsula projecting from the central north coast just west of Kimbe. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-136; Admiralty K3484; NGA 111-10880.
Kimbe Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 112 m (367 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 6 m (20 ft) white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located atop the island, about 32 km (20 mi) east southeast of Cape Hollman. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-112; Admiralty K3486; NGA 111-10872.
Biala (Kimbe Bay) No. 12
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13.5 m (44 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 13.5 m tower mounted on a platform supported by piles. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 6.5 km (4 mi) off Biala, a small port on Kimbe Bay on the north side of New Britain. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. PNG-133; Admiralty K3490.32; NGA 111-10871.7.

East New Britain Province Lighthouses
Cape Lambert
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available and Bing has only a very distant satellite view of the location. Located at the northern end of a reef about 10 km (6 mi) north of Cape Lambert and 120 km (75 mi) west of Rabaul. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. PNG-140; Admiralty K3492; NGA 111-10864.
[Cape Tavui (Tawui)]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); white flash every 7.5 s. 2 m (7 ft) white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on heights near the northern tip of New Britain. Site status unknown. PNG-141; Admiralty K3494; NGA 111-10852.
Kabelatad (Kabiletad) Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 5 s. 4 m (13 ft) white fiberglass tower. No photo available; the tower seems taller in Bing's distant satellite view and it would need to be taller to clear surrounding vegetation. Located on the northwestern tip of Duke of York Island in the strait separating New Britain from New Ireland. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-143; Admiralty K3495.5; NGA 111-10894.
* Rabaul Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white flash every 2 s. 25 m (82 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Peter John Tate's 2014 photo is at right, Kahunapule Michael Johnson has a distant photo, and Google has a satellite view. The rear light is in a small fiberglass cabinet on the hillside behind the harbor. Rabaul was founded by Germany in 1910 as the capital of German New Guinea. It was a major Japanese base during World war II and it remains an important port, but it was heavily damaged by a volcanic eruption in 1994. Located beside a main street, 2 blocks from the waterfront of Rabaul. PNG-144; Admiralty K3498; NGA 111-10844.
Cape Gazelle
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 6 m (20 ft) fiberglass cabinet atop a white concrete tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a rounded cape about 15 km (9 mi) east of Kokopo, which replaced Rabaul as the capital of East new Britain after the 1994 volcanic eruption. Site open, tower closed. PNG-148; Admiralty K3504; NGA 111-10832.

Front Range Light, Rabaul, March 2014
Panoramio photo copyright Peter John Tate; used by permission
Cape Wunita (Wanata)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); white flash every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) fiberglass cabinet atop a white concrete tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located in the surf just off the northeastern tip of New Britain. Site open, tower closed. PNG-147; Admiralty K3505; NGA 111-10836.
Cape Orford
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 94 m (308 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 13 m (43 ft) "white tower," according to NGA. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a headland on the southeast coast of New Britain, above the Cape Orford Airstrip. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-007; PNG-149; Admiralty K3506; NGA 111-10892.

New Ireland Province Lighthouses
Note: About 320 km (200 mi) long but rarely wider than 10 km (6 mi), New Ireland lies northwest of Bougainville and northeast of New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago. Kavieng, at the northwestern end of the island, is the principal town.
Cape St. George
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 104 m (341 ft); white flash every 5 s. 17 m (56 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the extreme southern tip of New Ireland. Site status unknown. PNG-160; Admiralty K3514; NGA 111-10896.
Mait Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 79 m (259 ft); white flash every 10 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the west end of Mait Island, south of the northwestern end of New Ireland. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-014; PNG-159; Admiralty K3512; NGA 111-10900.
Steffan Strait West
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 13 m (43 ft) white fiberglass tower on a platform supported by three piles. No photo available but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Steffan Strait is a narrow passage between the northwestern end of New Ireland and the neighboring island of Selapiu. Located at the edge of the reef on the southeastern side of Selapiu, about 50 km (30 mi) southwest of Kavieng. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. PNG-158; Admiralty K3511; NGA 111-10904.
Kavieng Harbor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 4 m (13 ft); white flash every 6 s. 4 m (13 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on a reef in the entrance to the harbor of Kavieng. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. PNG-154; Admiralty K3510; NGA 111-10912.

Manus Province (Admiralty Islands) Lighthouses
Note: The Admiralty Islands (sometimes called the Manus Islands) lie to the west of New Ireland, at the extreme northern end of the country of Papua New Guinea. Manus is by far the largest island of the group.
Seeadler Harbour (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); four white flashes every 16 s. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower, apparently with lantern and gallery, painted white and mounted on a square concrete pad. Nawae Construction provided the photo at right, and Google has a satellite view. Pilot instructions refer an "old lighthouse." Seeadler Harbor, at the northeastern corner of Manus, served as a base first for the Japanese Navy and then for the U.S. and Australian Navies during World War II. The harbor is protected by a curving chain of islands. The lighthouse is located on the northeast corner of Ndrilo Island, marking the main entrance to the harbor and the town of Lorengau, the principal town of Manus. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-015; PNG-101; Admiralty K3507; NGA 111-10916.
Nahuchie Point (Papitalai)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 7 m (23 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 6 m (20 ft) round white fiberglass tower. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. Located on the north side of the entrance to Papitalai, the village at Seeadler Harbour. Site status unknown. PNG-108; Admiralty K3507.6; NGA 111-10924.
Alim Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 5 s. 31 m (102 ft) tapered square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, and Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Alim Island is an atoll in the Bismarck Sea about 50 km (30 mi) south of Manus. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-013; PNG-100; Admiralty K3476; NGA 111-10928.
Seeadler Harbour Light
Seeadler Harbour Light, Lorengau
photo copyright Nawae Construction
used by permission

Bougainville (North Solomons) Autonomous Region Lighthouses

Note: The largest and northernmost of the Solomon Islands, Bougainville has been struggling to gain independence from Papua New Guinea. A separatist movement led to an armed conflict from 1988 to 1997, when a peace agreement was brokered by New Zealand. Bougainville is now an autonomous region and the agreement provides for a referendum on independence to be held. This vote is scheduled tentatively for June 2019.
Madehas Island
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 137 m (450 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. This light marks the south end of the Buka Passage, a narrow channel separating the main island of Bougainville from the neighboring island of Buka. Located atop a small island 5.4 km (3.4 mi) southwest of the passage entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-011; PNG-163; Admiralty K4883; NGA 111-10828.
Cape L'Averdy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 6 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view . Located on a prominent cape at the northeastern corner of Bougainville. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-006; PNG-168; Admiralty K4884; NGA 111-10824.
Hospital Hill (Arawa Bay) (?)
Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 87 m (285 ft); white flash every 5 s. Light mounted atop a round water tank. The front of the tank is painted with a daymark, white with a red vertical stripe. A Nawae Construction photo is at right and Google has a satellite view of the tank. This light is no longer carried on the international lists but it may remain active. Located on a hillside above Arawa. Site status unknown. PNG-170; ex-Admiralty K4884.5; ex-NGA 111-10812.
Otua (Otsua) Islet (?)
Date unknown. Apparently inactive since 2016 but listed by NGA with focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. 23.5 m (77 ft) skeletal tower painted white. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. Located on an island at the south end of a long reef complex off the east coast of Bougainville. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PAP-012; PNG-177; ex-Admiralty K4886; NGA 111-10788.
Hospital Hill Light
Hospital Hill Light, Arawa
photo copyright Nawae Construction; used by permission
Rantan Island (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 9 m (30 ft) white tower. No photo available but Bing has a satellite view. NGA describes this as a skeletal tower, but the satellite view seems to show a fiberglass tower. Located on a small island off the east end of Rantan Island, about 25 km (15 mi) northeast of East Point (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-178; Admiralty K4887; NGA 111-10780.
East Point
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 6 m (20 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 6 m (20 ft) white fiberglass cabinet atop a white concrete tower. No photo available but Bing has a distant satellite view. Located just off the southeasternmost tip of Bougainville. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. PNG-179; Admiralty K4888; NGA 111-10776.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: Southeast: Solomon Islands | South: Southern Papua New Guinea | Northwest: Indonesian Papua North Coast

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Posted July 28, 2007. Checked and revised November 20, 2018. Lighthouses: 37. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.