It consists of four great peninsulas, extending from a comparatively small nucleus towards the north-east, east, south-east and south, and separated by the three large gulfs of Tomini or Gorontalo, Tolo or Tomaiki, and Boni.
The rivers of the narrow mountainous peninsulas form many rapids and cataracts; as the Tondano, draining the lake of the same name to the north-west coast of Minahassa at Menado; the Rano-i-Apo, flowing over the plateau of Mongondo to the Gulf of Amurang; the Poigar, issuing from a little-known lake of that plateau; the Lombagin, traversing narrow canons; and the river of Boni, which has its outfall in the plain of Gorontalo, near the mouth of the Bolango or Tapa, the latter connected by a canal with the Lake of Limbotto.
Gold is worked under European direction in the district of Gorontalo, but with only partial success; the search for coal in the southern peninsula has yielded no satisfactory results; tin, iron and copper, found in the eastern peninsula and elsewhere, are utilized only for native industries.
The Residency of Menado comprises three districts: Minahassa, the little states along the north coast west of Minahassa, and Gorontalo, including the other states of the northern peninsula lying along the Gulf of Tomini.
Centres of population in Menado are Amurang (3000), the seat of a Dutch controller, and a calling place for the steamers of the Indian Packet Company; Menado (io,000), the chief town of the residency, the principal station of the Dutch missionaries, with a fair amount of trade, but an unsafe roadstead; Tondano (12,000), near the lake and river of the same name, at an altitude of nearly 2000 ft., and one of the chief centres; Gorontalo, one of the most important towns of Celebes, carrying on direct trade with Singapore and Europe.