Where to Go Stargazing in New Zealand
Have you ever seen the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies or the Southern Cross? Or seen a sky so clear that you can watch a satellite move through the sky amongst shooting stars?
New Zealand literally holds some of the best stargazing locations in the world the Aoraki Mt Cook Mackenzie region is the largest International Dark Sky Reserve. With frequent clear skies, minimal light pollution, and by being the Southern Hemisphere, you can see unique star features on tours using specialist equipment, or simply walk out of your front door and look up. So where are the best places for stargazing in New Zealand? Find out in the list below.
As well as stargazing in New Zealand, did you know that you can also see the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis in New Zealand too? Find out more in How to Photograph Aurora Australis (The Southern Lights).
In the heart of the Dark Sky Reserve, the view from Mt John is one of the top locations in the world to stargaze and see the Southern Lights. Check out the observatory on top of Mt John. Find out more about Tekapo in Lake Tekapo – Guide for Backpackers.
By day, explore The Lord of the Rings scenery. By night, explore the night’s sky. Twizel is also part of the 4300 square kilometres that is the Dark Sky Reserve.
3. Aoraki Mt Cook
Our last location in the Dark Sky Reserve is the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. The view from The Alpine Centre’s Hillary Deck with the shadows of surrounding mountains is one for the Instagram.
Sheltered by mountains, Queenstown often has clear skies for a spot of stargazing. For a better view using telescopes, take the Skyline Gondola from the town. Get away from the lights of town for the best views.
5. Stonehenge Aotearoa
It’s like England’s Stonehenge but with a much better view of the sky. Find Stonehenge Aotearoa in Ahiaruhe in the Wairarapa district.
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… Another cool feature of Southern Hemisphere stargazing is Aurora Australis a.k.a. Southern Lights. Find out the best locations for spotting the Southern Lights in New Zealand here.
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