Nothing beats the remarkable experience of stargazing in New Zealand. With its remote location, clean air, and minimal light pollution, this is indeed the perfect spot for admiring the gorgeous night sky and witnessing the stunning display of starlights. On a clear night, this is the best time to sit quietly under a blanket of stars and contemplate, take photos of these natural lights shining above your head, or challenge yourself and the kids to spot as many constellations as you can.
No matter how you wish to spend the night outdoors while stargazing, it should be a wonderful experience that can give you a sense of calm, peace, and wonder. And we, at Carine Travel Bug, can make it happen for you!
Where to Go Stargazing in New Zealand
New Zealand offers several amazing locations where you can enjoy the finest stargazing experience. Perhaps the awe-inspiring supermassive southern star will show up, perhaps it won't. But nonetheless, stargazing in New Zealand is certainly something to cross off in your bucket list! Here are our top picks for you:
1. Stewart Island
If you're eyeing one of the best night tours in New Zealand for stargazing, then Stewart Island is the place to be. It's found off of South Island's southern tip, which makes this remote island a no-brainer for viewing the Aurora Australis, or the Southern lights. This is truly a sight to behold in this part of the country with super dark and clear nights and where light pollution is not an issue.
And here's a bonus - while waiting for the stars to present their nightly aerial show, you can go kiwi spotting in the island that serves as a home to this bird species. Don't forget to take your camera with you!
2. Lake Tekapo
Here's where you can experience a dazzling night time display of beautiful stars lighting the pitch black sky on a clear night. Whether you go on a guided tour or fly solo, you can check out two observatories for stargazing - at Cowan's or Mt. John's observatory, both situated nearby the picturesque Lake Tekapo. If you're aiming for viewing over 50 million stars in the galaxy, however, then Mt. John is the place to be as it is where New Zealand's largest telescope can be found.
Right after that fascinating experience, you may head over to Tekapo Springs. As it gets pretty chilly at night in the South island, you would certainly love a 2-hour soak in the warm waters. But stargazing doesn't really end because you can still enjoy the gorgeous view of the twinkling lights while you're getting all warm and cozy in the spring water!
3. Great Barrier Island
If you want some place that can give you a truly magical stargazing experience, then the Great Barrier island is another recommendation we can offer. In fact, it's the very first island on the planet that's named as a "dark sky" sanctuary, which makes the stars appear much brighter and far more visible than in any other places - even when you just look at them with your naked eye. Set up a camp and admire the ethereal beauty of the stars that will certainly.
What causes the pitch black night sky in the island is fairly simple - it's too remote for so many people to live in. There is no mains electricity, no banking, only minimal outdoor lights, and zero traffic lights in this part of New Zealand. These qualities contribute to Great Barrier's status as a sanctuary, with its small community dedicated to protecting and safeguarding the island's natural environment.
4. Aoraki National Park
When it comes to a place in New Zealand with ZERO light pollution, then the Aoraki National Park is your best bet. This International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) was given its name in 2012, in addition to holding a "gold" status, which basically mean free from light pollution. Now combined with clear nights, this should be a superb condition for stargazing in New Zealand.
At daytime, you can enjoy a leisurely walk while admiring the flawless scenery all around you. There's the towering Mt. Cook that is truly a gem on its own. Hike at day and stargaze at night... These worthwhile activities are truly a feast to the senses!
Time to Experience Stargazing in New Zealand
Feed your hunger for nature exploration by visiting these breathtaking places in New Zealand. You'll be amazed by the pristine beauty that these scenic locations offer. So, prepare for your upcoming trip and allow us to help you make your most-awaited stargazing in New Zealand experience come true. Give us a call today and let Carine Travel Bug assist you for a seamless planning for your adventure!