Aoraki Mackenzie, New Zealand

Aoraki Mackenzie, New Zealand

Located in the central region of the South Island, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve has held the prestigious designation since 2012. Encompassing the magnificent Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park and the expansive Mackenzie Basin, this reserve spans an impressive area of 4,367 square kilometers, making it the largest reserve of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Since the early 1980s, the reserve has implemented strict controls on outdoor lighting, resulting in reduced light pollution that benefits both the natural environment and nearby facilities such as the Mt. John University Observatory. This concerted effort to minimize artificial lights has preserved energy resources and protected the local wildlife.

The Aoraki Mackenzie Reserve is renowned for its exceptionally dark skies and pristine air quality, making it a sought-after destination for stargazing enthusiasts and Astro-tourists alike. The clarity of the night sky, coupled with the expansive open vistas, provides an unparalleled opportunity to observe and marvel at the wonders of the universe.

To further enhance public engagement and appreciation for the night sky, the reserve hosts regular star events and educational programs. These initiatives aim to educate visitors about the celestial realm while offering unforgettable experiences under the captivating canopy of stars.

In the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, you can immerse yourself in some of the clearest and most spectacular night skies in the world, where the symphony of stars awaits your exploration.

Get further information on their website.



To maximize your stargazing adventure, we recommend staying informed about the current weather conditions and choosing evenings with minimal cloud cover. Clear skies are essential to fully appreciate the awe-inspiring display of the starry sky, where the celestial wonders sparkle and mesmerize observers with their captivating beauty.


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