Best Stargazing Spots In Aotearoa, New Zealand

Book a stay at one of these mesmerizing dark-sky accommodations across New Zealand
Routeburn Track, Fiordland National Park. Credits Shutterstock
Routeburn Track, Fiordland National Park. Credits Shutterstock

The night sky over Aotearoa, New Zealand, transforms into a brilliant, heavenly wonderland that must be seen to be believed. Due to the country&rsquos completely dark skies, unique celestial formations, and diverse scenery, stargazing in New Zealand is an exceptionally fantastic experience. 

New Zealand&rsquos night sky is so spectacular that many hotels, lodges, and accommodations have tailored architecture to allow you to admire the stars &ndash sometimes from the comfort of your bed


PurePods are one of the ultimate ways to admire the stars in total serenity. With locations including Stewart Island (the world&rsquos southernmost Dark Sky Sanctuary), and KaikÅÂÂ&Acircura (seeking Dark Sky Sanctuary status), each PurePod has full-length glass walls for incredible views across the surrounding landscape. They comes equipped with binoculars or a telescope for birdwatching and stargazing. If you are lucky, you may even see the Aurora Australis/Southern Lights from these locations (usually visible during March-September). 

Cabot Lodge

Luxury retreat Cabot Lodge&nbspprovides binoculars in all guest rooms for guests to better enjoy the surroundings and night skies. It is a remote position in Fiordland, currently working toward becoming a Dark Sky Park. It is subject to little light pollution and remains a perfect spot to stargaze after dark.  

Nightsky Cottage 

Award-winning Nightsky Cottage&nbspin Ruapehu is the first 5-star accommodation to receive Qualmark&rsquos coveted Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award. Set amongst a lush hectare of native bush, this secluded eco retreat takes luxury to new heights, including architecturally designed skylights in the lounge to enjoy the night sky to its maximum potential.  

Canoe and Camping at Whanganui 

Imagine paddling down the mighty Whanganui River aboard a canoe before setting up camp amongst nature and admiring a million-star sky for the evening. On a guided cultural canoe journey with Owhango Adventures, you&rsquoll do just that and learn about the Whanganui River&rsquos cultural significance during your canoe and camp experience with a local navigator. All-inclusive packages with tents and meals are available, with transfers and shuttles included.

Fiordland Overnight Cruise

One of the surest ways to see a sparkling night sky at its best is to head to a location with minimal light pollution. Fiordland National Park is currently under review to become an officially recognised Dark Sky Park and, if successful, will be the world&rsquos second-largest Dark Sky Park. Imagine setting sail to explore Fiordland National Park&rsquos serene Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise with RealNZ, during which you can traverse tthrough the Doubtful Sound, all the way to the Tasman Sea. Staying one or two nights on the water will offer you the ultimate opportunity for peace, tranquillity, and incredible stargazing after dark. You&rsquoll also be treated to delicious meals prepared by an onboard chef, wildlife viewing opportunities, and the chance to explore the shoreline by kayak. 

Great Walks 

New Zealand&rsquos iconic Great Walks are often located within the most majestic and remote natural areas and national parks. Any of the nine Great Walks will offer incredible starry vistas, whether you embark on the Rakiura Track on Stewart Island or the Abel Tasman Track in Nelson/Tasman. Want to experience the scenery of the Great Walks without committing to the full hike Several operators offer overnight experiences, meaning you can enjoy the daytime scenery and the spectacular night sky without trekking for days. 

Additional Information 

Tourism New Zealand is responsible for marketing New Zealand as an international and domestic visitor destination. Tourism New Zealand aims to enrich Aotearoa, New Zealand and all who visit. We generate and shape tourism demand to ensure tourism gives back more than it takes to New Zealand. 

We wish to attract visitors who will contribute positively to our culture, environment, economy and communities while they are in New Zealand. 


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