• Overview
  • Itinerary
  • FAQ
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  • Dates & Pricing

Embark on a journey 14 billion years in the making…

Duration: 2hrs

Social Nature Movement Dark Sky Stargazing NZ Tours include outstanding and distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment protected for its scientific, natural and educational value, its cultural heritage and public enjoyment.

Our Dark Sky Stargazing in Auckland will delight your senses in Dark-Sky Parks, Reserves and Sanctuaries typically placed in a remote locations with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies.

In the darkest depths of the night we will enlighten your deep space odyssey through our 8” Newtonian telescope. Ideal for astrophotography and visual viewing of deep sky objects such as galaxies and nebulae during our Dark Sky Stargazing.

 

Dark Sky Stargazing Tours

Your guide will point out all the highlights of the southern sky with a high-powered laser pointer, teach you about Maori legends of the sky, explain how to navigate and use the stars to orientate yourself, discuss places where stars are born, clarify why stars scintillate and planets don’t.

Throughout the Dark Sky Stargazing in Auckland, you will wonder at the beauty and the magnificence of this magical nocturnal environment as you hear your guide tell you that 80% of people in the world can't see the Milky Way because they live beneath skies polluted by artificial light. Then your ears pep up hearing that 79% of people in the world don’t even know what they are missing because they’ve never seen a starry night!
See more, see further, see deeper with Dark Sky Stargazing Tours.

 

Dark Sky Stargazing options

  • Piha: Marine Parade South
  • Hunua Ranges: Upper Mangatawhiri Campsite
  • Shakespear Regional park: Te Haruhi Bay Campground - Camping Overnight is mandatory because of park gate closures (9pm daylight savings, 7pm non-daylights savings). Choose our optional glamping option when booking!

 

How dark are our Dark Sky Stargazing Tours?

We measure the quality night skies using a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter (SQM). The meter converts light into units of magnitudes per square arc-second (mac/arc sec2). A reading of 21.00 shows a dark sky while a reading of 16.00 would mark a light-polluted sky. Since 2020 we have measured sky quality meter readings between 21.51 and 21.93 mac/arc sec2, so your experience is of quality and value.

 

Dark sky Deities

- Ranginui: Sky father. According to Māori myth, Ranginui played a pivotal role in the birth of the sun, moon, planets, stars and constellations – collectively called Te Whānau Mārama (the family of light).
- Rehua, the star god with the power of healing.
- Whiro, the lord of darkness and embodiment of all evil and death.

 

Dark sky Goddesses:

- Ikaroa, the long fish that gave birth to all the stars in the Milky Way.
- Hinenuitepō, the goddess of night and death, and ruler of the underworld.

 

Asterisms ⁂

Asterisms ⁂ vary in complexity and size, ranging from simple arrangements of a few stars to elaborate collections spanning vast areas of the sky. The process of organizing and naming a group of stars did not distinguish between a constellation and an asterism ⁂, making them essentially indistinguishable.

While some proposed constellations have gained formal acceptance, others have remained as asterisms ⁂. Any newly selected star groupings or former constellations are often regarded as asterisms ⁂. However, the technical differences between the terms "constellation" and "asterism" can be somewhat unclear.

Unlike constellations, asterisms ⁂ may not possess official recognition and their boundaries are not precisely defined. Nonetheless, they present captivating and alluring subjects for astronomers to observe, no less fascinating than the officially recognized constellations.

 

The benefits of stargazing

Stargazing is a captivating and enriching activity that offers numerous benefits and features for enthusiasts of all ages. First and foremost, stargazing allows us to reconnect with the vastness of the universe and gain a profound sense of awe and wonder. It offers a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of celestial objects, such as stars, planets, galaxies, and meteor showers.

One of the key benefits of stargazing is its ability to provide a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Observing the night sky encourages us to slow down, detach from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and find solace in the peacefulness of the cosmos. This can promote stress reduction and improve overall mental well-being.

Additionally, stargazing is an educational endeavor. By studying the celestial bodies, we can deepen our understanding of astronomy and gain insights into the nature of the universe. It cultivates curiosity and a thirst for knowledge about our place in the cosmos.

Stargazing also fosters a sense of connectedness. When we gaze at the stars, we are reminded that we are part of something much larger than ourselves. It encourages us to reflect on our existence, our place in the universe, and our shared humanity.

Furthermore, stargazing is an inclusive activity that can be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and abilities. It requires minimal equipment, making it accessible to many. Whether alone, with friends, or as part of a stargazing group, it provides an opportunity for communal experiences and social bonding.

Stargazing offers a range of benefits, including awe-inspiring beauty, relaxation, educational opportunities, a sense of connectedness, and inclusivity. So why not step outside, look up at the night sky, and embark on a journey of discovery and wonder?

Book your Dark Sky Stargazing Tours now!

Check out our booking tab, click the book now button or fill an enquiry here.

Duration: 2hrs

Itineraries

Piha

Marine Parade South

Hunua Ranges

Upper Mangatāwhiri campground

Shakespear Regional park

Te Haruhi Bay Campground. Camping Overnight is mandatory because of park gate closures (9pm daylight savings, 7pm non-daylights savings). Choose our optional glamping option when booking!

You must make you own way to your chosen location; specific details of exactly where you will be camping and where we will stargaze will be given upon booking.

Guide and light refreshments. We can always embellish your tour further, just ask!

It depends on the weather. All of our dates are alligned with the new moon so that the skies are at their darkest. We just need to hope that there are no clouds.

Because that is about the latest sunset (summer) to keep times consistent, allows people to finish work or catch transport and get to us.

Clothing

  • Woolen jumper x1
  • Wind and Rain-proof Jacket
  • Warm beanie
  • Neck warmer / scarf

Equipment

  • Closed-toe footwear
  • Personal medication
  • Head torch

Includes:

One staff

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