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The Best Stargazing Spots If You’re In New Zealand

Travelers Today       By    MJ De Castro

Updated: Jun 29, 2018 09:29 PM EDT

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It's hard to imagine that two-thirds of the world cannot see the Milky Way. When a city switches on its lights, it shoots energy in all directions which makes air molecules, water vapor, and dust blot out the stars.

However, for people heading to New Zealand, that is not a problem. Aside from its clear skies and picturesque landscape, the place also has less light pollution which provides a clear and fantastic view of the cosmos.

Be awed by the country's unblemished view of different constellations and shooting stars that glitter in the dark sky.

Stewart Island

People visiting Stewart island will surely never run out of things to do. Majority of the island is a part of Rakiura National Park so there's a ton of activities such as kayaking, diving, fishing, and of course, stargazing.

New Zealand's southernmost island is an amazing place to view the Aurora. On a good night, visitors can be treated to a spectacular sight from a viewpoint near Oban, its main town.

The southern lights can also be seen on this island. Compared to the spots in the north where the aurora passes overhead, the aurora sits low in this part of the country. This enables its spectators to get beautiful photos of the aurora reflecting on the rivers and lakes, and over its mountains.

The Otago Peninsula

Otago Peninsula extends from the southeastern corner of New Zealand's South Island. This spot is rich in biodiversity including flora and fauna.

At daytime, its visitors can see its two varieties of penguin and an albatross colony. At nightfall, people can look up and study the stars and galaxies.

Lake Tekapo

The clear skies people see in Mackenzie Region is unlike anywhere in the world. Home to the biggest dark-sky reserve on the planet, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve gives its visitors the experience of a lifetime.

The 2,671-square mile area was declared a reserve in 2012, which makes it the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. People can also visit New Zealand's premier astronomical research center, Mt. John Observatory, which is equipped with telescopes that aid people to get a clear view of the stars. The night sky also sits against the spectacular backdrop of the southern Alpine.

Additionally, Lake Tekapo is also becoming the jumping off point for astro-tourism in the country. Here, stargazers will see the incredible constellations that can only be seen in this part of the world, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way.

The Catlins

The Catlins Region is famous for its lush forests, rugged coastlines, and waterfalls. After the summer, the winter nights give people an impressive view of the galaxies in this area.

People who stargaze in this region feel the connection to the rich history of the universe while looking up the stars.

From A Boeing 787 Dreamliner

For people who want to skip looking at stars from the land and experience something one of a kind, the "Flight of the Lights" will provide just that.  

The aircraft fly south to escape the city's light pollution. As it flies over the cloud cover, the passionate star chasers aboard it can see a magnificent and awe-inspiring view of the aurora.

The 2-year-old flight is the idea of the Director of the Otago Museum, Dr. Ian Griffin. All passengers get a window seat and voyage into the heart of the auroral zone to get closer to the Aurora Australis.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
stargazing, New Zealand, aurora
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