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Experience Stargazing

Learn about the night sky outside

We are all made of stars. This is probably the most profound connection we have with each other and the Universe.
Stargazing is reconnecting the dots about what we actually see in the night sky.
Venture with us beyond Earth and stargaze into the Cosmos. We use telescopes, binoculars, and our eyes, to see stars, make up constellations, look at planets and the Moon and beautiful gas clouds called nebulae. 
Sometimes, we also see galaxies, comets, occasionally a quasar and, most of our nights out, we definitely spot a few meteors. 

What is stargazing?

Read our blog article here, which gives examples of what we would observe at our stargazing sessions.

size does matter

Our telescopes are significantly larger than portable telescopes. 

They have three times or more the light gathering ability of the portable telescopes used by other night sky tourism operators in Wairarapa.  

look at the stars through the best telescope equipment for public viewing in wairarapa

We have two 405mm (16 inch) reflecting telescopes we use for stargazing and by 2023 we will have an enormous addition to our telescope collection, so watch this space. 

We use top of the range equipment for our customers – our telescopes are high quality large instruments.

This means we can see a huge range of objects in the night sky: star clusters, galaxies and gas clouds.

your experience with the night sky

Our connection with the night sky starts billions of years ago. It is that connection, looking back at the Universe from our special planet that we seek to show you first hand. You can browse beautiful photos of the night sky online, or take some yourself during our astrophotography sessions, but nothing beats seeing it up close through a telescope. 

We stargaze from a fabulous location on top of a hill where you can admire a panorama of Ponatahi Valley. 

We take you on a journey to look at the life cycles of stars, how and where they are born, we look at their colours, what they do when they are young, old and what happens when they die.

We discuss how life might have started and if there is any life out there and where might that be.

We look at galaxies with billions of stars whose light has travelled for millions of years to reach your eye tonight.

If the Planets are out, we definitely look at them. 

If the Moon is out, we will look at it! 

We also have a special adaptor for our telescopes so you can take photos through your smart phones.

Hari is the concept lead and Creative Producer of the movie Ngā Tohunga Whakatere – The Navigators. Sam is a former airforce pilot.

Come learn first hand from our experience with different methods of navigation.

Go back in time
Teleport around the Universe
Search for aliens

your hosts & sky rangers

Astronomy and Space Sciences Educator

Sam Leske

Sam, who is currently studying for a Masters in Astrophysics is also very skilled at finding deep sky objects in the night sky. 
Astrobiologist and Martian

Hari Mogosanu

Hari is a TEDx featured astrobiologist, founder and Executive Director of the New Zealand Astrobiology Network, a Mars analog astronaut and the Creative Producer of the New Zealand planetarium show – Ngā Tohunga Whakatere – The Navigators.

We look forward to seeing you at Star Safari

need to know

important things

Without any aid you can see about 3500 stars at all times (if is not cloudy).

With our telescopes you could see a few hundred million stars.

Planets orbit around the Sun so their position in the sky changes, meaning they are not always visible.

The Full Moon makes it difficult to see faint objects, such as distant galaxies and nebulae. 

We do have a special filter that will help you see details on some deep sky objects, more than you would see without it.

At Full Moon, we can see many clusters of stars, planets – if they are visible, and of course, the Moon. 

We have an attachment to our telescope so that you can take photos of the Moon with your phone.

You can bring your own binoculars if you have any, bring your camera if you wish to do astrophotography and we can help with that.

Stargazing is an outdoor night time activity and it can get very cold. While we have blankets and hot chocolate to keep you warm, to be really enjoyable, you must dress appropriately. 

We welcome any age groups.

Watch this space, we have a very large telescope coming soon. 

You can also book a private Star Safari where we can explore the sky in greater details. 

If it rains during the session, or even if it just clouds over, we will move inside and explore the universe in our virtual night sky experience.

If you have to cancel for any reason then please let us know as soon as possible.  We can accept cancellations with a refund up to 2 hours prior to session start.

We reserve the right to cancel Star Safari at any time. If that is the case you will be fully refunded for your tickets.

When looking in a telescope you are not going to see the colourful nebulae or the structural details in galaxies that are like the pictures taken by Hubble or the JWST. Our human eye cannot perceive colour in the faint objects we look at in the telescopes. Plus, our eye is not capable of replicating the long exposure times of photographs.

Are there colours in stars?

You will see colour in the planets as they are much closer and brighter. You will also see subtle colours in stars. Gas clouds and galaxies appear as faint smoky smudges. 

With visual observing, rather than astrophotography, it is all about the beauty of distant objects and the staggering distances that photons have travelled to reach your eye.

If you wear glasses you can still look through the telescopes. Our eyepieces work well for people with or without glasses.

As we age our pupils do not dilate as much so they become less effective at night. This means that you will have a harder time seeing very faint objects in the eyepiece. It’s not a big problem though as there are so many objects to look at.

The benefit of using big telescopes like ours is that objects will be brighter as our telescopes collect significantly more light than portable telescopes.

We welcome children on Star Safari and enjoy watching their enthusiasm for the night sky and all things to do with space.

Children under the age of four may struggle to see anything in the eyepiece as it is difficult for them to line up their eye with the eyepiece. We have ladders that help with reaching the eyepiece but advise parent of very young children to hold their kids and decide what’s best for viewing themselves.

We certainly like to see parents encouraging their children to have a go at looking in the telescope.

Would you like to learn more?

check out our year pass and courses