for your inspiration

Experience Stargazing in Wairarapa

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.
Here are some of the best southern hemisphere objects, from Alpha Centauri - far right going towards Avior on the left. This is looking south.
We took this photo from Star Safari in November 2023.

What happens during a stargazing session?

Venture with us beyond Earth and stargaze into the Cosmos. We use telescopes, binoculars, and our eyes, to see stars, figure out 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.  

We love talking about all these things, what they are, how they got there, how they work, and between the two of us, an astrobiologist and an astrophysicist we have the science communication covered. So bring plenty of questions. 

Sam wrote a great blog article here, which gives examples of what we would observe at our stargazing sessions and why we chose to operate manual telescopes. 

size does matter

Our telescopes are significantly larger than portable telescopes. 

At 16″, are the largest telescopes for public viewing in Wairarapa. We have two of them.

Look at the stars through the best telescope equipment for public viewing in Wairarapa

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 nebulae.

Supernova SN2024ggi, through our telescopes at Star Safari

your experience with the night sky

Our connection with the night sky started billions of years ago. It is that connection, looking back at the Universe from our special planet, that we seek to show you firsthand. 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.

Other things we do when we look through our telescopes:

Go back in time
Teleport (in spirit) around the Universe
Search for aliens

your hosts, sky rangers and starrytellers

Astronomy and Space Sciences Educator

Sam Leske

Sam is an astrophysicist and a former airforce pilot. He’s been stargazing for many years and built his own home-observatory since 2012 (we still have it). 
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. Hari always dreamed of having her own home observatory. (Now she has a home observatory and a work observatory).

Both of us have been stargazing for more than 20 years, created exhibitions, outreach events, talked to tens of thousands of students, teachers and visitors, and even created a proof of concept space science centre in Carterton.

We look forward to seeing you at Star Safari