Star Safari is in Wairarapa, a region renowned for its pristine night skies and designated as a Dark Sky Reserve in December 2022.
Nestled in the heart of this celestial paradise, Star Safari Observatory, 1169 Ponatahi Road, is perched atop a magnificent hill that offers a breathtaking panorama of Wairarapa’s Eastern Hills.
This idyllic location not only provides unobstructed views of the sky but also is one of the most easily accessible dark sky locations in the region. We constantly measure how dark our sky is with a TESS-W dark sky meter and find out that it is routinely reading one of the darkest measurements in New Zealand.
This is a live preview from our dark sky meter, the reading is in magnitudes per square arc second. This gives an indication of how dark the sky can be.
Our peak darkness at Star Safari has been 21.86
Within Wairarapa, Star Safari is approximately a 10 minute drive from Martinborough and 15 minutes from Carterton.
Star Safari is an accessible escape into the wonders of the universe, free from light pollution that comes with a big cities.
– From Wellington city, it is approximately a 1 hour and 40 minutes drive.
– From Palmerston North, it is approximated a 1 hour and 30 minutes drive.
When you book a Star Safari ticket, we will send detailed instructions on how to get to our observatory.
Even though Wairarapa might be famous for its hot summers, at night, our temperatures can drop. Please make sure you have warm layers and jackets with you. Also, having a warm hat and gloves, if needed, will ensure you are comfortable on our tours.
The observatories at Star Safari are located on a gravel road. The paths around the observatory and viewing platforms are also gravel.
You will find excellent information on the Destination Wairarapa website about planning your visit. Destination Wairarapa is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for the Wairarapa.