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stargazing in wairarapa

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

How to get here

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.

What to wear

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.  

Visiting Wairarapa

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.

Wairarapa is one of the best places for stargazing in New Zealand

special occasions

Are you ready to experience a one-of-a-kind celebration that will take your breath away? Look up to the stars and witness the breathtaking beauty of Wairarapa's night sky.

Our Celestial Escapades offer an exclusive opportunity to celebrate under the stars in a way that you will never forget. Take time to appreciate the wonder and awe that nature has to offer. Let the stars ignite your imagination and fill your heart with inspiration.

With each twinkle in the sky, you will be reminded that anything is possible. So, gather your loved ones and embark on a magical journey with us. Create memories that will last a lifetime with our Celestial Escapades experience. The universe is waiting for you - let's celebrate together!