We get these questions lots of times.
However, if you have a question that we have not covered here, please text us or give us a call, we’d love to hear from you.
We have two 16″ (sixteen inch), that’s 405mm-mirror telescopes that we primarily use for stargazing. In addition, we also have two 10″ telescopes that we also use, as we want to make sure you have plenty of telescope time and can see lots of objects.
Exceptionally dark. Our highest reading was 21.87 magnitudes / arc second squared. Check out our Dark Sky meter TESS-W readings on the Observatory page.
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 relative to the background stars, 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. If you wish to bring your own telescope please let us know in advance, but you are definitely welcome to do so.
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.
Yes! A private Star Safari (Celestial Escapades) offers the opportunity to explore all your favourite objects on request – subject to being visible in the sky for the dates available.
If it rains during the session, or even if it just clouds over, we will move inside and explore the universe in our virtual sky exploration and e-astronomy programme – Starrytelling.
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.
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.
If you have yet to come here, among the great places to stay that Wairarapa offers, on Glen Eden, is the stunning Whitimanuka Retreat. This fantastic self-contained retreat is set amongst rolling hills and native bush and minutes close to Star Safari.
Also, the Venus room is a private suite in the heritage-listed home ‘Glendower’, within walking distance from Star Safari.
In Greytown, SUITE 22 is on 22 Main Street Greytown. Suitable for couples wanting a little romance with their stargazing. Includes a private outside bath for moon bathing.