I have a few questions first

Not sure what to expect when you visit?

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.

All You Need To Know

frequently asked questions

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 21.86 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.

You can bring your own binoculars if you have any.

  • If you’d like advice on how to use your camera for astrophotography or 
  • If you wish to bring your own telescope 

you can book these activities as add-ons when you buy the tickets. 

We welcome any age groups. The earliest age we had looking through the telescopes (and making sense of what they saw) were 3-year olds from the Blue School in Greytown. 

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.

If you have to cancel for any reason then please let us know as soon as possible. Here are our terms and conditions for cancellations. 

Terms and conditions for Star Safari


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. Visual observing 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. Keep them on. 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.

Whitimanuka Retreat

If you have yet to come here, Whitimanuka Retreat is a fabulous place right on the farm we are operating from.

Whitimanuka Retreat is a stunning place on Glen Eden Farms.

Book The Whitimanuka Retreat.

The Venus Room

The Venus room is a private suite in the heritage-listed home ‘Glendower’, within walking distance from Star Safari. 
Book the Venus Room on Airbnb

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. Book Suite 22 

The White Swan Hotel has 13 fabulous boutique suites and garden rooms available. Located right in the centre of Greytown and just 15 minutes from Martinborough Wine Village, The White Swan is in the heart of the Wairarapa – the perfect place to base yourself for some time away. Book here.

In Martinborough

The Martinborough Hotel has twenty beautiful rooms, each unique. You can make yourself at home in the original 1882 building in one of our nine Heritage Suites or Rooms or at the Petit Hotel Suites adjacent to the main Hotel. Book here.

333 on Grey is an AirBNB centrally located brand-new townhouse within easy walking distance of the square and its cafes and restaurants. It is beautifully decorated with expansive decking and outdoor furniture. Book here.

In Featherston

The “Fabulous Featherston Home” awaits. Fully kitted, clean and quiet 3-bedrooms / 5-beds house sleeps up to 8 guests. It is child-friendly, air-conditioned and fully fenced. Book here.

From Wellington 

  • Capital Tours
    Capital Tours organises overnight Star Safari tours with transportation from Wellington to Martinborough and back, one-night accommodation, a 2-course set menu dinner and Breakfast at the Martinborough Hotel and Cheese Tasting. 

Call John on +64 21 280 2406 or check out their website.

From Martinborough

  • Claremont Cabs
    Claremont Cabs provides a safe and reliable shuttle/taxi service based in Martinborough. Available 7 Days

 Call 06 306 9162 or [email protected]