If you want to go stargazing anywhere in the world, we recommend you do it on Aotea Great Barrier Island! The whole island is a Dark Sky Sanctuary, so the sky here is certified magnificent. When you look up after dark on a clear night, the sky is amazing everywhere, and you are surrounded by spectacular nature on ground level, too. In addition, Great Barrier is at least a few degrees warmer than other New Zealand stargazing locations. And most surprisingly for a Dark Sky Sanctuary, its within easy reach of Auckland, even though it feels like it’s a world away.
What makes a Good Heavens experience extra attractive is that the team provide an excellent level of hosting. They make the experience cosy and comfortable and special touches include comfy moon chairs, hot drinks and blankets. In addition, their small group size of up to twelve people ensures that they can match the stargazing experience to your personal interests and questions. A team of local stargazing guides welcome questions about the island, too. Good Heavens is locally owned and operated by a female team and their customer focus is reflected in their excellent reviews.
Good Heavens group experiences mostly take place in the sand dunes above Medlands Beach, in a location that is easy to get to. We book in many whanau or friend groups who enjoy this experience together and talk about it for days after. As there is a choice of three different experiences, you may want to time your visit to Great Barrier, specifically if you want to see the Moon or the Milky Way or want to do a private experience, for which there is limited availability. Ask us for advice.
Any of their experiences are a great way to gain astronomical knowledge, and to learn to find your way around the night sky. From interesting astronomical facts to cultural myths that have helped our ancestors make sense of this magical world, your experience will be light-hearted and fun. And suitable to all ages. Your guide uses a laser pointer to guide you through the constellations, there are binoculars for everyone to gaze at middle distance objects, and an 8” telescope ensures you can get close and personal with previously unseen celestial beauties.
During your stargazing experience, you will have lots of time to lean back in your cosy moon chair and gaze up. Take a moment to disconnect from your busy live while you look up and get lost in the stars. Connect with the universe and absorb the natural world around you. What better place to do just this than this pristine off grid paradise?
So whether you're a couple looking to experience something unique during your island visit or part of a larger group wanting to add a whole new dimension to your island adventure... Good Heavens will ensure your time under Aotea’s stars is memorable and amazing!
Take a look at our Dark Sky Experience menu...
Look Up and Get Lost ~ Group Dark Sky Experience
Deep Sky Experience - In a dark island location, we will set up a telescope to help us get close and personal with the stars and look at some deep sky objects and some interesting constellations. We may even see a planet or distant galaxy! Tour takes around 1.5 hours and suits individuals or groups.
$130 per guest, under 13's - $65
Moon Walk ~ Group Star Gazing Experience
Come moon and stargazing in the Great Barrier Island Sky during this in-depth experience.
Group tour with telescope, naked eye and binoculars. Suitable for individuals or groups.
Good Heavens offer Moon Walks for approximately one week each month. During a Moon Walk, the moon is large in the evening sky. This allows a short walk on the beach in the moonlight. You will also look at brighter stars, star clusters and nebulae using our binoculars and 8” telescope.
Please note that during this time the Milky Way is less visible.
To check moon phases, follow this link. Or give our team a call - we'll be happy to advise you.
$130 per guest, under 13's - $65
Heavens Above ~ Private Dark Sky Experience
Our team bring an 8" Dobsonian telescope, binoculars, beanbags and hot chocolate to you, at your accommodation or a beautiful beach close by. We will look at stars, constellations, planets and some deep sky objects. This tour lasts for approx. 2 hrs.
Group of 2 to 12 - $1560
Group of 13 and over - on request
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Gallery: (click to enlarge...)
The fine print
- All tours start approximately 1 hour after sunset.
- Warm clothing is essential, regardless of the season.
- We cannot guarantee weather conditions.
- Not all objects may be visible on any given night.
- Check with us if you have any specific wishes.
- No white lights, such as phones, torches, etc.
- Recommended minimum age is 7 years.
- We offer hot chocolate or herbal teas.