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 

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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

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 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.
Go Great Barrier Island
Look Up & Get Lost
Dark Sky Experience
  • Duration: 90 Minutes (approx.)
  • Location: Great Barrier Island
  • Product code: LUGL

Aotea Great Barrier Island is a remote treasure island of spectacular beauty. So all Good Heavens’ experiences take place in beautiful spots. Our usual group experience location at Medlands Beach is on a sand dune. This means you’ll hear the waves lapping on the beach while looking up and getting lost in the stars.

The island’s Dark Sky Sanctuary status means that our skies are certified magnificent. And our subtropical climate allows for a warmer stargazing experience than many other New Zealand places, too.

So lean back in a comfy moon chair, listen to the waves, look up  and see the thousands of stars visible in a Dark Sky Sanctuary. Let one of our passionate Good Heavens guides illuminate you on the magical display.

Look through our telescope to get close and personal with special stars and deep sky objects. Many are unique to the Southern Hemisphere. They look truly dazzling in our dark sky.

Our guides will draw constellations in the sky, while you enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or herbal tea. Stargazing does not get more enjoyable than this!

Take a closer look at the Milky Way, maybe a planet or our crescent moon will be in view, spot a satellite, a meteor or a distant galaxy. Marvel at the stars with us. There is so much to see!

Become familiar with the night sky, gaining astronomical knowledge. Our guides will share local knowledge and a range of multicultural stories alongside interesting astronomical facts. These will help you remember what is in the sky in a light-hearted and fun way.

If you are keen for our Moon to take centre stage, then please book our Moon Walk Experience.

Make the most of your time on our beautiful island, by adding on an activity after dark. We love the excitement we feel when we look up and get lost in the stars. We are looking forward to sharing this feeling with you.

Our small groups of up to twelve participants allow for a personalised experience.

Min. 4 participants

For the purpose of your booking, a child is under 13 years old.

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Moon Walk – Group star gazing experience.
  • Duration: 90 Minutes (approx.)
  • Location: Great Barrier Island
  • Product code: MW

Meet us at a beautiful, white sand beach. For around a week each month, the moon shines brightly in the evening sky. If the tide is low enough we may go for a stroll on the sand, next to the ocean under her illumination. Gaze at her features up close and hear her stories. If you’re stargazing with us on a moonlit night, be prepared for moonlight shimmering on the waves.

From the top of the dunes we will look through our 8” Dobsonian Telescope to get close and personal with the brightest stars and celestial objects. Many are unique to the Southern Hemisphere. 

Relaxing back in a comfy moon chair, look up and enjoy our stunning Dark Sky Sanctuary sky as you hear the waves lap against the shore. Have constellations drawn in the sky, while you enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or herbal tea. Moongazing does not get more enjoyable than this!

Good Heavens’ group location on Great Barrier Island, at Medlands Beach is easily accessible, even for the less sure-footed. It is only 50 meters from the car park. If you like some visibility, a Moon Walk is the experience for you.

Come and enjoy our Moon and starry sky with Good Heavens!

Please note:

  • If you want to come for a stroll on our sandy beach, you have to be able to walk/stand for 1/4 hour, but you are most welcome to moon bathe in a moon chair by the telescope during that time, too. 
  • When our Moon takes centre stage, the Milky Way recedes from our view.  

Min. 2 participants

A Child is under 13 years old.

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Heavens Above – Dark Sky Experience

  • Duration: 120 Minutes (approx.)
  • Location: Great Barrier Island, Auckland
  • Product code: HA

On Aotea Great Barrier Island the sky is certified magnificent. Our pristine island is thus the perfect backdrop for a private stargazing experience, whether it’s just for you and a loved one, or for your group of family or friends.

Imagine leaning back in a comfy chair gazing up at the stars, while your guide points out constellations and stunning Southern Hemisphere objects. You and the rest of your group will be taking turns using the telescope to witness the magic of a star cluster or planet close up.

During a private experience, you will experience Good Heavens’ high level of hosting: Imagine a stargazing experience that is cozy and comfortable, so you can absorb the moment, the stories and the stars. Good Heavens achieve this by adding a few special extra touches. Expect blankets, moon chairs, hot chocolate, home baked brownies and hot water bottles in the middle of winter.

During your private experience, there will be plenty of time for questions and answers so we can delve into your areas of interest. Our small group size allow this kind of personalised experience. And because our company is locally owned and operated, we really care that you have the best experience possible.

Our guide brings an 8″ Newtonian Dobsonian telescope, binoculars, comfy chairs, blankets and a hot chocolate or herbal tea to you, either at your accommodation or at a beautiful beach on Great Barrier Island.

We will look at stars, constellations, planets and some deep sky objects, and if you have special requests, we will try to fulfill these, too. Please note that when the moon takes centre stage, the Milky Way recedes from our view.

Whether you are looking for a one-off fun experience or a stepping stone for further stellar exploration, your Good Heavens guide is happy to provide either. We welcome questions and conversation about the universe.

Book an experience for your family, friends, work mates, an executive meeting, incentive or even your wedding proposal!

This stargazing experience lasts for approx. 2 hrs.

​Cost: $840 for one to six people, $120 for each additional guest, additional child, under 13 years old $60

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Hi, just wanted to let you know we had a truly wonderful time on GBI. The house was perfect, dry comfortable and we loved the quirky decor. We couldn’t have asked for better. What a beautiful place this Island is. We’ve all fallen in love with it. I was so lucky to discover it.
Thank you for everything.
Julianne, Pedro and Charlie
March 2024

We’re at the airport in Claris, very reluctantly preparing to leave.
Just want to say a huge thanks for getting everything so perfectly right. That accommodation was just stunning – views, sunlight, bird life, ripe figs, proximity to store and Gooseberry Flat swimming, really well stocked kitchen. Absolutely gorgeous in good weather and bad.
This place is magic!
February 2024

Kia Ora team,

Just a quick email to say thank you for all your assistance in organising our recent trip to Great Barrier Island.
Our group had a fantastic time – visiting various places around the island, and walking the Aotea track.
We had an amazing few days at Pitokuku House – what a fantastic place – with some of the team looking to come back and visit again with their families in the future.
We are also keen to come again and perhaps do some of the other walks, and do the Dark Sky experience (although we had some nice evenings just lying out looking up at the stars anyway).
Norm and Fleur were great – and it was fun to be able to give them some Róse which they really appreciated. We were able to communicate with them, and drop off and pick up was seamless…

So again, thank you for all your help and for making a very memorable week away.
Ngā mihi,
Louise Morgan
February 2024

I really want to thank you for all your help with our bookings!
We had a fabulous time, and your advice re. accommodation nights, car rental, and the Aotea track was spot on. Being able to run ideas past you was really much appreciated. Great Barrier Island is so amazing – I didn’t want to leave.
Many thanks,
Michelle Ashbury
July 2023

Just wanted to say thank you for organizing my trip to Great Barrier. I loved everything about the place – the flights, the people, the landscape, the peace and quiet, the fresh air, the amazing scenery, the welcome, the quirky business and the talented artists. What a brilliant trip. I’d like to come again, in winter, and perhaps stay up at Port Fitzroy. Will be in touch. Thanks again, all the best,
Julie Macdonald
May 2023

My daughter and I had a lovely time at Great Barrier over Easter – thanks for organizing everything for us.  Pigeons Lodge was really nice, the Rav 4 was great and we even had dolphins escorting the boat which was lovely.  The cafe’s and restaurant’s we visted provided excellent food and the beaches were gorgeous.  So all in all an awesome weekend.
Thanks again
Kind regards
Averil Naumai
April 2023

Good afternoon Go Great Barrier Island Team,
Sincere thanks for the four night holiday package you arranged for us for last week.  All the bookings you put in place for us were exactly what we needed and flowed seamlessly together.  The location of the accommodation was perfect and the Sundancer cruise (which was awesome!  Thank you Chris) was easily rescheduled when the weather demanded a change.  Everyone we met on Great Barrier Island was so friendly and helpful and we would dearly love to return again sometime soon.
Thank you again.
Kind regards
Hilary McNaughten
December 2022

Just wanted to say thank you so much for your very good service helping us arrange (with some rearrangements) our great visit to the Island last week. Everything went perfectly, flights, car, and we just loved the Beach House. Could you please pass on our very sincere thanks to the owners and property manager – the house was in perfect condition and we would have loved to have stayed with the kaka and the swimming for much longer. We enjoyed the local cafes and pub (including a memorable Thursday night there !), and had a wonderful time exploring all over the island.
Keep up the good work.  We’ll certainly recommend your organisation to others.
Best wishes
Sally Marx
November 2022

Go Great Barrier performs a very valuable service for visitors looking to travel to Great Barrier Island and connect with suppliers of accommodation and travel services.

Initially I was unsure about how to make and coordinate direct bookings but after contacting GGBI they were handled quickly and the outcomes were just what we were looking for, so thank you, Laura and Steve.

We did not expect to alter the bookings made but when we asked to stay another night and fly back to Auckland, Steve arranged these quickly along with transport connections to cover for having no rental car on the final day. Thank you, Steve.

With thanks and kind regards
John Bedkober
October 2022

We just wanted to take a moment to say a massive thank you for the most unforgettable holiday we’ve just had on the Barrier.

It wasn’t the holiday we originally booked, this one was a thousand times better. We saw the whole island spent a lot of time at Medlands, loved the Good Heavens star experience, Sunshine Cottage was off the hook, what amazing views and the attention to detail throughout the cottage was mind blowing and all just added to the holiday. We walked some of the tramway track, saw the art gallery and bought home a very cool painting, walked to the hot pools, and generally enjoyed ourselves the rest of the time. We will be recommending your holidays to everyone we meet.

Again thank you so much for against all odds putting together the perfect holiday for us.

Sarah & Tim
March 2022

Just wanted to say a big thank you for sorting out our weekend.
I can honestly say we had a blast, the island is absolutely stunning, the people were so nice and friendly we really loved everyone we met.
The Irish pub was awesome. We were lucky enough to be there for Thursday night open mike, and we took full advantage of the fun. We met Pete and Terry who so kindly took us out on their fishing boat, we loved it.
We couldn’t believe how amazing the food was. The whole experience is going to be a huge talking point for us all for a long time.
Thank you once again for everything.
Cheers Nicki

Just to let you know that we had an absolutely wonderful stay. Everything went well – like clockwork.
The rental we had was wonderful and Muriwai was just beautiful – we’re so pleased we stayed there.
We ate at Tipi & Bobs and the Irish Pub – both wonderful evening meals. We visited the Social Club at Tryphena and watched the Super Rugby game.
Lunched at My Pat Puku, visited the crafts and gallery places (the little Museum is wonderful – so much history and displays). We went right to the top of the island by road, and the bottom and to the hot pools.
The signposts and the great well maintained walks and information posts were just superb. The people are so friendly – everyone waves!
Thanks again
Well done Great Barrier Island!
Jenny & Ces Horan

I just wanted to say thank you for the package you put together for us to visit Great Barrier Island.
We had a fabulous time and really enjoyed exploring your stunning island.
You made it so easy, taking care of all the bookings and putting together the things that we wanted to do.
We were met off the plane and handed the keys to our rental car. Norm at the information desk at the airport gave me great maps and recommended some good day walks for us to do (we did most of the day trips he recommended too).
Angeline was at the Great Barrier Lodge when we called in to drop off our bags.
Amongst other things we enjoyed the kauri bridge at Glenfern and the view of Port Fitzroy from Sunset Rock.
We walked to Windy Canyon and beyond into the Pinnacles area for a few hours before walking back out the same way – this was so visually stunning and a real highlight for me.
Hilde was fabulous when we did the Good Heavens Experience.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day on the Sundancer with Chris. We felt very privileged as he still took us out even though we were the only ones.
Our accommodation was just right for us and it was so lovely to spend each evening out on the deck admiring the Whangaparapara Harbour. We ate dinner at the Great Barrier Lodge restaurant each night because it was so good (and we could have a drink and not worry about driving).|
The info sheet you sent through beforehand was useful and the list of places to eat was also helpful – especially for breakfast and lunches.
Thank you again for putting this all together for us – flights, accommodation, rental car & activities.
We had a fabulous trip and really enjoyed exploring the island.
Deborah Malcolm

We would like to thank you for the wonderful holiday we had on the Barrier.
We absolutely loved The Bach, and felt we were in paradise being so close to such a beautiful beach!
We made the most of having some lovely meals out, and all within walking distance.
The swims in the bay were so lovely.
It created a wonderful memory for my husband and I for out 30th Wedding Anniversary. Just perfect!
It was great flying over from Dairy Flat, and we were impressed with the service we received.
Thanks again, we would love to return sometime.
Kerry and Janice Sinclair

We’re back home now and I wanted to say we all had the most fabulous time on Great Barrier Island. Thanks for organising the trip for us, everything was perfect (even the weather!). We went star gazing, did an early morning Astro photography workshop, fishing charter and walked up and over Mt Hobson via the hot pools. We packed all we could into and 5 days and we all hope to return for more exploring.
Helen McMahon

My partner and I just wanted to thank you for booking such an easy holiday for us. The flights were hassle free, along with the accommodation and at the airport the car rental was an easy process. (I loved the sign with my name on it). Also, a special mention to Steve and his trike ride. Steve was such a great host, he picked us up on time, gave us a lovely island tour and even welcomed us back to his house to use his kayak’s anytime. The entire trip was such an easy experience and I highly recommend your service. Thanks again for such an amazing weekend away.

We will definitely be back!

We are here and enjoying this beautiful island of yours. It is truly spectacular!
I only have one gripe.. You must add a suggestion in all your bookings that a 2 night stay is not enough – a minimum stay of at least a week should be recommended as once you are here, you never want to leave.
Thank you so much for your help, I’m already dreading tomorrow when we leave 🙁

Just wanted to say thank you very much for your help and advice when organising our recent visit to the Barrier. While the weather wasn’t always perfect, it didn’t stop my sister and I doing anything or from having the best time, including doing some of your fabulous walks. We needed more time to fit more of them in!
The accommodation was really comfortable and perfect for our needs; we were met by a charming young woman from the car rental company and the X-Trail was just the ticket for us to explore the length and breadth of the island (which we did), and we simply loved chatting with locals and restaurant owners while dining out. Your advice and wonderful service were just the icing on the cake, so thank you very much.
You live in a magical place and we’ll be back!

We all just wanted to say thank you so much for organising a great Christmas holiday for us on Great Barrier Island! We had a very special time and made wonderful family memories after being apart in different countries for years. Thank you for all your help and advice, we have recommended you highly to everyone we know.
Thanks again,

I just wanted to thank you for organising everything for us for our weekend. We had a fabulous time! Everything was great – we loved staying at Tipi and Bobs and Marjorie made us very welcome, the units were great, lovely views and the food was fantastic! The cakes were wonderful, Phaedra had done a great job. It’s amazing how much we managed to pack into such a short time, the first time I’ve been there but will certainly come back for a longer stay next time. Once again, thanks for a wonderful job.