A lot of people have always found the night sky fascinating. The stars and celestial bodies in the Milky Way Galaxy is an attractive topic for dreamers, astronomers, philosophers, and poets alike. However, it is becoming difficult for people to get a good view of the universe because of light pollution. There are only a few places on Earth left for stargazers to witness the natural night sky at its brightest. New Zealand offers two of those locations for stargazing.
A Reminder Ahead of Your Trip
When you are planning to visit the Land Down Under, you need to secure a travel permit first. Fortunately, UK residents can apply for an eTA visa online for a smoother process. Tourists will only need to fill out an application and submit it. After waiting for a day or two, the approved New Zealand visa for UK residents will be available.
The International Dark-Sky Sanctuaries
If you want to get a good view of the heavenly bodies, you need to go to New Zealand’s two International Dark Sky Sanctuaries. The International Dark-Sky Association granted the two locations with the honor after they met the strict requirements needed for a good view of the night sky. A dark sky sanctuary needs to be a remote location without light pollution. The sites must also have policies on lighting and public education on how to protect and preserve the haven.
The Stewart Island
Stewart Island is located south of New Zealand. The island is also named “Rakura,” which translates to the “land of the glowing skies.” Tourists who love to go stargazing will find the island as a dreamy paradise because the Milky Way’s center will pass over the island during winter. Stewart Island is also known as the spot for Aurora Australis, which is dubbed the Southern Lights. Only about 400 people are living in the Oban village, which is Stewart Island’s main settlement area. Over 85 percent of the island is considered a national park.
The Great Barrier Island
The Great Barrier Island is located 850 miles north of Stewart Island. Despite being known as a tourist spot for sea lovers, the northern island is also known for its splendid display of the night sky. The Pacific island attracts star seekers from all around the world. The locals are tagged as dark sky ambassadors who help tourists enjoy a breathtaking experience under the starry night.
Both the Stewart Island and the Great Barrier Island receive support from the International Dark-Sky Association. The IDA aims to preserve the sanctuaries for tourists.