Within this reserve is New Zealand’s premier astronomical research centre, the Mount John Observatory. * Come on a Dark Sky Experience with the Good Heavens team! The colour, which looks impossibly vibrant for any creation of nature, is explained by scattering of the violet rays of sunlight by fine glacial silt particles suspended in the water. These are the permanent resident populations, but the figures in all three communities more than double with the tourist population in the summer months. Dubbed the “land of endless horizon,” Rhön is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in addition to a dark sky reserve. Located on Takapō (Tekapo) lakefront, Dark Sky Diner boasts spectacular views day and night. STEVE BUTLERChair of the AMIDSR Board, Invercargill. International Dark Sky Reserve. There are 16 such areas across the globe, which are certified by the International Dark Sky Association [IDA]. A spectacular example of a high country lake, a hidden gem in the Mackenzie region. In the centre of this magnificent panorama is Mt John, known as a roche moutonnée for its glacial formation – a mere pimple in a vast landscape, resembling the central peak of a lunar crater. A Carterton District Council committee this week agreed to seek public input on proposed changes, which would support an application for a dark sky reserve in Wairarapa. In the heart of the South Island the sky is so clear and vast that millions of stars seem to appear right before your eyes. Welcome to the World's largest International Dark Sky Reserve, t he 4367sq km Gold Status Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserves lays in the heart of the Mt Cook National Park. One of New Zealand’s most iconic photo locations is on the shores of Lake Tekapo. We hope that you and your family are safe, sound and healthy. New Zealand. With “light pollution” strictly controlled this is a stargazing experience that is second to none. BRUCE MINCHAMRepresenting the local community, AMIDSR treasurer, Twizel. There are only 3 Gold Rated Dark Sky Reserves in the world, two of which are in the Southern Hemisphere in Namibia and New Zealand and one in the Northern Hemisphere in Ireland. There are three small communities inside the Reserve. Department of Conservation lighting controls apply in the National Park. International Dark Sky Reserve In June 2012, the region gained further international recognition as the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve - at 4300 sqkm, it is the world's largest international park in the sky. Far from city lights, and under strictly controlled local ordinances, the gold-rated dark sky reserve … Sequence of different timelapse animations, panning animations and a slide show of the beautiful night sky in the Tekapo - Mt Cook area. Our dark skies are among the best for stargazing in New Zealand. The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. It reveals a plenty of unique constellations. Rhön, Germany. CONTACTAMIDSR Board SecretarySIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER Very limited light pollution means the views of the night sky seem to stretch on as far as the eye can see. There are a number of ways to take a stargazing tour in the Mackenzie Region. He said the area was chosen for the lack of artificial light infiltration. The largest lake in the area, proudly showing off Aoraki/ Mount Cook from many look out points. The Ordinance controls exterior lighting in use (type of lights allowed, times at which they may be on, the need for full-cut off luminaires and the requirement to filter light sources that emit blue light.). At Dark Sky Project, formerly Earth & Sky, we connect manuhiri (visitors) to our night skies, igniting a lifelong passion for dark sky preservation and what lies above. CR ANNE MUNRO                Representing Mackenzie District Council, Fairlie. New Zealand is a great place to see the Southern Lights. KAYE PAARDEKOOPERTourism Sector, Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat & Pukaki Observatory, Lake Pukaki, GAVIN 'SNOW' LOXTONTekapo farmer and environmentalist, Tekapo. Seeing this sky through a telescope is an experience unlike any other. Our goal is to protect and preserve New Zealand’s dark night skies – this is the driving force behind the activities of DarkSkyNZ. With frequent clear skies, minimal light pollution, and by being the Southern Hemisphere, you can see unique star features on tours using specialist equipment, or simply walk out of your front door and look up. Apr 30, 2020 - Plan your visit to the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand. Royal Astronomical Society of NZ (President); University of Canterbury; http://darksky.org/idsp/reserves/aorakimackenzie/, General information on Lake Tekapo (Tekapo Tourism website), Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. But this is not all: Lake Tekapo, stretching 25 km north to south, radiates with a magnificent turquoise-blue hue. Dark Sky Party Alqueva 2019; Dark Sky Party Alqueva 2018; Sustainability Map produced by Mackenzie District Council, 2013. SPONSORSDark Sky ProjectMt Cook Lakeside Retreat, © Copyright Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Bright blue turquoise hue and stunning alpine, this lake is a dream location for photographers. The 4300sq km area has been declared as the southern hemisphere’s sole dark sky reserve. - Site map Recently, 4,300 square kilometres of New Zealand’s South Island was recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, the largest reserve of this type worldwide. Keen stargazers will see amazing constellations that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way. Apart from tourism, the main economic activity in the Mackenzie Basin is sheep farming. HON MARGARET AUSTIN          Advisor on world heritage issues; honorary board member. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is the world’s largest such reserve (4367 square km), the first in the southern hemisphere and the first to be declared with gold tier status, the highest that can be accorded, and its formation is a recognition of the pristine skies of the Mackenzie which are essentially completely free of light pollution. Over 1,600 square miles of New Zealand's South Island have been named an International Dark Sky Reserve, making it the largest in the world, and one of the best places for stargazing. The dark sky reserve has been named the Moore's Reserve in honor of local astronomer Sir Patrick Moore (1923-2012) to honor his contributions to the field. We discuss the dark sky reserve in New Zealand and what is the best season for stargazing in New Zealand. The Basin is ringed by mountains in all directions, the Southern Alps and Ben Ohau Range to the west, the Two Thumb Range to the east, the Sibbald Range to the north. Our experienced guides will introduce you to our beautiful southern night sky with a full hour using the naked eye, astro-binoculars and state of the art 14" and 11" astronomy telescopes. (It's like magic!) New Zealand holds the world’s largest dark sky reserve, the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. They are Lake Tekapo Village (population about 300), Twizel population 1100) and Mt Cook Village (population 250). Mackenzie Basin Following a detailed application made by the Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Working Party in January 2012, the Reserve was created and thenrecognised International Dark-Sky Association, based in Tucson Arizona. Aoraki/Mackenzie is New Zealand's only current reserve. Accreditation relies on efforts to prove scientifically, by measuring light, that a location meets a level of high quality darkness. RESOURCESLighting GuidelinesBrochureMackenzie District Council Rules  New Zealand The recognition of the new reserve was announced at the opening of the Starlight Conference held in Tekapo in June 2012. With remarkably low light pollution, some pretty cool star-crazy locals and the region’s location at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail SH2, the sky is the limit. See General information on Lake Tekapo (Tekapo Tourism website), Twizel, Heart of the Mackenzie and Aoraki/Mt Cook website for more information. Mackenzie Basin The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve includes also the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park (shown hatched) and the narrow area between the National Park and the region covered by the Mackenzie District Lighting Ordinance. In 2012, the 4300 square kilometre area was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, with light pollution strictly controlled in the area. Aoraki/Mount Cook is New Zealand's highest and tallest mountain at 3,724 metres (12,218 feet). Outdoor lighting controls were first put into place in the area during the early 1980s. Dark Sky is the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information: with down-to-the-minute forecasts for your exact location, you'll never get caught in the rain again. A dark sky reserve needs to be ratified by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), which has to sign off a number of factors, including light quality, and – to no surprise – darkness. The majestic National Park is an expanse of awe inspiring landscape covering more than 700km. New Zealand literally holds some of the best stargazing locations in the world the Aoraki Mt Cook Mackenzie region is the largest International Dark Sky Reserve. Take the time to look up, study the galaxies and stars, and feel connected to the awesome history of the universe. An IDA International Dark Sky Reserve is a public or private land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is comprised of Aoraki/Mt. One of New Zealand’s most iconic photo locations is on the shores of Lake Tekapo. The only dark sky reserves in the southern hemisphere, it’s touted as one of the best destinations for stargazers on the planet. Dark Sky NZ is an environmentally committed organisation. Our approach is to increase awareness, understanding and enjoyment of New Zealand’s dark night skies. We're proud to be regarded as leaders in astro-tourism and stargazing experiences. A dark-sky preserve (DSP), also known as a dark sky reserve, is an area, usually surrounding … And a hundred kilometers to the south, the Hawkdun Range in Central Otago is nearly always clearly visible. Prof JOHN HEARNSHAWRoyal Astronomical Society of NZ (President); University of Canterbury; Christchurch. The surrounding rural areas and communities of Twizel, Mt Cook Village and Tekapo. Warm greetings from the Good Heavens team. Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin of New Zealand’s South island. - Site map COVID19 message to our stargazers. In particular, the South Island has recently become International Dark Sky Reserve. #BackpackerGuideNZ #NewZealand … The Southern Cross, Magellanic Clouds and famous Milky Good Heavens is a group of trained Dark Sky Ambassadors based right here on Great Barrier Island. Stunning New Zealand's night sky is renowned as the world's darkest sky abundantly embedded with glittering stars. From the darkest depths of the night we become enlightened. It is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of only eight in the world. New Zealand's most famous astronomy destination is 4300 sqare kilometre Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in the South Island which attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. The tour operates from the renowned facilities of Tekapo Springs, combining the stunning Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve with our soul-warming hot pools. The Only Dark Sky Reserve in the Southern Hemisphere REBECCA GREATREXAMIDSR Board Secretary, amateur astronomer, Geraldine. Our enthusiastic ambassadors will guide you through the starry southern night skies and beyond, sharing their knowledge on the basics of astronomy and acquainting you with the amazing display above. 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