Stargazing & Nighttime Activities

Rakiura, which means glowing skies in te Reo Māori (the Māori language), is an excellent location for stargazing and viewing the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights). In 2019, the island was recognised as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, making it the southernmost sanctuary and the second island globally to receive this honour. This designation is awarded to areas with exceptional quality of starry nights. Due to the island's excellent dark sky quality, trying at least one of the nighttime activities is highly recommended. From gazing up at the stars with Twinkle Dark Sky Tours to spotting the iconic kiwi, here are some of our favourite activities to do in the dark on Rakiura.