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Aoraki Mount Cook Village is far from the city lights and located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, this is a ‘gold-rated’ reserve, meaning the darkness of our night skies is almost unbeatable.
Big Sky Stargazing runs nightly tours that begin with an introduction and orientation in the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre’s Theatre Planetarium, the first full dome digital planetarium in New Zealand. This is where your friendly informative guides introduce you the Southern night sky, the Southern Cross and the Milky Way.
Once you have completed your orientation it is time to slip into one of the supplied warm and cozy stargazing coats and put all you have learnt into practice. You are taken on a short drive to the outdoor stargazing site for spectacular views of the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park southern sky. Using the naked eye, high-powered binoculars and state of the art telescopes, continue your tour of the Milky Way and beyond. Unleash your imagination as you explore our neighbourhood in the universe including star clusters, planets, moons and distant galaxies.
Tours run every night with permitting clear skies at 9pm from The Hermitage Hotel. The tour lasts approximately two hours and due to high demand is recommended that you pre book to avoid disappointment.
Visit www.hillarycentre.co.nz to find out more about Big Sky Stargazing!