Aurora Australis Stewart Island Southland New Zealand Credit Rebecca Wilson Jennings 1 Southern Way

Night Skies

Discover the stunning night skies of the Southern Way.

If you're a fan of stargazing, the Southern Way offers a truly exceptional experience with its minimal light pollution. During the summer months, you need to be patient and wait until later in the evening to witness the best celestial wonders.

Rakiura/Stewart Island is the southernmost Dark Sky Sanctuary and one of only four found in the southern hemisphere! It is largely regarded as one of the best places in the world to observe the night sky and its southern location provides the best chance of enjoying the magical Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights. With 85% of Rakiura protected as a National Park, it makes for a truly unique experience not just for star gazing but for the nocturnal wildlife on the island, such as the southern brown kiwi, Rakiura tokoeka. While you can view the spectacular night skies on your own on Rakiura, we recommend a tour to get the most out of the experience.

Naseby, located on the plains of the Maniatoto, has been identified as having some of the best night sky viewing in New Zealand. The small size of the village of Naseby, creates almost zero light pollution, resulting in clear night sky viewing with both the naked eye and telescopes. Naseby has applied to become an International Dark Sky Sanctuary and tours are available to introduce visitors to the basics of astronomy.