Stargazing in the “World’s Dark Sky Reserve”

What is it about the stars?

We look up to the sky at night, and started wondering what is beyond our galaxy. We started to imagining things, making up stories, and having the best moment.

Stargazing is one of our favorite activity in KANO. Everytime we’re going somewhere remote, we’re always try to put some extra efforts to stay awake at night and go out to somewhere really dark. Astrophotography is fun, we love it. But even if we’re not taking any pictures, it’s just a good fun.


New Zealand though, is something very special. Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo are 2 of the “World’s Dark Sky Reserve” which means these places have very little light pollution and hence one of the best places for stargazing. The last 2 times we were there it was during the winter months. The nights were longer and colder. Yet the sky was clearer. So we had some of the most amazing stargazing session.

In Mt Cook, we decided to take a short drive to the start of the Hooker Valley Trail. It was one of the clearest nights that we have and also the coldest. We managed to stay for a few hours to do some astrophotography and just enjoying the mindblowing sky for a bit.

The sky was so clear that we can literally saw some galaxies just forming. Can you see that “F-Shaped” in the sky? Yes that is one of them.


Normally in this place we can see Aurora Australis or the Southern Light, but we were not lucky enough to see one. Maybe next time.

Our 2nd spot was in Lake Tekapo. It is the location of the famous “Church Of Good Shepherd”. You may have seen some pictures of it on some post cards, or calendar (seriously) or on the internet. It’s just so photogenic, even during the day.



But Our Mission was the stars, so we went there at night. And it didn’t disappoint. The Milky Way was lining up perfectly with the church and we got some epic pictures.


Although those 2 places are one of the best places for stargazing. In General, you can do it all over NZ. In fact, we went out every night to see if there’s aurora. But we’ve not been lucky yet. Better luck next time!