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29/01/23 — 31/01/23 29/01/23 — 2/02/23 29/01/23 — 4/02/23 or
Sun 29 Jan Mon 30 Jan Tue 31 Jan Wed 1 Feb Thu 2 Feb Fri 3 Feb Sat 4 Feb
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Star Safari

Star Safari

Get to see through the largest telescopes for public use in Wairarapa, use VR headsets, experience AR and enjoy virtual tours of the Universe when the weather is cloudy, plus you get Hari and Sam. We talk science. FREE for 15 and under.

Get the best views of the sky from Wairarapa: 

  1. We have the largest telescopes available for public use in Wairarapa, with top-of-the-range optical equipment.  
  2. We also have VR headsets so that when the weather is cloudy, you can take off to the Moon or float in the International Space Station. 
  3. You get Hari and Sam. 
Hari was a finalist of the New Zealand Woman of the Year in 2019 and was picked to go to the European Space Agency Astronaut Selection in 2021. An astrobiologist, Hari trained for Mars at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and lectures at Auckland University in Planetary Protection. She is on the Wairarapa Dark Sky Association and Women in Space Aotearoa Committees. 


For the last 25 years, Sam has been living in Wairarapa, observing the night sky from his private observatory. Sam is a former airforce pilot and intelligence officer, studying astrophysics and now a professional space science communicator.


Nestled in Wairarapa's stunning dark skies is the Star Safari Observatory, handy to both Martinborough and Carterton but far away enough not to be impacted by light pollution. This is important for stargazing because the darker the sky, the more objects you can see. 


Our equipment is the best in Wairarapa because, for stargazing, size really matters.

 Our telescopes gather lots of light and our eyepieces are the best on the market. When the sky is cloudy, we take you on a virtual tour through the Universe with our science-based planetarium software, and we have VR headsets just for you so you can experience space fully immersively. 


It goes without saying that hot chocolate is a must for stargazing, but we also serve tea if you prefer. So sit on a moon chair or lay on a bean bag and be one with the Universe. And while other people might tell you stories about the night sky, talk about star lore and star constellations, or even try and tell your future, we do science. 

Come discuss with us the future of humankind and how it is linked to space exploration; let's ponder together how to make a better one and marvel at the Universe. We look forward to your visit and sharing this fantastic night sky we have here in Aotearoa. 

Please check the directions here: https://star-safari.nz/contact/ 

More information, as well as our terms and conditions here 
https://star-safari.nz/stargazing-in-wairarapa/ 


Big Telescopes. Space Shop. Astrophotography. Space Science Communication. Virtual Night Sky Tours.


We operate on a farm. Therefore, for your safety, bookings are essential for Star Safari. If you have questions about the location, don't hesitate to contact us - DO NOT VISIT without a booking. 


Follow the Star Safari website map with detailed information on how to get here.


The address is 1169 Ponatahi Road, and our observatories are on top of the hill. Once you get to the gate, follow our signs to the top. 


The location is on a working farm, so please drive slowly and be cautious of any animals. 


The last part of the drive is on a gravel road. Again, drive gently and consistently and stick to the road.
Dress warmly for outdoor activities in an exposed environment. A good jacket, hat, gloves, and warm footwear are advised. 


A YearPass or Half-YearPass entitles you to visit as many times as you like for a year or half a year during the times we are open for Star Safari. Look for further instructions in the confirmation email. The passes are for the names entered when purchased and are non-transferable, so please ensure you enter the correct details. 
Carterton District Residents must provide proof of address. 


You can bring up to two under 15 for the sessions, and you must register each when you book the ticket.

  • Duration : 90 Minutes (approx.)
From NZD $27.00

Enter Number of Stargazers *

Choose a Time *

Book Now
Star Safari - private experience Book Now Available × × × × Book Now Available Book Now Available
Star Safari - private experience

Star Safari - private experience

Have Something Special To Celebrate? Why not do it under Wairarapa's amazing stars with us? Or simply enjoy a Star Safari just for you. We look forward to host you. Exclusively.

Whatever the reason you're here, we are happy to show you the amazing night sky of Wairarapa.

Share an evening of space and astronomy with professional space science communicators Hari Mogoșanu and Sam Leske
We talk about the night sky, space, astrophysics, astrobiology, telescopes, Mars, life in the Universe and even aliens. 


When it comes to telescopes, we have the best equipment in Wairarapa.

You look at the sky through big telescopes.

We have top quality astronomical gear: two 405 mm (16") telescopes, equipped with top of the range eyepieces - because when looking at the stars, every detail matters. 


Our telescopes are significantly larger than portable telescopes. They have three times the light gathering ability of the portable telescopes used by other night sky tourism operators in Wairarapa. 


We also have binoculars, and a few other telescopes.


Into astrophotography?

Bring your camera. The site is located in a particularly dark sky, and the ridge we are located on is shielded from the light pollution from Martinborough, Greytown, Masterton and Carterton but close to these places and is easy to drive here.


Spend time with professionals

Space science communication and education and research related to it is what we do for a living. When we are not stargazing, we teach space science communication in our portable planetarium to teachers and schools around New Zealand. We are also accredited by the Ministry of Education as Professional Learning Development (PLD) providers for teachers. 


Hari is the Creative Producer of the latest New Zealand planetarium show – Ngā Tohunga Whakatere – The Navigators, we share from her experience of creating the movie, working with the navigators, biases and mindsets in understanding culture explained through astronomical knowledge by looking at different systems of understanding the night sky. 

 

Sam is very skilled at finding deep sky objects in the night sky. If you want to see faint galaxies, strange nebulae and things not many people can find, then join us. Read here for the sorts of things we look at in our telescopes.

 

We also use Astroreality 3D Printed Augmented Reality products, which you can also buy in our shop. We have our own astronomy and space shop, that is open during Star Safari.


How to get here

Follow the map on our Star Safari website that has detailed information on how to get here.

The address is 1169 Ponatahi Road and our observatories are on top of the hill. Once you get to the gate, follow our signs to the top of the hill. 

The location is on a working farm so please drive slowly and be cautious of any animals. 

The last part of the drive is on gravel road. Drive gently and consistently and stick to the road.


What to bring

Dress warm for outdoor activities in an exposed environment. A good jacket, hat and gloves are advised as well as warm footwear. 


You can bring up to two under 15 year olds for free for each adult attending the sessions and you must register each of them when you book the ticket.

  • Duration : 90 Minutes (approx.)
From NZD $522.00

Enter Number of Stargazers *

Choose a Time *

Book Now
Virtual Reality, Hot Chocolate and Astronomy × × × × × × Book Now Available
Virtual Reality, Hot Chocolate and Astronomy

Virtual Reality, Hot Chocolate and Astronomy

Experience space in virtual reality. Visit the ISS, fly through the rings of Saturn, hold Jupiter in your hands and learn how big our Sun is. Fresh air, fabulous location and delicious hot chocolate are a plus.

Enjoy a trip to the Universe with our Virtual Reality headsets. Learn about the Solar System and the Sun, visit the International Space Station, and explore the Universe. Also, learn about what's in the night sky. Constellations, planets, galaxies, we have it all covered. This is a great introductory class to learn about and understand the night sky, get basic orientation skills or just explore the Universe in VR.


This is a 90 minutes VR experience and introduction to an astronomy subject and the night sky, on location at Star Safari in the idyllic setting of Wairarapa. 


ASTRO-January - Mars and Orion - Stellar Nurseries, how stars are born.

ASTRO-February - Meteorites, Asteroids and other objects in our Solar System. (Watch out for the Centaurids Meteor Shower and hopefully a comet coming our way.)

ASTRO-March - TBD

ASTRO-April - TBD

ASTRO-May - TBD

ASTRO-June

ASTRO-July 

ASTRO-August

ASTRO-September

ASTRO-October

ASTRO-November - Jupiter and Saturn - Our Solar System

ASTRO-December - Jupiter and Mars - Galaxies 


A little bit of introduction to astronomy, a little bit of introduction to stargazing, and a little bit of citizen science sprinkled with stardust. 

Come learn about dark sky reserves and how to look after our night sky. 


Year Pass

This entitles you to attend 12 sessions of Hot Chocolate Astronomy anytime you like.


ONE SMALL STEP

Did you know: If you pull your window curtains at home at night you will stop light spilling outside of your house and prevent light pollution? 


Our presentation takes place at Star Safari. As the night sky changes so slightly every day, we update our content weekly. 

Here is the structure of the talk

  • Introduction to astronomy. Each month covers a different astronomy topic 
  • Current space and astronomy news
  • Citizen science for dark skies - what is the featured constellation for Globe at Night and what can you do to contribute
  • Our favourite/featured object of the week - each week we talk in detail about a different object in the night sky. 
  • Q&A session 

www.star-safari.nz


Stargazing. Big Telescopes. Space Shop. Astrophotography. Space Science Communication. Virtual Night Sky Tours. 

Share an evening of space and astronomy with Astrobiologist and Space Science Communicator Hari Mogosanu and Space Science Communicator Sam Leske. 


How to get here

Follow the map on our Star Safari website that has detailed information on how to get here.

The address is 1169 Ponatahi Road and our observatories are on top of the hill. Once you get to the gate, follow our signs to the top of the hill. 

The location is on a working farm so please drive slowly and be cautious of any animals. 

The last part of the drive is on gravel road. Drive gently and consistently and stick to the road.

  • Duration : 90 Minutes (approx.)
From NZD $27.00

Enter Number of explorers *

Choose a Time *

Book Now
Star Party - BYO telescope(s) × × × × × × ×
Star Party - BYO telescope(s)

Star Party - BYO telescope(s)

Bring your telescope, binoculars or just yourself for a night of stargazing or telescope maintenance and learning if the sky is cloudy.

A star party is a large gathering of amateurs astronomers and their telescopes, cameras, and other accessories for the purpose of looking at the stars.


This is a chance for you to bring your telescope for a ride. We will help you set it up, collimate it, line that finder up, give you some tips on how to use it. We will also talk about magnification, eyepieces, how to attach a camera to a telescope and other tricks. 

This event has two parts, one in which we talk about telescopes followed by observing together at Star Safari. Our telescopes will be available too.

Hot chocolate is provided throughout the night. 

If it rains or is cloudy, we will still talk about telescopes, set them up and have a nice cuppa. 

You know how to dress! :) if in doubt, follow the instructions from Star Safari https://star-safari.nz/get-tickets/experiences-photo-gallery/

  • Duration : 240 Minutes (approx.)
From NZD $27.00

Enter Number of Participants *

Choose a Time *

Book Now
What to do with your telescope - Course × × × × × × ×
What to do with your telescope - Course

What to do with your telescope - Course

Did you get a telescope for Christmas? If you don't know how to use it, colimate it or are just interested in understanding a bit more about a telescopes then this course is for you.

Our Telescope Course is back! You already own a telescope, but...


This is a course for people who already have a telescope and would like to learn more about how to use it, how to collimate it and any other maintenance they need, what type of eyepieces are the best to buy and any other equipment. 


BRING YOUR TELESCOPE ALONG! 


Where: Wairarapa Space Science Centre in Carterton.


There's no "but" after our course. You'll know exactly:

- Where to start? 

- Do you know where to look?

- What to do? 

- What's in the sky? 

- How to get the best out of your telescope? 

- What do you need to consider if you wish to plunge into deep-sky astrophotography?


Take the giant leap; reach for the stars! 


At the end of the course, you'll know all about the types of telescopes available, mounts, attachments and eyepieces. We cover the whole lot. We have been using telescopes for a long time and have a vast range we use now for public and at home. 

We're not affiliated with any retailers, so our advice is unbiased and based on our years of experience with lugging telescopes around the world, maintaining them and using them.

  • Duration : 3 Hours (approx.)
From NZD $80.00

Enter Number of Participants *

Choose a Time *

Book Now
Gift Card Book Now
Gift Card

Gift Card

Gift a stellar experience to someone you know who would love a Star Safari, a Star Party or a Virtual Reality, Hot Chocolate and Astronomy.

This voucher is for one adult, or 1 adult & one 15 and under or 1 adult & two 15 and under for any $27 sessions at Star Safari.


You can redeem this voucher for 

  • Star Safari 
  • Virtual Reality, Hot Chocolate and Astronomy 
  • Star Party 
We look forward to seeing you there, please keep an eye on your emails for further instructions. 

Thank you for purchasing a gift voucher


Hari and Sam 

NZD $27.00

Enter Number of Recipients *

Buy now