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:
- We have the largest telescopes available for public use in Wairarapa, with top-of-the-range optical equipment.
- 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.
- You get Hari and Sam.
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
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.