"We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men." — John Muir
Did you know New Zealand is home to the largest dark sky reserve in the world? Nope? Well let us tell you about it! 4,300 square kilometres of the South Island is recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve. The reserve covers most of the Aoraki/Mount Cook Mackenzie region and has been recognised as one of the best sites on earth for stargazing. Explains all those photos you see of the night sky in the south island, right?
The Aurora Australis, or more commonly known 'southern lights' is a natural phenomenon you have to try and experience while in New Zealand. What causes this incredible light display, you ask? Well, let us educate you! The light is caused when energetically charged particles collide in high altitudes (usually during a solar wind) within the earth's atmosphere and create a natural light display in the sky. The aurora often appear as "curtains" of folding light constantly changing shape in shades of green, red and blue. Needless to say, these displays are incredibly beautiful, making New Zealand skies the envy of the rest of the world.
New Zealand is practically an astronomer's playground! To celebrate all things that sparkle in the night we've compiled 10 of our favourite photos showcasing New Zealand skies, all of which you can experience on a mighty South Island road trip.
Bluff Hill by
Hamner Springs by @9nth
Milford Sound by @10stopphotography
Mount Cook by
Tongariro National Park by
The New Zealand milkyway by
Coronet Peak by
@Simonennals | Simon Ennals Photography
Nugget Point Lighthouse by
Back country Central Otago by