Haere i mua, i te aroaro o Atutahi.
Go before the rising of the star, Atutahi.
We invite you to join us on our unique stargazing experience. The whakatauki (proverb) above refers to Atutahi (Canopus), the second brightest star of the Carina constellation. Atutahi was the first born child of Ranginui (sky father), and a sign that Winter was on its way. The Southern Skies Stargazing tour takes you on a journey of discovery to learn about the unique celestial features of the Southern sky, while also sharing stories and waiata (songs) about how Māori viewed the night sky.
The Otago peninsula coastline provides a clear and breath-taking view of the night sky, along with a magical backdrop of coastal bird calls echoing across Hoopers inlet. In the right conditions, this rural coastal area is a prime viewing location for the Southern Lights, Aurora Australis.
Our guides will point out celestial points of significance that can be viewed with the naked eye. You can also make use of our Skywatcher telescope (with a maximum practical magnification of 200x ) for a closer look. Listen to stories detailing Māori myths of creation, of how Te Ao Marama – the world of light, the world as we know it, emerged. Learn about how Māori relied on tātai arorangi (detailed astronomical knowledge) to navigate the ocean, plant crops, and harvest kaimoana (seafood).
Enjoy Māori manaakitanga (hospitality) with a light supper and hot beverage. Sit back, relax and be enchanted.
For further detail on what you can expect to see with us on this tour...
Pick-up and drop-off available from 20+ central city accommodations or the Dunedin i-SITE
Low level of fitness required for this tour.
This is a weather dependent activity. If the tour is cancelled due to weather and the night sky is not visible, a full refund will be provided.
Please wear flat soled, enclosed walking shoes due to uneven surfaces at the star gazing area.
Dunedin is often a windy and sometimes a wet city, please dress appropriately.