New Zealand's southern hemisphere sky contains beautiful star clusters, gas cloud nebulae and star patterns that can only be seen from this latitude. Stardome will share with you the local legends and stories of these celestial bodies, and show you how to find them in the night sky.
Stardome is situated on the lower southern slopes of One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) - one of Auckland's volcanic cones and most prominent natural landmarks. The park includes Maori archaeological sites, playgrounds, BBQs, walking tracks and a working farm.
Prepare to be amazed as your guide takes you on an unforgettable tour of the night sky!
For tour groups, Stardome offers the choice of two specially designed planetarium shows that bring to life the unique wonders of the night sky as visible from New Zealand: ‘The Southern Night Sky’ and ‘Matariki Dawn’.
Available times and prices are:
9am-10am weekdays: $8 per head, with a minimum price of $300.
12pm-1pm weekends: $10 per head, with a minimum price of $400.
Public holidays: not available.
Stardome visitors will be welcomed to Stardome by an astronomy presenter who will host them for their visit. They will be given time to explore the displays and exhibits before a 30-minute planetarium show. Tour organisers can pre-select either ‘The Southern Night Sky’ or ‘Matariki Dawn’. Each show begins with a mihi (Maori welcome), and concludes with a projection of a realistic night sky above Auckland accompanied by information and stories told by the astronomy presenter.
For bookings, contact:
Stardome Observatory & Planetarium, 670 Manukau Rd, One Tree Hill, Auckland
Ph 09 624 1246 ext. 212
The sky of the southern hemisphere contains beautiful star clusters, gas cloud nebulae and star patterns that can only be seen from this latitude.
Experience the unique wonders of New Zealand’s night sky with ‘The Southern Night Sky’. Astronomy presenters will reveal the features of the southern hemisphere sky as these constellations are projected onto the domed ceiling of the planetarium. Learn about their history and significance to New Zealanders.
Perhaps the most important constellation to New Zealanders is the Southern Cross, which features on the flag and is a symbol for the country. Pleiades, or the ‘Matariki’ star cluster, heralds the start of a month-long festival of celebration for Maori New Year in June. Another prominent constellation, Scorpius, is also known in Maori legend as the hook that pulled up New Zealand from the Pacific Ocean. Learn how to find these constellations and see the star clusters within them in this live presentation.
Matariki Festival occurs each June in New Zealand, where the Maori New Year is celebrated. The date for this festival changes each year as Easter does, and is signalled by the pre-dawn rise of a beautiful cluster of blue stars.
The planetarium show ‘Matariki Dawn’ looks at cultural and astronomical aspects of this group of spectacular stars. The show includes Maori myths and stories about the formation of the Earth, the Moon and Maori New Year. Using the Stardome's 360-degree image projection system, visitors can also see the stars of Matariki close up in the planetarium and find out why they appear at certain times of the year and not at others.