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Great Barrier Island attracts astro-tourists and enthusiasts from all around the world Great Barrier Island attracts astro-tourists and enthusiasts from all around the world

Great Barrier Island to Host Matariki Star Festival

One of the world’s few island Dark Sky Sanctuaries, Aotea, Great Barrier Island in New Zealand, is leveraging its star power to celebrate Matariki (Māori New Year) with a month-long festival.

An IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary is land with a distinguished quality of starry nights and protected nocturnal environment.

Matariki Festival will run from June 29 – July 31, with a range of events including art exhibitions, photography workshops, rocket making, astronomy talks, star gazing, moon dancing and a twilight ball.

Gendie Somerville-Ryan, one of the residents responsible for applying to the International Dark Sky Association, commented, “We want to get the word out that the island is a fantastic place to visit in winter. In fact, with the shorter days you don’t need to stay up so late to see the starry nights.”