Our next planned event is a community stargazing at Opito Bay over Easter. As well as our “resident” experts and their various telescopes, we are hoping to have a discussion on some of the historical and cultural aspects of the Dark Sky Community, particularly in relation to Māori Astonomy and navigation, and European astronomy – all of which have deep roots in the Kūaotunu Peninsula.
We are still working through details and logistics, and will communicate final details as sson as possible.
In June 2022 we held the second event, this time under the official Dark Sky Community banner, being a celebration of the new Mataraki public holiday.
This was a public stargazing event facilitated by our two resoident astronomers, Alastair Brickall and Ed Scorgie, who generously provided their telescopes and other equipment.
Starting at 4:30am on a pretty chilly winter’s morning, we eventually had a crowd of over 70 people taking turns to look at and learn about the stars we could see (unfortunately Mataraki was concealed behind Blackjack Hill) but there was plenty of other great sights.
In August 2021, the inaugural public event was held in Kūaotunu. With around 20 attendees and a spectacularly clear night for viewing the event was a great success and worthy kick off.