Educational Resources

Dark Sky Community

There is no doubt the best place to start learning about the Dark Sky Program is the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) website. There is a host of material there, and pointers to many other information sources.  We have leaned heavily on their site for material contained in this site.

Websites for the other Dark Sky areas in NZ (Aoraki-McKenzie, Stewart Island, Great Barrier Island and Wairarapa) also contain useful information, and the NZ Dark Sky organisation Dark Sky NZ  has a NZ wide focus and excellent materials.

Māori Astronomy

Vicky Hyde’s book includes material on our astronomical heritage from the early days of Māori voyaging.

The website of the Society Of Māori Astronomy Research & Traditions (SMART) provides excellent resources here

An excellent presentation “Matariki and Māori astronomy” with Dr Rangi Matamua can be found here.



For resources on Astronomy, we simply record a few of the recommendations from the NZ Dark Sky Handbook by Professor John Hearnshaw.  These include:


Stars and Planets by Jay M. Pasachoff

Godzone Skies: Astronomy for New Zealanders by Vicky Hyde

Southern Nights by Naomi Arnold

Software Apps

Stellarium, an open source free software planetarium, available for Linux, Windows and macOS.  A paid version is available for Android, IOS and Symbian

Google Sky


Traditions and starlore of the East Coast of Te Ika-a-Maui (North Island) pre-European were recorded, researched and published in the book “Work of the Gods” by Kay Leather and Richard Hall.