Stargazing stays: 7 spots to snooze under the stars


Wondering where to stay in Aotearoa New Zealand for the best stargazing?

Okarito, West Coast (credit: Mike MacKinven)

These seven spots have you covered.

New Zealand has some of the darkest, clearest skies in the world. Our island location and low light pollution means remarkably clear visibility of stars, planets and the Milky Way.

Catching sight of the Matariki star cluster is easy – it's so clear it feels almost close enough to touch. And the Aurora Australis is most commonly spotted in the winter months from March to September. 

What better way to view the stars than from in your bed at one of these locations? 

SkyScape, Tekapo
Designed to maximise the space and beauty of the extraordinary views of the Mackenzie Country, SkyScape bedrooms are built predominantly from glass. Even the roof is made of glass so you can watch the stars all night long while rugged up beneath blankets in bed. Designed to become a part of nature rather than just observing it, the space is nestled into the ground around native scrub and tussocks for total shelter and privacy. Skyscape

Rainforest Retreat, West Coast
Feel immersed within a rainforest while staying in a luxurious tree house amongst lush native bush. Nestled next to Franz Josef Glacier near the Southern Alps, this is the heart of glacier country in the wild West Coast. Experience space and seclusion in a tree house, tree lodge or cosy tree hut, allowing for the bright night sky to unveil itself from within immersive bush. Rainforest Retreat

PurePods, Various Locations.
PurePods are private, secret pockets of wall, floor and ceiling glass cubes that deliver a front seat peek at nature’s show. Sleep with the Southern Cross and blanket of stars laid out above you and dramatic, diverse landscapes curved around your glass pod. Purepods

Annandale, Canterbury.
Stay where the world can’t find you. A working coastal farm set alongside the scenic, remote Banks Peninsula on the South Island, Annandale whisks you away from the everyday world and transplants you to a setting of ultimate beauty and escape. Marvel from the luxurious unique locations at the stars and planets above you.
Annandale Accommodations

Catlins Mohua Park, Southland.
Treat yourself to a stargazing stay knowing you’re also looking after the environment in an eco-friendly cottage. Enjoy seclusion and uninterrupted views in an environment that was created specifically for people to connect to nature and sustainable living. With scenic and wildlife tours on your doorstep during the day, and a sky of stars blanketed above you, you’ll struggle to leave Southland. Catlins Mohua Park

Maruia River Retreat, Nelson
Surrounded by 500 acres of exquisite native beech forests and rugged mountain ranges, Maruia River Retreat is a nature estate to unwind, connect and explore at. The geothermal mineral pools provide the perfect base from which to gaze at the stars as you relax and soak in the natural, warm water.  Maruia River Retreat

Stewart Island Lodge, Stewart Island
Nestled in native bush on a sunny hillside, Stewart Island Lodge is a place to relax and escape from the modern world. As a certified Dark Sky Sanctuary, it is one of the best places in the world to spot the stars, including the Aurora Australis. It’s far-south location mean you can see stars not seen anywhere else in the country. Stewart Island Lodge