Destination Development

Dark Sky Tourism

Murihiku Southland is becoming a key destination for dark sky enthusiasts with international accreditation protecting the views we experience today for generations to come.

Dark Skies Stewart Island Southland New Zealand Credit Sandra Whipp 1
Dark Skies Milford Sound Southland New Zealand Credit Great South 28 1

Expanding Dark Sky Sanctuaries

Our region has limited light pollution and a strong focus on protecting our natural environment. This aligns well with astro tourists who seek out the world’s most dark destinations, which are scarce in the larger urban areas of the northern hemisphere. 

Rakiura Stewart Island is already an International Dark Sky Sanctuary and this accreditation has led to growth in visitor numbers. The skies above Fiordland National Park are also of the quality required to become an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, and Great South is supporting work to progress this opportunity for the community. 

If the application is successful, Murihiku Southland would be home to the southernmost (Rakiura Stewart Island) and largest (Te Rua-o-Te-Moko Fiordland) dark sky sanctuaries in the world.