Stargazing

A Guided Tour of our Galaxy!

Explore constellations, look for a shooting star and discover planets invisible to the naked eye with the new Skyline Rotorua Stargazing experience.

Mt Ngongotaha is one of the top eight locations in New Zealand for stargazing where the dark clear skies blanketing Rotorua make for a breath taking experience. 

Skyline Rotorua offers top-of-the line telescopes to give stargazers the chance to view an amazing array of sights, from the iconic Southern Cross, to nebulas, planets, the Milky Way and other galaxies.

The most impressive telescope is called ‘The Don,’ weighing over 100kg and performing 2,586 times better than your eye at gathering light, to see space like never before. What’s unique about this telescope is its sharpness - stars are sharp all the way to the edge, which is not the case for 99% of other telescopes.

Planets
Best Time to See Them
Jupiter
Appears dazzling and brilliant with a silver-white luster.

Spot it: April 1 – July 15
Brightest: March 28 – April 19
In opposition to the sun: April 7

Saturn
Witness the famous rings that surround the planet Saturn. Since 2009, Saturn’s rings were tuned edge-on towards earth, making observation quite difficult.

Spot it:  June 15 – Aug 30
Brightest: June 12 – 17
In opposition to the sun: June 15

Matariki
Matariki (the Pleiades star cluster) signals the Māori New Year. Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki).
Spot it: June 25
Uranus
You’ll be able to spot the planets green disk as it spends 2017 in the constellation of Pisces

Spot it: Oct 15 – Dec 31
Brightest: Aug 27 – Dec 7
In opposition to the sun: Oct 19

Neptune
This bluish-hued world spends 2017 in the constellation of Aquarius

Spot it: Sep 15 – Dec 15
Brightest: July 13 – Oct 28
In opposition to the sun: Sep 5

For more information please contact our enquiries team on 07 347 0027 or click here to book online.

Annual Pass holder rates apply:
Adults $70 and Children $32.50. Reservations to be booked through our reservations team, please call 07 347 0027 

Tour Information

After taking a gondola ride to the top of Skyline Rotorua, a knowledgeable and experienced Stargazing guide will take you on a short walk to the purpose built stargazing platform.

After a quick lesson in using the telescopes, your guide will then point out constellations, helping you to interpret the magical beauty of the night sky. Take the time to discover, ask questions and soak in the wonder, and finish your out-of-this-world experience with a delicious hot chocolate.

What to wear:
Please come dressed for a light walk and for being outside. Warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes are advised. 

Times and Dates:
Tours depart daily. Please allow up to 2 hours, including the Gondola transit time for your Stargazing tour. You will need to arrive at the base of the Gondola at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the tour.

Session times vary as sunset times change regularly, check out the full Stargazing Timetable.

Skyline Rotorua Stargazing Video