A dark sky reserve for Wairarapa?

From Saturday Morning, 10:43 am on 9 November 2019
Becky Bateman

Becky Bateman Photo: supplied

Becky Bateman is an astro-tourism operator involved in plans to turn Wairarapa into New Zealand's second dark sky reserve after the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, and alongside dark sky sanctuaries on Great Barrier and Stewart islands.

She wants to bring more local and international visitors into the area to stare at the stars.

The establishment of the South Island reserve in 2012 is credited with giving the local economy a major boost. And there are even ambitious plans to turn the whole of New Zealand into the world's first 'dark sky nation'.

This topic was recently discussed at a national Starlight Conference with representatives from the US National Park Service and the International Dark-Sky Association, the international body responsible for deciding whether an area qualifies as a true dark sky area.

Star Field, Ruakokoputuna

Star Field, Ruakokoputuna Photo: www.andybateman.com