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If you have ever looked up at the night sky in wonder, then New Zealand In Depth have uncovered some of the best new experiences to marvel at the night sky in the only Dark Sky Reserve in the southern hemisphere – and one of the best places on earth to experience the night sky.
Tekapo, on New Zealand’s South Island, is home to the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve where light pollution is strictly controlled, it’s here that guests can now stay in the Reserve’s first ever SkyScape glass bedroom; and join a new stargazing adventure to enjoy the night sky whilst lying back in local geothermal hot pools at Tekapo Springs.
The two new star focussed experiences, launched this month with the New Zealand travel experts, New Zealand In Depth, are both designed to bring you closer to the night sky using expert guides and activities to bring the southern hemisphere constellations to life.
For those looking to gaze at the Southern Cross and other constellations from the comfort of a luxury glass room, the new SkyScape glass bedroom, which welcomed its first guests in April 2017, is placed perfectly to not only nestle within native scrub and tussocks, but gives sweeping views of the stars.
Paul Carberry, founder of New Zealand In Depth adds: “This is a real experience. Not only do you have the best views of the best stargazing skies in the southern hemisphere, but the bed rests at ground level, so you are, in terms of perspective, lying on the ground viewing the stars. It’s a real experience.”
This unique building comprises a glass-roofed bedroom, as well as a grass roofed kitchenette and bathroom, whilst outside, in a sunken courtyard, you can relax in a 2m long stainless steel-cedar bathtub.
This building is the creation of New Zealand designer, Ian Perry. The shape of the building, chosen to reflect the angles of the mountain peaks around, is recessed into the ground to allow guests to feel part of the landscape. SkyScape is completely off-grid, using solar, gas and a back- up generator for those cloudy days. Its kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter – making it a perfect spot for stargazing year-round.
Add to this the new opportunity to combine the local hot springs with an expert led Star Gazing Tour all based around the Tekapo Springs facilities – and guests will have the chance to not only see but experience the mass of stars from the geothermally heated hot springs.
New Zealand In Depth’s Paul Carberry adds; “This is great for anyone who is interested in the star gazing from the novice to the avid enthusiast. The really knowledgeable guides not only point out the seasonal major night sky features but also go into their significance for navigational and cultural purposes for European, Maori, Polynesian, Aboriginal and Greek cultures along with some wonderful stories thrown in for good measure.”
Once star gazers are all settled in the hot pools, lights will be turned down to a soft glowing red with floating hammocks on offer to comfortably lie back and relax to continue to enjoy the Southern Night Sky.
For the complete experience, there’s a final stay at the Mt Cook Retreat where you can enjoy the local wine cellar that turns into an observatory allowing guests to enjoy some of New Zealand’s fine vintage wines whilst soaking up the beauty of the stars.
Available year round, a 14 day New Zealand night sky luxury New Zealand itinerary with New Zealand In Depth costs from £2,600 per person, not including flights. This includes a night at the Little River Purepod; three nights at SkyScape or Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat; two nights in Dunedin; two nights in Te Anau and the remaining days in Queenstown.
Programme activities range from Stargazing tour at Tekapo Springs and soak in hot pools in the evening; a visit to the Mt Cook Planetarium and Mt John Observatory; a trip to Milford Sound to see the glow worms; an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound to star gaze at night from boat; and a visit to the Otago Museum.
You never know, if you travel to this world famous stargazing destination you might also bump into fellow astrological fans. Just some of the famous stargazers include Jennifer Aniston (film and TV star), Brian May (Queen), Myleene Klass (TV presenter), Dara O’Briain (comedian) and Richard Branson (Businessman).
New Zealand In Depth media contact:
Tel: 07731 752 096
Email: [email protected]
Notes to editor:
About New Zealand In Depth
The New Zealand In Depth team has created tailor-made holiday experiences to New Zealand for 11 years and are committed to understanding their client’s needs, sharing their expert knowledge and experience of the country and planning trips that leave lasting memories.
New Zealand In Depth has built great relationships with local activities, accommodation and suppliers to offer their clients the chance to experience the real side of New Zealand and get off the beaten track to experiences that are often not available through other operators.
About Paul Carberry – founder of New Zealand In Depth
“I think it was inevitable that I would work in travel and focus on New Zealand in particular. My dad worked in the airline industry for many years for the likes of BOAC, British Airways and then Air New Zealand before he set up his own long haul travel business.
I had the excitement of growing up imagining travel to distant lands and, after completing a degree in geology and working in the family travel business for a couple of years, I left the UK and spent several months exploring New Zealand returning to set up my own New Zealand travel company in 2003.
Since then I have been fortunate to have been able to travel back to New Zealand many times, feeling that is more and more like home every time I go.”
About Sally Lilley – Travel specialist at New Zealand In Depth
“I met John (my partner) in 1999 and after 20 years in the Financial Services industry jumped at the chance to take 12 months off and travel around the world as a mature backpacker. On returning to the UK in 2001 I worked for a number of organisations in the charity and hospitality sector before deciding New Zealand was where we wanted to live.
John & I emigrated to New Zealand in 2003 and entered the world of hospitality and tourism. Over the next seven years we ran a number of remote Lodges on the South Island including Milford Sound, Lake Moeraki and Arthurs Pass and in 2010 we took over a small group guided tour company based in Christchurch.
We spent the next four years guiding small groups around New Zealand ensuring they had a trip of a lifetime. After 11 years in New Zealand we moved back to the UK for family reasons and now have the pleasure of sending visitors to New Zealand to enjoy all my favourite places – many of which you will not find in the guide books.”
AMENITIES at the SkyScape
- Only 12km from Twizel
- Optional Farm Tours available
- Optional evening meal on request
- Continental Breakfast included
- King Bed: Snuggle under a feather duvet with natural fibres to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Luxury cedar outdoor bath tub: Relax with a glass of wine and be overwhelmed with the darkness of our sky and the clarity of the stars and Milky Way.
- 100% pure water: Sourced from a spring under the Ben Ohau Range
- Sleeps a maximum of 2: all guests must be over the age of 16 years.
- Air Conditioning