Great Barrier Island Awarded Dark Sky Status

It is now official. After months of anticipation the local board's application for Great Barrier to be a Dark Skies Sanctuary has been successful. You can read about it here. This is a fantastic development opportunity for the island and for Orama. Orama will be integral to offering official Dark Skies experiences here in the north of the island and will be starting to offer star gazing experiences to visitors in September when Fatherheart is here.


The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has awarded Aotea Great Barrier Island as a International Dark Sky Sanctuary.

It is the first island in the world to be designated and one of few places in the world to receive this status.


The IDA established the International Dark Sky Places conservation programme in 2001 to recognise ‘excellent stewardship of the night sky’. Designations are based on scientifically measured darkness of sky as well as stringent outdoor lighting standards and innovative community outreach.

The application for the international sanctuary status was lodged by Great Barrier Local Board with support from Auckland Council, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), the Department of Conservation, iwi, the Auckland Astronomical Society and Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye.

Because Great Barrier Island is mostly ’off the grid’, light pollution is minimal, allowing for a good view of the spectacular night sky.