Wairarapa Dark Sky

About us

Since the establishment of the original Martinborough Dark Sky Society (since expanded to the Wairarapa Dark Sky Association, covering the entire valley), strong support has been received from numerous organizations, businesses and community groups for our vision “to protect, enhance, preserve and promote” the valley’s Dark Skies.

The principal reason for seeking to establish a Dark Sky Reserve in the Wairarapa valley is because of the very high quality of the existing night skies. Its history, geography, natural environment and measurably dark skies all provide strong reasons to approve a Reserve.

The Wairarapa Dark Sky Association is clear in its belief that these skies should be given the formal protection that a Reserve would bring.

On winter nights the Milky Way stretches from horizon to horizon, and are something all local residents have experienced, many times, and they are united in wishing to retain them. The usual response from local citizens to an explanation of our purpose is “how can I help?”.


Currently we are in the application process for Stage 1 of the reserve which will incorporate South Wairarapa and Carterton District.

Stage 2 will be to repeat the process and bring Masterton up to reserve status as agreed with IDA (International Dark Sky Association)

For the South Wairarapa and Carterton District will start the monitoring process that will form part of the ongoing commitment to protect the night skies.

We will also host several outreach events during each year.

We also plan to work closely with businesses and promote education and changes in lighting throughout the region where changes can be made, simply aiming to keep colour temperature (Kelvin rating) low and have lights shielded so no light emission into the sky wherever possible.