Published on : Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Located 100km north-east of central Auckland, Great Barrier Island’s night skies will now be protected for present and future generations. Great Barrier Island becomes the first island and only the third place in the world to achieve this status. The other two sanctuaries are in New Mexico (US) and Chile.
A Dark Sky Sanctuary is public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural or educational value, cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.
With much of Great Barrier Island ’off the grid’, light pollution is minimized on the island, allowing for great viewing of the spectacular night sky.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says Great Barrier Island is home to a community focused on protecting and preserving its stunning natural beauty which makes it the ideal location to receive International Dark Sky Sanctuary status.
“Great Barrier Island is a place of rugged beauty and untouched wilderness, and is one of the most tranquil and unspoilt places in the wider Auckland region,” Goff says.
The island is accessible by air from Auckland, Coromandel, Northland, Tauranga and Hamilton, or by ferry from Auckland’s downtown waterfront.
Great Barrier Island joins the Aoraki Mackenzie in the central South Island as a leading New Zealand astro-tourism destination. Aoraki Mackenzie is an International Dark Sky Reserve and must-do tourism experience for international visitors to New zealand. Now with two recognised dark sky areas, New Zealand has become a bucket list destination for astronomers and lovers of the night sky.
A sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Park or Reserve in that it is typically situated in a very remote location with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies, and it does not otherwise meet the requirements for designation as a park or reserve.
Source:- 100% Pure New Zealand