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Reach for the Stars: Top 10 Stargazing Spots in Auckland

Top 10 Stargazing Spots in Auckland

Have you always been fascinated by the cosmic wonders that appear during nighttime? Thanks to Auckland’s diverse landscape – mountains, volcanoes, parks and tall buildings – people can find various spots to admire the stars at night.

That said, searching for the perfect place to view the stars can be a bit overwhelming—you don’t really know what to expect in each one, right?

Well, lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best stargazing spots in Auckland! We’re dishing out the necessary details so you can choose which one floats your boat!

Tawharanui Regional Park

— Media credit: bilal.sid7

Address: 1181 Takatu Road, Tāwharanui Peninsula 0986, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 366 2000

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Tawharanui Regional Park is an 80-minute drive away from Auckland, but it’s a road trip that’s well worth it because of the stunning views that you’ll be treated to. Not only is this park breathtaking in itself, but it’s also the best stargazing spot thanks to its minimal light pollution.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to go stargazing here, you’ll be pleased to know that this park also doubles as a campsite! This means that you can stay overnight to make the lengthy drive from Auckland all the more worth it.

Moreover, the park also doubles as a campsite so people can set up their tents and wait as the sky turns black and becomes enshrouded by different cosmic wonders. Plus, it allows campers to stay overnight to make the lengthy drive more worth it!

Pro tip:

If you’re a fan of surfing, bring your surfboards because Tawharanui Regional Park also houses a beach that’s known to have good waves. 

Stardome Observatory Planetarium


Address: 670 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland 1345, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 624 1246

Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday to Sunday: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Monday: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Stardome Observatory Planetarium is a great stargazing spot if you can’t drive to the different spots in and outside Auckland. It’s also perfect for those who simply don’t want to go through the hassle of stargazing such as setting up tents, hiking up mountains and more.

This planetarium will let guests go on an unforgettable tour, consisting of different exhibits that showcase our planet and the universe that it’s housed in. You can then use the info that you’ll get from these exhibits when you eventually set out to go stargazing!

If you want to try something closer to stargazing, the best you can do is attend one of the planetarium’s films. These movies will fascinate you with their stunning visuals and complete information about space, from star signs to navigation and more.

Pro tip:

If you want to save money, visit the planetarium from 6:00 PM until closing time on Sundays. They have a promo called Saver Sundays, where admission fees are priced significantly lower than their regular rates.

Shakespear Regional Park

— Media credit: visitauckland

Address: 1501 Whangaparaoa Road, Army Bay, Auckland 0930, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 366 2000

Operating hours: Daily from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Stargazing or not, a visit to Shakespear Regional Park is called for, especially if you’re fond of the great outdoors. This picturesque park consists of vast patches of grass, a beautiful beach and even a majestic waterfall—what more could you ask for?

This variety makes stargazing all the more interesting and rewarding. However, we recommend the beach among all the places in the park, as there’s something so soothing about looking up into the unknown while hearing waves crash onto the shore.

The adrenaline junkies in our team got a kick out of this park, doing thrilling activities like snorkelling, hiking, diving and windsurfing. But if you’re looking for something more relaxing, you can also set up a picnic and watch the world go by.

Pro tip

Before heading down to the beach, make sure to stop by the top of the Lookout Track. This specific spot will give you 360-degree breathtaking views of the sea as well as the whole park itself.

Piha Beach

Address: Beach Valley Road, Piha 0772, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 301 0101

If you’re looking for great waves and amazing views rolled into one, then you should start at Piha Beach. During the daytime, this beach turns into a prime surfing spot where tons of surfers from around the world catch massive waves.

Come nighttime, however, this beach transforms into the ultimate stargazing spot, featuring a beautiful starry night sky and a lovely serenade courtesy of the beach’s waves.

Piha Beach is also a great place to wind down and observe the beautiful natural landscapes, making it a great stop for sightseeing. If you want the best possible views, we recommend heading to Tasman Lookout, which you can access by walking from the beach’s parking lot.

Pro tip

If you want to stay overnight on this beautiful beach, we recommend opting for Piha Beachstay Accommodation. This place offers high-quality rooms, beautiful panoramic views and best of all, it’s located near Kitekite Falls.

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

— Media credit: alexplore_fr


Address: 759 Manukau Heads Road, Manukau Heads 2684, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 630 7133

Operating hours: Daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Manukau Heads Lighthouse is one of those places that doesn’t seem real just because of its sheer beauty. This age-old attraction has been a famous spot for sightseeing because of its jaw-dropping views of the sea, mountain ranges and of course, the city of Auckland itself.

The best time to visit this place, however, is during the nighttime. This is when the dark sky will start displaying its beautiful heavenly bodies. 

The night sky is great to observe without frills. Thanks to the lighthouse’s elevation, you’ll feel closer to these stunning sights.

Unfortunately, Manukau Heads is temporarily closed at the time of writing, as the road leading to it was deemed inaccessible after a slip. Don’t worry though, as they’re targeting a reopening as early as December 2024!

Pro tip:

Given that you’re already in Awhitu Peninsula, it’s a no-brainer to stop by its other wonders as well! Make sure to stop by Glenbrook Vintage Rail, Pollok Arts & Crafts Co-op, Awhitu Wines and Awhitu Regional Park!

Hunua Ranges Regional Parks

— Media credit: james.broadbent

Address: 203 Falls Road, Hunua 2583, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 366 2000

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

For those days when you just want to escape reality and be surrounded by beautiful views, Hunua Ranges is one of the best places to be. As it’s surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain ranges, you’ll feel the seclusion here, highlighting how you’re away from all the stresses in the city.

There are also a myriad of things to admire in this regional park including a waterfall and a handful of streams. These points of interest make this place a great spot for walking, as you won’t get tired of the views and the overall pleasant weather.

Come nighttime, you can lie down in the grass or go back to your car and look up into the beautiful celestial wonders in the sky.

Pro tip:

Since this is the largest mainland forest in Auckland, hiking/trekking should be on your list of things to do! This being said, make sure to wear comfortable and durable shoes to make sure that you can handle walking for several hours without feeling fatigued.

Whatipu Beach

— Media credit: rowannicholson

Address: Whatipu Road, Huia, Auckland 0604, New Zealand

Contact details: +64 9 301 0101

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

Whatipu Beach is hands down one of the prettiest beaches in Auckland, with its otherworldly-looking shores and beautiful cerulean waters. It’s not recommended for swimming, though, but the sights make up for the drive! 

The biggest highlight here, however, is the sky. This is especially true during nighttime, as the beach almost becomes one of those 4D theatres, where you’ll get to experience an immersive viewing experience.

This time, the film will be the starry sky and the immersion will come in the form of the sound of waves, the cold breeze of the wind and the surrounding views—pretty amazing, right?

Pro tip:

If you want to add more adventure to your trip to Whatipu Beach, we recommend hiking on one of the nearby trails like the Hillary Trail and Omanawanui Track. 

Moreover, you can stay in the Whatipu Lodge and Campground if you want to spend the night near the beach.

Motutapu Island

— Media credit: homerecruitmentnz

Address: Motutapu Walkway, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and want to enjoy a more remote adventure, then Motutapu Island should be right up your alley. It’s one of those places where you’ll be detached from civilisation, leaving you with no power or light, which is part of the fun!

With no distractions in sight, you’ll be forced to observe the things around you, from heavenly bodies visible in the night sky to the different birds flying by, and more. Plus, you’ll get to stay by the beach by setting up your own tent—now that’s convenience at its finest!

Pro tip:

Aside from stargazing, you can also go on a hike around the island on a guided tour to see everything that it has to offer.

The Pinnacles

— Media credit: jomi_travelkaki and thecoromandel


Address: Waikato 3592, New Zealand

Sometimes, the best way to observe the sky’s cosmic wonders is by climbing the highest points in the city. In this case, the point of interest is The Pinnacles, which has an elevation of 759 metres, giving the term “reach for the stars” a whole new meaning.

The trek towards this summit isn’t a cakewalk, however, so it’s best to condition your body before embarking on this adventure. Don’t worry though, as the hike will be more than worth it because of its breathtaking views!

Pro tip:

Make sure to bring enough sun protection and drinking water to make sure that everything goes smoothly during your trip! Furthermore, we advise wearing hiking shoes to avoid slipping and to keep your feet comfortable as long as possible.

Great Barrier Island

Address: Auckland 0991, New Zealand

If you’re willing to make a 90km drive from Auckland’s City Centre, you’ll be treated to one of the most beautiful stargazing experiences in New Zealand. The Great Barrier Island is considered a Dark Sky Sanctuary because it features the least amount of light pollution. 

This allows its visitors to enjoy a more visible starry night sky, complete with its astronomical wonders. Not many spots in the city feature this kind of visibility so a lot of people make the effort of driving here to see these views—and you should too!

Pro tip:

While you’re on the island, be sure not to miss out on its fun activities like cycling, trekking and swimming. Furthermore, we recommend checking out its other attractions including Karaoke Hot Springs and Glenfern Sanctuary.