Arrivals & Departures New Zealand’s stars shine bright

PurePod Little River banks Peninsula
Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Imagine taking in what is possibly the world’s most spectacular view of the night’s sky from a glass PurePod.

Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island is fast becoming an astro-tourism hot spot, boasting the world’s biggest dark-sky reserve – the first in the Southern Hemisphere.

Located three hours south of Christchurch, Aoraki Mackenzie is a gold-rated dark-sky reserve, in recognition of the quality of the almost-light-pollution-free skies of the Mackenzie Basin.

New Zealand has officially renamed the main highway connecting Fairlie to Aoraki Mt Cook as the Starlight Highway, and a new International Astronomy Centre is being built beside Lake Tekapo.

Next door, a new hotel – the Tekapo Sky Resort – and a 112-bed youth hostel are due to open next year.

Another first for Canterbury is are the PurePods (pictured at top). Made of heavy-duty glass and set in stunning locations, the PurePods bring the outside in – from the sky above to the native plants underneath.

Each sleeping two, four PurePods are available in Banks Peninsula, Waipara Valley and Kaikoura.

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