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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