In partnership with Aotearoa Astrotourism Academy (AAANZ.org) and the Matariki Ramaroa Festival, we had the pleasure of hosting an interactive amateur astronomy course, training dark sky guides and stargazing enthusiasts.
Commencing with an auspicious hangi under clear Matariki skies, we experienced an amazing three days, learning how to use telescopes, identify constellations and planets, capture the night sky on camera, and about Maori astronomy.
As a result of this event, the Council, locals, and astronomers are exploring the possibility of international dark sky accreditation in the Kapiti region, which is immensely exciting.
IGA accreditation protects the wonder of the dark sky for future generations, reduces the cost of electrical lighting, and brings economic spin-offs by way of astrotourism and ecotourism.
AAANZ is grateful to their sponsors, Otaki Community Board, Kapiti District Council, and the Lotteries Commission.