Good Heavens

Good Heavens

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Issue #03 of the Dark Sky Travels magazine has now been published.
Free, monthly, digital publication dedicated to Nightscape Photography.
https://www.darkskytravels.com/magazine
Carol Comer spends a lot of time in the dark... taking amazing photos.

Come and have a look at her work at the Aotea Art Gallery in the next few weeks!

Carol can also be commissioned to take dark sky portraits. Check with us, or her if you want to know more.
Beautiful comparison.
First see our own star go down, then, once it gets super dark, admire the stars that are further away... 🌟
So cool! Fave pic: Roh Oph, fave news: the biiiig ring around Saturn. 💖

Next job: see if we can find that nursery Deborah Kilgallon! 😁
Epic spot, divine lights! #Goodheavens and the #milkywaykiwi
Wow, what a great experience we had looking at the night sky at Medlands Beach on Great Barrier Island. It was a beautiful cloudless night and the location for our viewing, on the dunes above the beach, was perfect, especially with the waves providing a natural soundtrack. Deb really looked after us, providing cushioned chairs, blankets and a hottie to keep us comfortable while we gazed at the heavens and she commented on the the myriad of stars, constellations, planets and Milky Way. Zodiac signs that were visible were pointed out, as was the Southern Cross. Mars was amazing as it marched across the eastern horizon and Venus said hello before dropping out of site on the other side of the bay. Through the telescope we were shown stars at different stages of their life cycle and it was quite amazing to think we were looking at old timers that may not even be there any more. The icing on the cake for me was seeing Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons. Deb thoughtfully sent us an email afterwards noting what we saw and providing links to sites for more information. A hot chocolate and some home baking brought our evening to a close - one we are still talking about a week later and will be, I'm sure, for some time.
If you love flying @Singaporeair and enjoyed reading about Great Barrier Island in the SilverKris inflight magazine, you will appreciate the comfort Good Heavens provide on their #darkskyexperiences

A comfortable journey through the Great Barrier Island night sky and into the universe! 🌟

Marvel at our Skies with us! Good Heavens guides take you on a comfortable and entertaining stargazing journey of the super dark sky above beautiful Great Barrier Island

Marvel at our Skies with us during a Dark Sky Experience. Good Heavens is here to guide you through the stars and planets on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.

Great Barrier Island is a Dark Sky Sanctuaries, and the first Island Sanctuary, in the world. Away from the lights of the big city and as an off-the-grid island, our light pollution is minimal. Our dark skies are superb. Come on a comfort

Operating as usual

Timeline Photos 19/06/2021

Good Heavens were proud supporters of SkyCity Variety of Chefs 2021, held at MASU on Fri 11 June, by donating two of our stargazing experiences to their silent/live auction. This event raised over $90,000 for the Variety Warm Hearts Winter Appeal, which is aiming to give 553 Kiwi kids a bed to call their own.

For too many Kiwi kids in our poorest communities, having their own bed is something they can only dream about. They sleep on couches, on the floor or share with siblings, which puts them at risk from preventable respiratory conditions like bronchiolitis and rheumatic fever.

The Variety Warm Hearts Winter Appeal runs through until the end of July. Please support our Kiwi Kids if you can, by donating via the Variety website.

Thank you for looking after our little ones and congratulations on this amazing result to Cheryl and the team at Variety.

@VarietyNZ
Good Heavens
#sweetdreams

Good Heavens were proud supporters of SkyCity Variety of Chefs 2021, held at MASU on Fri 11 June, by donating two of our stargazing experiences to their silent/live auction. This event raised over $90,000 for the Variety Warm Hearts Winter Appeal, which is aiming to give 553 Kiwi kids a bed to call their own.

For too many Kiwi kids in our poorest communities, having their own bed is something they can only dream about. They sleep on couches, on the floor or share with siblings, which puts them at risk from preventable respiratory conditions like bronchiolitis and rheumatic fever.

The Variety Warm Hearts Winter Appeal runs through until the end of July. Please support our Kiwi Kids if you can, by donating via the Variety website.

Thank you for looking after our little ones and congratulations on this amazing result to Cheryl and the team at Variety.

@VarietyNZ
Good Heavens
#sweetdreams

Photos from Hauraki Gulf Weather's post 25/05/2021

Keep an eye out for an Aurora!

20/05/2021

Party time for moon gazers on Wednesday, 26 May, when we'll have a total lunar eclipse to admire, right here over Great Barrier Island!

We have put up a special tour for the occasion, a bit later than usual, from 1030pm - midnight.

If you are keen to come along, just book in for the Moon Walk 26 May, see here. https://www.goodheavens.co.nz/tours/moon-walk/

Or, if you are not a night owl, just have a peep out of your bedroom window... after 11pm.

Cross fingers 🤞 for clear skies... ✨

Photo: NASA

Party time for moon gazers on Wednesday, 26 May, when we'll have a total lunar eclipse to admire, right here over Great Barrier Island!

We have put up a special tour for the occasion, a bit later than usual, from 1030pm - midnight.

If you are keen to come along, just book in for the Moon Walk 26 May, see here. https://www.goodheavens.co.nz/tours/moon-walk/

Or, if you are not a night owl, just have a peep out of your bedroom window... after 11pm.

Cross fingers 🤞 for clear skies... ✨

Photo: NASA

NZ must-dos: Our travel guide for Richie and Gemma McCaw 13/04/2021

NZ must-dos: Our travel guide for Richie and Gemma McCaw

Good Heavens would be over the moon to offer you, Richie and Gemma one of our Good Heavens Stargazing Experiences. It's our passion to introduce our clients to the joys of stargazing in an informative and entertaining way.

We offer group experiences at Medlands Beach, where it's easy to bring a little one along. Generally they will fall asleep quickly under the stars, snuggled up to mum or dad under a blanket in a moon chair. And if they don't, they may catch their first close-up glimps of a star or a planet.

We can also come to you, at your holiday address for a private stargazing experience, so that you can keep checking in on your child, should she be asleep. Secluded XSPOT apartment, which looks out over the Hauraki Gulf is a great location for this.

We're looking forward to booking you in. 🤩

#darkskyexperiences
#greatbarrierislandofficial
#richiemccaw

NZ must-dos: Our travel guide for Richie and Gemma McCaw The celebrity couple have shared the activities on their New Zealand bucket lists - and Stuff Travel has some ideas for how they can tick them off.

08/04/2021

Another story of Aotea GBI.

An extract from our latest Island Stories series..

'Through Fresh Eyes'

'...Stand on Medlands beach and imagine yourself in those times, part of a group of around 30-40 people, of mixed generations, the oldest kaumātua and kuia not much more than 35 years. Several other similar sized groups share the landsape around you.

The headlands to the north and south are pā with pallisades and trenches, places of retreat when enemies arrive and for important gatherings. Otherwise, life revolves around gardens and dwellings scattered around the lower hills and edges of the swamp. Memory Rock and at Boatsheds – the rocky outcrops in the middle and south of the beach – and the ridgelines below the pā are dotted with clay-lined pits used for storing kūmara, taro, yams and gourds. Waka are drawn up in the sheltered bay to the south and campfires in the dunes are used for preparing fish, shellfish and birds brought back from foraging parties which travel regularly across and around the island. Urupā or burial places are sited around pohutukawa in carefully tended spots behind the beach...'

For the full article visit: https://www.greatbarrier.co.nz/through-fresh-eyes/

Written by Tim Higham, brought to you by Destination Great Barrier Island.
With special thanks to Rodney Ngawaka and Don Prince for their involvement with the production of this story.

Photo credit: Mark Russell, showing the southern end of Oruawharo (Medlands) with the rocky outcrop of 'Boatsheds' in the foreground.

#Aotea #greatbarrierisland #maoriculture #aotearoa

Timeline Photos 28/03/2021

Did you know that Easter generally falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox?

The 2021 equinox was on March 20 - the unofficial beginning of autumn for us in the Southern Hemisphere and spring for the Northern Hemisphere.

The first full moon after the March equinox is this weekend, with the crest of the moon’s full phase falling on Sunday March 29, 2021 in New Zealand.

So in 2021, Easter is the following Sunday, April 4.

Happy Easter for next week!

Source: EarthSky

Did you know that Easter generally falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox?

The 2021 equinox was on March 20 - the unofficial beginning of autumn for us in the Southern Hemisphere and spring for the Northern Hemisphere.

The first full moon after the March equinox is this weekend, with the crest of the moon’s full phase falling on Sunday March 29, 2021 in New Zealand.

So in 2021, Easter is the following Sunday, April 4.

Happy Easter for next week!

Source: EarthSky

How light pollution hurts bugs 26/03/2021

How light pollution hurts bugs

The effects of light pollution are not just for astronomy. Our bodies and environment are also affected. I just came across this enlightening chat that Steve Butler had with Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ a while ago.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201857217/how-light-pollution-hurts-bugs

How light pollution hurts bugs Are your lit up skies affecting the population of insects.

21/03/2021

🥰

🥰

Timeline Photos 20/03/2021

Secretly, we are starting to look forward to winter. And for us, winter starts when it's still quite warm...

How so? For us winter starts when we can start our stargazing experiences at 730pm. So as soon as daylight saving finishes around 4 April, winter starts, and it doesn't finish till the end of September.

If you are not a night owl, and like to be in bed before the clock strikes ten, winter is the perfect stargazing time for you.

It's a great time to take smaller kids and the elderly stargazing, especially when it's still quite warm, so in April and May.

Hurray for winter, with it's early nights, it's blankets, it's beanies and it's hot water bottles.❄️♥️

Secretly, we are starting to look forward to winter. And for us, winter starts when it's still quite warm...

How so? For us winter starts when we can start our stargazing experiences at 730pm. So as soon as daylight saving finishes around 4 April, winter starts, and it doesn't finish till the end of September.

If you are not a night owl, and like to be in bed before the clock strikes ten, winter is the perfect stargazing time for you.

It's a great time to take smaller kids and the elderly stargazing, especially when it's still quite warm, so in April and May.

Hurray for winter, with it's early nights, it's blankets, it's beanies and it's hot water bottles.❄️♥️

Search Projects · iNaturalist 12/03/2021

Search Projects · iNaturalist

I just went to a talk by Sarah Dwyer, our local Aotea Great Barrier Island dolphin lady.
She would like to invite us, if you're into your citizen science, to join this project you can assist with on Great Barrier, Maha Taonga o Aotea (Many treasures of Aotea). If you are keen, just follow the link below.

It's an app that works all over the world, though. I have just downloaded iNaturalist and am looking forward to finding out more about the plants I find on my walks as not growing up in New Zealand has left a bit of a gap... and apparently, there's a large team at the ready to help with plant ID.

Cool!

Search Projects · iNaturalist

Photos from Good Heavens's post 10/03/2021

Lots to do on the Barrier in the day time, too. Mostly nature related, of course.🌱

The pics are from a stroll to the Whangapoua lookout.🏃

An easy, slightly aerobic walk, of around half an hour, with glimpses of the Okiwi valley and of the beach below. 😍

If you feel energetic, keep going and do the 12km walk to the Harataonga campground.🤸

In that case arrange a pickup at the other end to get back to your car.🚙

*

#waitingfortheskytoclear
#greatbarrierisland
#aoteagreatbarrierisland

07/03/2021

Aotea/Great Barrier island is more than just a destination. It is turangawaewae for Māori, a dark sky haven, wildlife sanctuary, history keeper, art inspiration, off-grid pioneer, teacher of lessons, health provider, surf generator... and the list goes on.
Destination Great Barrier Island 'll be releasing monthly articles that will give you an insight into some of Aotea's best kept secrets and stories.

The first in the Island Stories series: Seabird Capital by Tim Higham
'Imagine a journey across 12,000 kilometres of wave-strewn ocean, with few or no reference points, just memory.
Memory of a peaty burrow, beneath tree roots, atop the domed summit of a peak known as Hirakimata...'

To read more visit:
https://www.greatbarrier.co.nz/island-stories-seabird.../
Photo credit: Shaun Lee

Aotea/Great Barrier island is more than just a destination. It is turangawaewae for Māori, a dark sky haven, wildlife sanctuary, history keeper, art inspirer, off-grid pioneer, teacher of lessons, health provider, surf generator... and the list goes on.

We'll be releasing monthly articles that will give you an insight into some of Aotea's best kept secrets and stories.

The first in the Island Stories series: Seabird Capital

'Imagine a journey across 12,000 kilometres of wave-strewn ocean, with few or no reference points, just memory.

Memory of a peaty burrow, beneath tree roots, atop the domed summit of a peak known as Hirakimata...'

To read more visit:

https://www.greatbarrier.co.nz/island-stories-seabird-capital/

Photo credit: Shaun

#greatbarrierisland #aotea #visitakl Visit Auckland 100% Pure New Zealand #islandstories #taiko #blackpetrel #nznativebirds #nzgeographic

Timeline Photos 06/03/2021

Did you know that binoculars are a great tool for stargazing?

Try it! You can see so much more!!

Good targets are open clusters, such as Matariki and the Five of Diamonds. Note how many more stars you can see through binoculars than with the naked eye.

The planets and the moon are also so much more interesting at 10X magnification.

We use binoculars that are perfect for stargazing during our tours, and we sell these to our stargazers and the general public.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Did you know that binoculars are a great tool for stargazing?

Try it! You can see so much more!!

Good targets are open clusters, such as Matariki and the Five of Diamonds. Note how many more stars you can see through binoculars than with the naked eye.

The planets and the moon are also so much more interesting at 10X magnification.

We use binoculars that are perfect for stargazing during our tours, and we sell these to our stargazers and the general public.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Timeline Photos 06/03/2021

If you want to book a #heavensabove private stargazing experience, and you would like us to come to your accommodation, please note that some properties are more suitable than others.

Or if you haven't got a car and would like to know where you can stay within walking distance form your #lookupandgetlost group stargazing experience, please get in touch with us.

We are happy to make a recommendation.

#xspotgbi

If you want to book a #heavensabove private stargazing experience, and you would like us to come to your accommodation, please note that some properties are more suitable than others.

Or if you haven't got a car and would like to know where you can stay within walking distance form your #lookupandgetlost group stargazing experience, please get in touch with us.

We are happy to make a recommendation.

#xspotgbi

Home Lighting | International Dark-Sky Association 04/03/2021

Home Lighting | International Dark-Sky Association

Some good info on light pollution and what YOU can do to not be a polluter👍🤩

https://www.darksky.org/our-work/lighting/lighting-for-citizens/residentialbusiness-lighting/

Home Lighting | International Dark-Sky Association How many exterior lights do you have around your home or property? Are you sure? Have you carefully considered each fixture’s need, function, or design? Are you minimizing light pollution in your own backyard? If […]

01/03/2021

COVID 19: Aotea/Great Barrier Island is at alert level 3️⃣ like the rest of Auckland. This means travel to the island is not allowed unless it is your main place of residence.

Good Heavens is not operating under level three, but we are looking forward to taking you stargazing as soon as we reach level 2️⃣ or below.

In the meantime, please don't forget to look up and get lost in the stars from your balcony or backyard. ✨ There's a whole universe out there.

Kia Kaha from the team. Hang on in there 🤗

PS The artwork in the photo, entitled Level 3, with ceramic and found objects is by Great Barrier Island artist and friend @potty_sarah 🎨

Don't forget to check out her gallery and studio in Shoal Bay, Tryphena, when you are next on our beautiful Motu. 🌌

#level3
#levelup
#closedforbusiness
#stargazersunited
#stargazingwhereveryouare
#lovefromtheteam
#💓
#✨
#kiakaha

COVID 19: Aotea/Great Barrier Island is at alert level 3️⃣ like the rest of Auckland. This means travel to the island is not allowed unless it is your main place of residence.

Good Heavens is not operating under level three, but we are looking forward to taking you stargazing as soon as we reach level 2️⃣ or below.

In the meantime, please don't forget to look up and get lost in the stars from your balcony or backyard. ✨ There's a whole universe out there.

Kia Kaha from the team. Hang on in there 🤗

PS The artwork in the photo, entitled Level 3, with ceramic and found objects is by Great Barrier Island artist and friend @potty_sarah 🎨

Don't forget to check out her gallery and studio in Shoal Bay, Tryphena, when you are next on our beautiful Motu. 🌌

#level3
#levelup
#closedforbusiness
#stargazersunited
#stargazingwhereveryouare
#lovefromtheteam
#💓
#✨
#kiakaha

Timeline Photos 28/02/2021

Before you come to Great Barrier Island for your stargazing experience, we'd like you to know THE NITTY GRITTY OF GREAT BARRIER ISLAND - as it pays to come prepared 😎

Great Barrier Island has:
• No street lights - It's awfully dark at night! Bring a torch!
• No public transport or taxis - Walk, rent a car/ebike or book a shuttle in advance
• No malls - Only galleries/shops where many products are unique. No big brands here.
• No large supermarkets either - Dairy style grocery shops that are often more expensive due to freight cost and sometimes they even run out of basic stuff, so that you may have to accept an alternative
• Limited dining options - Cook your own dinner or check what's open when and book in advance
• No fresh local fish for sale - Catch your own
• No reticulated power - Leave hairdryers and rice cookers at home, conserve power
• No reticulated water - Bathe in the sea, or take short showers, especially in summer
• Zero waste community - Figure out what to do with your waste or bring it home, and visit our opp shops and recycling centre
• No fun parks and adrenaline rides - Make your own fun in the waves, the bush and on the beach.

Does all this sound like too much of a challenge? Then Great Barrier Island is not for you.

We'd love to take you stargazing, but accepting the island and its inhabitants with their quirks is a prerequisite. It's what makes this place so special and it's what we love. 😁
If you need help with your visit to the island, the visitor information centre at the airport in Claris is a great place to start

#greatbarrierisland
#notmuchoflotsofthings
#lotsofthingsthatmatter

Before you come to Great Barrier Island for your stargazing experience, we'd like you to know THE NITTY GRITTY OF GREAT BARRIER ISLAND - as it pays to come prepared 😎

Great Barrier Island has:
• No street lights - It's awfully dark at night! Bring a torch!
• No public transport or taxis - Walk, rent a car/ebike or book a shuttle in advance
• No malls - Only galleries/shops where many products are unique. No big brands here.
• No large supermarkets either - Dairy style grocery shops that are often more expensive due to freight cost and sometimes they even run out of basic stuff, so that you may have to accept an alternative
• Limited dining options - Cook your own dinner or check what's open when and book in advance
• No fresh local fish for sale - Catch your own
• No reticulated power - Leave hairdryers and rice cookers at home, conserve power
• No reticulated water - Bathe in the sea, or take short showers, especially in summer
• Zero waste community - Figure out what to do with your waste or bring it home, and visit our opp shops and recycling centre
• No fun parks and adrenaline rides - Make your own fun in the waves, the bush and on the beach.

Does all this sound like too much of a challenge? Then Great Barrier Island is not for you.

We'd love to take you stargazing, but accepting the island and its inhabitants with their quirks is a prerequisite. It's what makes this place so special and it's what we love. 😁
If you need help with your visit to the island, the visitor information centre at the airport in Claris is a great place to start

#greatbarrierisland
#notmuchoflotsofthings
#lotsofthingsthatmatter

Good Heavens! on Great Barrier Island

Good Heavens is a group of trained Dark Sky Ambassadors, here to guide you through the dark starry sky on Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.

​Great Barrier Island is one of five IDA Dark Sky Sanctuaries, and the only sub-tropical Island Sanctuary, in the world! Away from the lights of the big city and as an off-the-grid island, our light pollution is minimal. Our dark skies are superb. ​

Our passionate tour guides will take you on a journey through the stars of the southern night sky, through constellations, planets and more, sharing our knowledge on the basics of astronomy.

Videos (show all)

Lovely welcome 🐬 into Tryphena today 💙One of those beautiful surprises   #greatbarrierisland may have in store for you, ...
We wanted to show you where we do our Look Up and Get Lost group tour. We want you getting lost in the stars ✨ but find ...
Tag the special person you would love to share one of our Dark Sky Experiences with and go in the draw for 2 places on o...

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Dark Sky Experiences
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Tryphena
0991

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 8pm
Tuesday 9am - 8pm
Wednesday 9am - 8pm
Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 8pm
Sunday 9am - 8pm
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Great Barrier Island Camp Ground Great Barrier Island Camp Ground
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Great Barrier Island Camp Ground is a private camp ground just 200m from the nearest beachmoorings and boat ramp. nestled among native bush and fresh water stream.