Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and in the best interest of our guests and employees we are not taking bookings through to the end of May.

Whisper to the Stars – Dunedin's Dark Sky Experience

Spend the evening under the southern stars in an inky darkness rarely experienced in today’s brightly lit world. Enjoy a guided ‘tour’ of spectacular night sky features unseen north of the equator.

This 3-hour evening tour led by an experienced science communicator starts with a naked eye view of the heavens. Then, using powerful binoculars and finally a robotic telescope that enables 70 times more light to reach your eye, we step through the light-years to observe striking features of the southern sky. You will see and marvel at the nearest star outside our solar system, the closest and brightest globular clusters and our neighbouring galaxies, plus many more seasonal features.

The route to and from Dunedin takes you via the picturesque Otago Peninsula bays to Portobello and then traverses back roads to a rural coastal site with a 360º low horizon. On our return you will enjoy spectacular views of the Dunedin skyline.

We are passionate about protecting Otago’s natural heritage for generations to come so we use a small, quiet mini-van powered completely by electricity from hydro, wind, and geothermal energy.

Whisper to the Stars – Dunedin's Dark Sky Experience

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What does the tour include?
  • Pick up and drop off to your Dunedin city accommodation
  • A tour of the Otago Peninsula bays to Portobello
  • A guided tour of southern hemisphere stars, galaxies, nebulae
  • Stories of New Zealand’s space and astronomy pioneers by an entertaining and knowledgeable guide
  • Panoramic views of Dunedin city on your return
  • Comfy chairs and a warm drink
What will we see?

Using a very powerful telescope you will be able to observe the nearest star outside the solar system, the closest and brightest globular clusters and neighbouring galaxies plus much more depending on the time of year.

Do I need to book?

Yes. Prior booking is essential. You can book using the Book Now button on this page or alternatively through the Dunedin i-site or your accommodation.

How long is a Whisper to the Stars tour?

At least 3 hours.

How often do tours run?

The tours run on any clear evening, except for a few days around Full Moon. The pickup time varies from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. depending on the season and Daylight Saving Time. Please confirm your tour start time on the “Book Now” link.

What do I need to take?

Wear comfortable walking shoes and suitable warm outdoor clothing such as a windproof jacket, hat or hood, and gloves.

What does it cost?

Adults $200
Seniors and students $180
Children (12 – 16) $165
(Not suitable for children under 12)
If the tour is cancelled by Whisper to the Stars either prior to or during the tour due to adverse weather conditions, a full refund will be given. Participants must accept that we are unable to guarantee full clarity, ideal skies, or visibility of certain objects. The tour operates in a coastal environment where the weather can change rapidly.

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“As we renew our connection with immensity we’re humbled without being humiliated. It’s not just us, personally and individually who are diminished in comparison - the things that trouble and bother us seem smaller as well. ”

– Alain du Botton The Book of Life