Earth & Sky News

12th April 2014: Dress Up Get Together

As part of our on-going celebration of Global Astronomy Month, join in the fun with our knowledgeable astronomy guides who’ll be in character as a famous scientist, astronaut, alien or your favourite sci-fi character on Saturday, April 12th! Come dressed-up and in character yourself for a FREE day tour. Prizes will also be awarded for famous lookalikes and the best-dressed costumes. The fun starts with an alien mask workshop in the Earth & Sky office (opposite the Police Station) from 10:30am, with tours departing at 1 & 2pm at the summit of Mt. John, while night tours depart from 7:30pm. Come and see planet Mars at its best! For more information, use the contact details at the bottom of this page.

5th April 2014: Global Star Party at Cowan’s Observatory

Join Earth & Sky at Cowan’s Observatory on Saturday, April 5th for a Global Star Party! Located just 5 minutes from Lake Tekapo, in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, knowledgeable Astronomy Guides will use powerful telescopes and lasers to introduce to you the night sky.

23rd January 2014: Qualmark Enviro Gold Award

All at Earth & Sky are proud and excited to receive this gold award from Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation. John Cushen, Qualmark’s Tourism Business Advisor, wrote: “Congratulations on your Gold Enviro Award. The award indicates your level of commitment and pragmatic approach to being a responsible tourism operator, and we know that many of your customers will look favourably on your business because of this. The Gold Enviro Award places your business in the top echelon of Enviro Award recipients.” Qualmark’s Grant Ward added: “By displaying your Enviro Gold Award, you are confirming that Earth and Sky exceeds the highest level of environmental and social responsibilities, and that you are recognised for your strong leadership and advocacy.”

11th — 13th October 2013: Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Festival
11th — 13th October 2013: Tekapo Community Hall, Aorangi Crescent
11th — 13th October 2013: + other venues in and around the village
Aoraki_Mackenzie _Starlight_Festival_banner
The Festival will celebrate the creation of the Southern Hemisphere’s first International Dark Sky Reserve in the Mackenzie Basin and at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island. The event will feature a mix of scientific, educational and cultural events over three days, designed to attract school students, family groups and members of the public who are interested in learning more about the stars, the night sky, the problems of light pollution and the appreciation of the environment and outer space. Activities will include stargazing, lectures, a concert, an essay and poetry competition, documentaries on the night sky, a photographic exhibition, a market and much more. Some events will be free, while others will have a nominal charge. For further details, please follow this link.

2nd October 2013: Earth & Sky wins Champion Canterbury
2nd October 2013: Tourism & Hospitality Award!

Team Earth & Sky is proud and excited to be declared winner of the Champion Tourism/Hospitality award in the Medium/Large Enterpise category. In association with The Press, the annual award is for "Recognising outstanding contributors to the region’s tourism, promotions, events, hospitality and lifestyle activities". The ceremony was held at the CBS Arena on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Winter 2013 Promotion: The Little Star Tour

Stargazing excitement for astronomers of all ages! Introducing our newest tour up to Mt John Observatory for a limited time over NZ winter 2013. It's shorter than our Mt John Night-time Observatory Tour and targeted at families with little ones or those not interested in a late night (just a little late). Please visit our Promotions page for further details.

23rd May 2013: TripAdvisor's 2013 Certificate of Excellence Award

All at Earth & Sky are proud and excited to receive this prestigious award which places us in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, an accolade given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travellers. We would like to personally thank everyone who wrote so favourably about their experience(s) with us!

10th December 2012: Earth & Sky makes AA_logo_23x22 101 Must-Do's for Kiwis list

All at Earth & Sky are thrilled that out of the 280,000 votes cast by Kiwis across the country with 1,600+ experiences to choose from, we came 33rd out of the top 101 NZ attractions 2012. A heart-felt thank you for all who voted for us!

2nd December 2012: TVNZ ONE News — Stars bright in Mackenzie District
Visitors flock to see the stars in the world’s largest dark sky reserve — in the Mackenzie District (click image to view the video on TVNZ_logo ONE News website).

16th November 2012: 150th A&P Show, Christchurch
The crews from Earth & Sky, Tekapo Springs and Air Safaris spreading the good word about Lake Tekapo to some of the thousands of visitors to the 150th Christchurch A&P Show.

8th September 2012: Earth & Sky wins another Tourism Award!
At the prestigious New Zealand Travel Industry Awards Gala Dinner held at The Langham Hotel, Auckland on Saturday, 8th September 2012, Earth & Sky Ltd. received the runner up award in the Best Tourism Operator — Domestic category. Once again, our sincere thanks for all who voted for us!

24th August 2012: Earth & Sky wins Hospitality & Tourism Award
At the 2012 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards ceremony, Earth & Sky won the Hospitality & Tourism — Large Enterprise category. Margaret Munro (General Manager) and Satoshi Nagaoka (Japanese Tour Manager) are shown accepting the award. Many thanks to all those who voted for us!

18th July 2012: 27 sights that will remind you how incredible Earth is

Clear, pollution-free skies has resulted in New Zealand beating Australia in an ultimate travel bucket list comprised by an influential news website.

The star-filled sky above Mackenzie Basin, which was last month named the world's newest dark sky reserve, has been ranked fifth on a list of 27 sights to remind sight-seers "how incredible Earth is".

Authors behind the CNN International travel guide say: "These amazing spectacles may not change your life, but they should change your vacation plans."

While watching the sun rise at 9th-century Buddhist monument Borobudur in Java, Indonesia, topped the US broadcaster's list, the South Canterbury skies beat the ancient sights of Venice, Mexican jungle pyramids, American electrical storms, and Australia's top entry — Sydney Harbour — at number 12.

The compilers wrote about Mackenzie Basin: "Picking out Orion's Belt and The Big Dipper is even more impressive if there are a million other stars distracting you from the task."

A 1600-square-mile area in New Zealand's South Island comprising Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin has just been designated the world's fourth International Dark Sky Reserve, making it "one of the best stargazing sites on Earth", according to International Dark-Sky Association's executive director Bob Parks.

The inclusion of a Kiwi sight higher than our cross-Tasman friends rankled Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper, which wrote: "And while the absence of our famous Barrier Reef or the 12 Apostles might come as a shock to nature lovers, the inclusion of a New Zealand attraction is sure to put a few Aussie noses out of joint, especially when it outranks us."

Source: APNZ

25th June 2012: New Zealand Travel Industry Awards 2012
Earth & Sky is proud to have been nominated for the 2012 New Zealand Travel Industry Awards in Category 17: Best Tour Operator - Domestic. People from all areas of the industry, from travel agencies and brokers, to tour and cruise operators, airlines, travel media, hotels and suppliers, will gather together at the New Zealand Travel Industry Awards Gala Dinner on Saturday, 8th September 2012 at The Langham Hotel, Auckland. (In order to vote at you must be either employed in or operate a business in the NZ Travel Industry.)

9th June 2012: Aoraki Mackenzie Named World’s Largest
9th June 2012: International Dark Sky Reserve!
Over 1,600 square miles of New Zealandʼs South Island have just been proclaimed as an International Dark Sky Reserve, making it the largest in the world. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR), comprised of the Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin, is the fourth such dark sky reserve in the world.

International Dark-Sky Associationʼs Executive Director Bob Parks remarks, "The new reserve is coming in at a ʻGoldʼ level status. That means the skies there are almost totally free from light pollution. To put it simply, it is one of the best stargazing sites on Earth."

Margaret Munro, our General Manager, adds: "The Earth & Sky team wish to congratulate the Starlight Reserve Working Party on their achievement of being awarded the first 'Gold' status as an International Starlight Reserve, recognising the area of Lake Tekapo and the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand the best place on Earth to stargaze."

Read the full press release by clicking here.

11th—13th June 2012: 3rd International Starlight Conference, Lake Tekapo
This important conference is recognised by the Starlight Initiative as the third of a series started in 2007 on the island of La Palma with the World Conference in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars, where the Starlight Declaration was adopted. For a full list of topics and the finalised list of invited speakers for this notable event, please click here (200KB PDF).

6th June 2012: Transit of Venus Field Day, Mount John Observatory
In a further joint event with the University of Canterbury, Earth & Sky invites you a once in a lifetime unmissable event! Not seen in New Zealand since 1882 and not to be repeated until 2117, the planet Venus will pass directly between the Earth and the Sun on Wednesday, June 6th. With our specialist solar telescope you can observe the event in complete safety from 10:16am to 4:44pm (weather permitting). The Astro Café will be open for refreshments and safe solar viewing glasses will be available to purchase for $5.

14th—20th April 2012: International Dark Sky Week

From the summit of Mount John, peer into space and marvel at what is out there. Admire the Milky Way and distant galaxies, then prepare to be amazed by ringed planet Saturn in our powerful telescopes — a sight like you have never seen before. Join us on April 28th for a Global Star Party at Cowan's Observatory! Both evening and afternoon activities. Contact us for more details or check our Twitter and FaceBook pages for further updates.

10th February 2012: Public talk, 8 pm, Lake Tekapo Community Hall

In a thought-provoking and fascinating lecture, Dr. Robert Jedicke from the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy will enlighten us as to the threat posed to Earth by impacts from space in a presentation entitled "Killer Asteroids ... and what we can do about them." All are welcome to the Lake Tekapo Community Hall, Friday, February 10th at 8 pm. For an interactive map with directions, please click here.

Earth & Sky Ltd., P.O. Box 112, Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand.
Phone: +64 (0)3 6806960   Fax: +64 (0)3 6806950

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