Stardome Observatory & Planetarium
When the seafaring Maori people arrived in New Zealand from other Pacific islands, they used the stars to navigate across the vast Pacific Ocean. Today, visit Auckland’s Stardome Observatory & Planetarium to study the same stars of the southern hemisphere, nearly 1,000 years after those first Polynesian explorers landed ashore.
At Auckland’s Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, explore the depths of the universe, from black holes and comets to planets. Find out how much you’d weigh if you stepped onto another planet, and peer through a high-powered telescope to see the rings of Saturn. At the Magic Planet exhibit, watch as a video globe changes from Earth to the moon and discover samples of meteorites and the red surface of Mars.
Things to Know Before You Go
Plan to spend at least an hour here, and probably more, exploring the exhibits.
Except for steps leading to the Zeiss telescope, the planetarium offers wheelchair and stroller access.
The planetarium theater is not suitable for children under the age of three; children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Cell phone use and recording devices inside the theater are not permitted.
How to Get There
The Stardome Observatory and Planetarium is located at 670 Manukau Road in Cornwall Park on the slopes of One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie), about 15 minutes from downtown Auckland. Bus route 30 departs regularly from Queen Street and stops outside the gates of One Tree Hill Domain. Find free parking outside the Stardome as well as on Haydn Avenue, reached from the observatory via a short walk across a field.
When to Get There
The public astronomical observatory is open from 10am–5pm, Monday–Friday. During the week, evening hours are from 6-9:30pm on Tuesday–Thursday, and 6–11pm on Friday. Saturday hours are from 11am–11pm and Sundays from 11am–10pm. The last entry to the Stardome is 15 minutes before closing time. Planetarium shows screen Tuesday–Sunday; check the schedule for exact showtimes.
What to See at the Stardome Planetarium
Even on a cloudy night, see the heavens’ highlights projected on the planetarium’s domed screen. Each planetarium show features different topics aimed to appeal to varying ages. Bring the kids along to step into the shoes of an astronaut, hunt for black holes, or study the atmospheres and weather systems of other planets; or plan for a night out with a laser show set to the psychedelic tunes of Pink Floyd.
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