Christchurch Astro Tours

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Christchurch Astro Tours

 “Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another."
-  Plato

Everyone has been in awe of the night sky at least a couple, if not countless, times in their life. And believe it or not, but Selwyn’s night sky has been accredited by astronomy enthusiast, Gary Steel (Christchurch Astro Tours), as having some of the highest sky quality measurements in New Zealand. For those of us who don’t speak astronomy, that means we are able to see more stars here in Selwyn than most places in New Zealand. We can see fainter stars in the sky which ultimately makes for better viewing of the night sky. 

So, for those of us living in Selwyn or living close to Selwyn, we are so incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic sky so close to home.


Christchurch Astro Tours offers beautiful night sky viewings of up to a maximum of 10 people. These small gatherings allow for personal and interactive viewings.

With special events scheduled on the calendar, you should put aside those special evenings on your calendar and be sure to book ahead. With two main tours, the dark skies experience (no moon nights), and the Te Marama tours (moon visible nights), everybody is welcome whether it’s a night out for the family, or for singletons or couples. It is a beautiful experience where all your astronomical questions can be answered.

Christchurch Astro Tours runs its night skies tours through winter, 9pm on a Friday through to Sunday. And while blankets are provided, they advise that you dress warm to be as comfortable as possible.

And for those who are visiting for only a short period to town who wish to experience one of the tours even on a cloudy night, Astro Tours provides a tour for those occasions. The only difference is that it will take the format of an informal indoor presentation and seminar type talk with questions and answers. One of the benefits of this tour is that you will be provided with $20 credit towards your next visit! And it won’t be as cold.

With meteor showers regularly viewed, these events will be magical to witness and something to remember. What you will see will depend on which experience is chosen however all visitors are likely to see the Milky Way, galaxies, nebulae, planets, stars, the moon, satellites and maybe even an Aurora Australis (the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish lights in the sky).

“The night sky in Selwyn has a depth and luminosity that stimulates a sense of wonder, delight, and curiosity. There are few things more pleasant for me than gazing up into a deep black sky studded with stars, nebulae, and galaxies, and knowing that each of these is not only beautiful to behold but also has its own special tale to tell.”
-  Gary Steel, Member of Christchurch Astro Tours

Large Magellanic Cloud: The Large Magellanic Cloud is a nearby dwarf galaxy that is easily visible in the southern sky on most nights in Selwyn District.
Christchurch Astro Tours

Omega Centauri: This spectacular object is Omega Centauri, the largest globular cluster visible to the naked eye.
Christchurch Astro Tours

Te Marama: This close-up view of the Earth’s moon (Te Marama) shows two of its ‘splashiest’ craters, Copernicus and Kepler.
Christchurch Astro Tours

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