News | 21 June 2024
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Top Matariki stargazing spots

Matariki is a special time in the Māori calendar which celebrates the beginning of a new year. Our amazing city has many stargazing vantage points to climb! We encourage you to plan ahead and set your alarm clock early to catch the Matariki cluster at dawn. It may take a few tries to see the stars so don't be disheartened if you don't spot them first time around!

A photo of the Matariki star cluster, with its nine brightest stars clearly visible, along with hundreds of others that make up the cluster, on a bluey black sky.
The Matariki star cluster, photographed by Stephen McArthur.

James Stellin Memorial Park
In Northland on Te Ahumairangi Hill, James Stellin Memorial Park has stunning 180-degree views over the city to the harbour as well as neat night sky viewing opportunities.

Homebush Park
Located on Homebush Road in Khandallah, this hidden playground down a gravel track has breathtaking views over Wellington harbour and the wide-open skies above.

Tawatawa Reserve
Tawatawa Reserve is a large flat grassed area that is dog exercise-friendly and is located on Quebec Street, in between the suburbs of Owhiro Bay, Kingston, and Island Bay.  

Ataturk Memorial Park
The Ataturk Memorial Park lookout can be accessed from the Tarakena Bay car park on Breaker Bay Road.

Waihinahina Park
Located on Ladbrooke Drive in Newlands, Waihinahina Park is an open-grassed area surrounded with regenerating bush – an ideal spot for stargazing Matariki on a clear night!

Where to look

Matariki is found low on the horizon in the northeast of the sky. Try looking there between 5.30am-6.30am.

To find the cluster, first find the row of three stars of Tautoru, or Orion’s Belt (or The Pot). To find Pūanga (Rigel) look above Tautoru until you see the bright star.

From there, scan left until you find the bright orange star, Taumata-kuku (Aldebaran) and keep going until you hit a cluster of stars. That cluster is Matariki. 

Find out more about our Matariki celebrations.