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The Vela supernova remnant in New Zealand

Stargazing In The Gibbston valley with Professor Brian Boyle

Astrotourism has gained immense popularity in recent years, with a growing number of travelers seeking out destinations renowned for their pristine night skies. Enthusiasts are drawn to these celestial havens to witness breathtaking stargazing experiences, making astrotourism a significant and sought-after trend in the world of travel. We are lucky in that the Gibbston valley is one of these renowned destinations as it offers an exceptional quality night sky for star gazing. Its remote location and minimal light pollution create a perfect celestial canvas, allowing stargazers to enjoy a breathtaking display of stars and celestial wonders.


Mt Rosa Lodge & Vineyard offers exceptional astronomy packages led by our local astronomer, Professor Brian Boyle. With an illustrious career spanning over 35 years, Brian directed Australia's two largest professional observatories and was a key member of the team responsible for the groundbreaking discovery of Dark Energy. Join Brian on an enlightening journey through the captivating night sky above Gibbston.

Our astronomy packages can include:

  • Guided Visual and Binocular Tour: Experience a guided exploration of the night sky at Mt Rosa Lodge. Brian will provide explanations of fundamental celestial phenomena, moon phases, auroras, and the motion of the stars and planets.

  • Simple Astrophotography: Learn the basics of astrophotography using your DSLR camera or our Canon 5D with a 4mm wide-angle lens. This session is perfect for capturing stunning shots of the Milky Way.

  • Deep Sky Astrophotography: Delve deeper into the cosmos with the Nikon 200mm rig, allowing you to capture more distant celestial objects such as the Magellanic clouds and Milky Way nebulae.

  • Observatory Visit: Explore a local observatory for telescope viewings, where you'll have the opportunity to observe celestial wonders like the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn up close.

  • We can also arrange a special evening of intellectual exploration and gastronomic delight with Brian, our local astrophysicist. Take a seat at our table with Brian and embark on a journey through the cosmos while savoring exquisite local home cooked cuisine.

These packages provide an immersive and educational experience, making the mesmerising wonders of the night sky accessible to all. Please contact us for more information, all experiences are subject to weather and night sky conditions.

Images in order of appearance:

1) The Vela supernova remnant

2) The Rosette Nebula

3) The Pot region of Orion with the Horsehead and Great Orion Nebula. The stars have been removed for a more dramatic view of the gas

The Rosette Nebula in New Zealand
The Pot region of Orion with the Horsehead and Great Orion Nebula New Zealand
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