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The Kawarau Gibbston Dark Sky Park

The Kawarau Gibbston Dark Sky Park is approximately 25 sq km in size. It comprises the Gibbston Character Zone and the Gibbston Valley Resort Zone, located between Queenstown and Cromwell in Otago, South Island, New Zealand.


The Gibbston Community Association (GCA) supports the Kawarau region as a Dark Sky Park from the DarkSky International. Its mission is to protect, preserve and promote the unique qualities of the Gibbston Character Zone. 


As part of its role, the GCA will host dark sky outreach events, provide information on good lighting practices and promote a voluntary certification program for dark-sky friendly lighting.


Map image: Sourced from NZTopoMap 250 series. Crown Copyright Reserved.



A Dark Sky Park is a designated area, typically a public land or park, that is recognised for its exceptional quality of starry nights and commitment to preserving natural darkness. These areas are managed with the goal of minimising light pollution and providing optimal conditions for stargazing and astronomical observations.

Dark Sky Parks are important not only for astronomers but also for the overall well-being of ecosystems and the appreciation of natural beauty. Visitors to Dark Sky Parks can experience the wonder of a truly dark night sky, free from the glare of artificial lights, and witness the full splendour of stars, planets, and other celestial phenomena.


How can you get involved?  Visit our information page for our local community on implementing good lighting practices that ensure responsible and efficient use of outdoor illumination. We will also provide more information for residences and businesses on how they can become certified with us.


We are proud of our community’s enthusiastic support for the promotion, protection and preservation of our valued dark sky resource as a new strategic focus for our area.

Department of Conservation
Winterstellar Charitable Trust
Queenstown Lakes District Council
Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand
Coxs' Vineyard
Central Otago District Council
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Gibbston Valley Winery
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