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About Us

With the unanimous support of the Gibbston community at the 2023 AGM, the Gibbston Community Association has taken on development of the application for Dark Sky Park status.  It is anticipated that the application will be ready for submission in early 2024 to DarkSky International.  The Kawarau region is applying for Park status, slightly less dark than either Sanctuary of Reserve Status [due to the existing light domes of Queenstown and Cromwell visible from the region], but with a strong focus on public outreach and engagement. 


GCA's proposed role of Dark Sky Park Manager is completely aligned with its founding mission to ‘protect, preserve and promote the unique characteristics of Gibbston as an area of special character'.  As Park Manager, the GCA will be responsible for the dark sky outreach events, the promotion of good lighting practices and a voluntary certification code for dark-sky friendly lighting.  


The Park will only be successful if everyone plays a role in the protection, preservation and promotion of this amazing dark sky resource.  In particular we encourage businesses in the area to consider the opportunities for astro-tourism in the coming years.  It provides a valuable diversification in the offerings - particularly during the winter - and with solar maximum in 2025/6 [more aurora] and the total solar eclipse in 2028, there has never been a better time to be in the Kawarau Gibbston Dark Sky Park. 




We provide the local community with resources and guidelines on implementing good lighting practices, ensuring responsible and efficient use of outdoor illumination.


We have created a program called the Blanc, Gris and Noir Certification Program. Individuals and businesses can apply to be recognised a part of our certification program.


We publish a carefully curated image gallery showcasing the Aurora and other celestial phenomena in our local area.



Our unwavering mission is to achieve formal accreditation as a Dark Sky Reserve from the esteemed DarkSky International. We can achieve this by collaborating with key stakeholders and engaging local communities in a collective effort to preserve the purity of the natural night skies. Through responsible lighting policies, strategic actions, and public education initiatives, we strive to ensure the enduring majesty of the celestial canvas.



Looking forward, we envision a future where the natural night skies of the Kawarau Gibbston Dark Sky Park remain untainted by light pollution—forever. We aspire to secure recognition for the reserve not only within Aotearoa, New Zealand but also on the global stage. Our aim is to establish this celestial sanctuary as a premier centre for astro-tourism and public education, solidifying its status as an international beacon of dark sky preservation.

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