Great Barrier Is, Great Barrier Island 0991, New Zealand
Good HeavensLocated 55 miles from downtown Auckland, Great Barrier Island is a rugged and off-the-grid kind of place. A population of less than 900 relies mainly on self-generated solar electricity, and because there are no street lights, the island's forested interior and coastal coves are virtually untouched by ambient light. One of four Dark Sky Sanctuaries on the planet—and the only one on an island—Great Barrier is a superb location for stargazing. Run by avid and knowledgable island locals, Good Heavens offer sky-watching experiences taking in the Milky Way, various constellations, and if conditions are right, the celestial heavy hitters of Saturn and Jupiter. The island is reached by convenient direct flights from Auckland, and booking ahead for stargazing is recommended, ideally adding a few nights on either side to allow for the fluidity of weather conditions and cloud coverage.