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The Best Stargazing Locations for a Luxury Holiday

schedule6 Minute Read

10-Jun-2024 Karl Page

The Best Stargazing Locations for a Luxury Holiday

Witness the spectacular night sky

For many people, the allure of the night sky offers a unique form of wonder and inspiration, and taking some time to escape the glow of city lights to witness the sky in its full brilliance is a magical experience.

Imagine standing under a canopy of stars, far from the hustle and bustle of urban life, where the Milky Way stretches across the sky in a dazzling display. Whether you're an avid astronomer with a telescope in tow or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of a star-filled night, there are certain places across the globe where the stargazing experience is truly unparalleled. From volcanic landscapes to remote deserts, these destinations provide the perfect setting to immerse yourself in the wonders above. If you're seeking the best stargazing locations around the world, here are some top destinations that promise outstanding views of the stars.
Milky Way over telescope domes on Mauna Kea
Milky Way over telescope domes on Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea, located on Hawaii's Big Island, is a mecca for astronomers and stargazers alike. Standing at nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, this dormant volcano offers an unparalleled vantage point for viewing the stars. The high altitude, minimal light pollution, and dry environment combine to create exceptionally clear skies. Mauna Kea is home to some of the world's most powerful telescopes, making it a prime location for both professional astronomers and amateur stargazers.
Visitors can take part in guided stargazing tours, which often include the use of telescopes and expert commentary on the celestial sights. The Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, at 9,200 feet elevation, provides nightly stargazing programs, offering a chance to see planets, stars, and distant galaxies in remarkable detail.
Nestled along the dramatic Kohala Coast of the Big Island, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, offers a luxurious escape overlooking a pristine white sand beach and the vibrant blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection serves as an excellent base for stargazing adventures on Mauna Kea, offering unparalleled views of the night sky.
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve

Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand

Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's South Island, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is one of the best places in the world to view the night sky. The reserve spans over 1,600 square miles and includes Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin. Its remote location and strict light pollution controls ensure some of the darkest skies in the Southern Hemisphere.
Stargazers here can marvel at the Southern Cross, the Magellanic Clouds, and the centre of the Milky Way. The region also offers astrophotography tours, where you can capture the celestial wonders against the backdrop of New Zealand's stunning landscapes. The University of Canterbury's Mount John Observatory, located within the reserve, provides public tours and night-time viewing sessions, making it an ideal destination for both casual stargazers and serious astronomy enthusiasts.
The Lindis is a unique, eco-conscious luxury lodge on New Zealand's South Island, nestled in the enchanting Ahuriri Valley. Outdoor adventures include fly-fishing, e-biking, horse trekking, and stargazing in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, where you can see some of the clearest night skies in the world.
Milky Way over Jasper National Park
Milky Way over Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park in Alberta is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the largest Dark Sky Reserves in the world. The park's vast wilderness, free from significant light pollution, makes it a prime location for stargazing. Every October, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival attracts astronomers and stargazing enthusiasts from around the globe, featuring guest speakers, workshops, and guided stargazing sessions.
In Jasper, you can witness the mesmerising display of the Northern Lights, particularly during the winter months. The park offers various stargazing spots, including Pyramid Lake and Maligne Lake, where the dark skies and reflective waters enhance the celestial experience. Whether you're viewing through a telescope or with the naked eye, Jasper National Park provides a breathtaking window to the universe.
Surrounded by majestic snow-capped peaks and shimmering crystal-clear lakes, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a charming village-style resort with cedar chalets and heritage log cabins connected by picturesque pathways through the woods and lakeside. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing, and experience incredible stargazing in Jasper National Park, home to some of the darkest skies in the world.
Milky Way above Teide National Park at Tenerife
Milky Way above Teide National Park at Tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife, the largest of Spain's Canary Islands, boasts some of the best stargazing conditions in Europe. The island's Teide National Park, home to Mount Teide, offers high-altitude, cloud-free skies that are ideal for astronomical observations. The Teide Observatory, one of the world's foremost observatories, takes advantage of these pristine conditions and is a hub for international astronomical research.
Visitors can join guided tours of the observatory, learning about the various telescopes and research projects while enjoying spectacular views of the night sky. The island also hosts the annual Starmus Festival, celebrating astronomy, space exploration, and music. With its combination of scientific infrastructure and natural beauty, Tenerife is a premier destination for stargazers.
For those seeking timeless charm and nostalgic elegance, Hotel Botanico is the ideal choice for a luxurious resort holiday. Nestled between a sub-tropical landscape and volcanic coastline, this classic hotel caters to distinguished tastes from a bygone era. In addition to its refined atmosphere, guests can enjoy stargazing at the nearby Teide Observatory, offering some of the best views of the night sky.
Mount Bromo, Indonesia, at dusk
Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Mount Bromo, an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and spectacular stargazing opportunities. The volcano's caldera and the surrounding Sea of Sand provide a unique and dramatic backdrop for observing the night sky. The lack of light pollution in this remote area allows for clear views of the Milky Way, particularly during the dry season from May to September.
Early morning hikes to the summit of Mount Bromo are popular for witnessing the sunrise, but the night-time ascent offers a different kind of magic. As you climb under the blanket of stars, you can see the Milky Way stretching across the sky, creating a surreal and unforgettable experience. Local guides often offer stargazing tours, providing insights into the celestial sights and the myths and legends associated with them.
Amanjiwo is a serene retreat that offers a unique blend of luxury and natural beauty located in. Guests can also enjoy stargazing at Mount Bromo, providing unforgettable views of the night sky.
The night sky in the Australian outback.
Australian outback

Australian Outback

The vast and remote outback of Australia is a stargazer's paradise. With minimal light pollution and expansive horizons, this region offers some of the darkest skies on the planet. The Pinnacles Desert, Karijini National Park, and the Ningaloo Coast are just a few of the prime locations for stargazing in Australia.
In the outback, you can witness the Southern Cross, the Milky Way, and a host of other celestial wonders with unparalleled clarity. The dry, clear air enhances visibility, making it an ideal location for both naked-eye stargazing and telescopic observations, especially when enjoying your luxury Australia holidays. Many tour operators in the region offer stargazing experiences, combining them with cultural insights from Indigenous guides who share traditional stories and knowledge about the night sky.
Now part of the prestigious Baillie's Lodges collection, Longitude 131°, a luxury desert camp in the heart of Australia's 'Red Centre,' offers unparalleled views of Uluru and the surrounding desert landscape. Guests can also enjoy stargazing in the Australian Outback, experiencing some of the most brilliant night skies in the world.
These destinations offer not just incredible stargazing opportunities but also unique experiences that connect you with the natural world and the sky above.
Whether you're a seasoned astronomer or a casual stargazer, these locations provide the perfect settings to marvel at the beauty of the universe. Pack your telescope, prepare for clear skies, and head off on a journey to some of the best stargazing spots in the world.
If you are looking for more travel advice, from destination guides to first-hand travel stories, be sure to check out our our luxury travel blog.
Karl Page

Karl Page

Digital Experience Manager

With a genuine love for all things travel, I love exploring new destinations and discovering something new, gaining a wealth of experience in luxury holidays along the way.

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