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Dark Sky Friendly Certification Scheme

Did you know there is a dark sky friendly certification scheme available for homes and businesses in the Mackenzie Region? The programme was created to help protect the spectacular night skies of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.


Stars of the Milky Way by night above snowy mountains at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
The Milky Way at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

The scheme is available for homes and businesses in the Mackenzie Region and to be certified, you’ll need to state how closely you comply with the seven clauses of the Dark Sky Friendly charter, as well as list all exterior lights on your property. Compliance with most of the clauses will be required, as well as a lighting plan to improve any shortcomings over time, however, our board will offer friendly guidance and advice for this process.


A list stating the seven clauses of the Dark Sky Friendly Charter
The seven clauses of the Dark Sky Friendly Charter, designed to minimise light pollution

Lakestone Lodge, Lake Pukaki is a boutique five star lodge near Twizel and was the first business in the Mackenzie Region to receive dark sky certification in recognition of the owners' efforts in minimising light pollution to help protect the night-time environment. Owners Anna and Mike Bacchus are passionate about night sky preservation, and run stargazing tours from their accommodation.

"Our guest was awestruck as he looked up at the stars above Lake Pukaki – he had simply forgotten about the Milky Way. The rare and precious quality of our night skies really hit home for us."

Mike Bacchus, owner of Lakestone Lodge, on his guests' experiences under the stars.

 

The majority of the land area of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is ranked Class 1 on the Bortle scale, which is used by astronomers to measure the night sky's and stars' brightness. Bortle Class 1 is an "Excellent dark-sky site". However, light pollution has increased in the Mackenzie Region and applying to our dark sky friendly scheme is one way you can help protect our precious night skies.

Certified enterprises are given a prominent dark sky friendly sticker to display, and a dark sky friendly logo for their website and social media platforms.


To learn more about the dark sky friendly scheme, or to apply, please email Amy: office@darkskyreserve.org.nz


Stars of the Milky Way above the snowy mountain ranges of New Zealand's Southern Alps
The Milky Way above the Southern Alps

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