STARDOME OBSERVATORY & PLANETARIUM
Petit Futé's opinion on STARDOME OBSERVATORY & PLANETARIUM
If you are passing through the very pleasant city of Auckland and are passionate about astronomy, this is an absolutely essential visit to make! The story of this amazing astronomy complex, located in pretty Cornwall Park, began in 1948 when the Auckland Astronomical Society (SAA) decided to raise funds to create a public observatory in the city. In 1956, also thanks to an important legacy made by a certain Mrs Edith Winstone Blackwell, the SAA was finally able to found what would be called the Auckland Observatory and Planetarium Trust Board, an infrastructure capable of managing the future development of the site. In 1960, a 21-year lease was granted - extended since then - for the site of the One Tree Hill estate, a well-known hill with a beautiful view of Auckland. In March 1967, the observatory finally opened, but without a planetarium in order not to compete with the one available to the Auckland Museum at the time. In 1989, the latter closed its doors, giving the go-ahead for the implementation of such a structure in the One Tree Hill estate. Once again a fundraising campaign was launched, raising some $3 million, and in February 1997 the new planetarium became the most modern and efficient in New Zealand!
Today, it is entirely digital, offering a high level of projection and high operating capacities. In 2010, Stardome Trustees and Management is upgrading its premises and infrastructure with a series of interactive displays and other exhibition stands. The visitor thus discovers a real museum dedicated to astronomy and the things of space, with various halls, exhibitions and presentations of educational materials. On top of that, telescopes are installed in the evening to help people passing through discover the sky, guided by volunteers and amateurs who are particularly effective in their approach for neophytes.
Opening time and information on STARDOME OBSERVATORY & PLANETARIUM
The gallery and the exhibitions at the Stardome observatory are open every day (and every night!), except Monday evening. Opening hours: Monday from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 5pm and from 6pm to 9.30pm, Friday from 10am to 5pm and from 6pm to 11pm, Saturday from 11am to 11pm, and Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Last admission: 15 minutes before closing. Sessions of planetarium Tuesday to Sunday. Rates: gallery and exhibitions NZD 2 (adults), NZD 1 (children). Sessions of planetarium: NZD 15 (adults), NZD 12 (from 3 to 15 years old children), reduced rate NZD 12 (more than 60 years and students).