The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has recently announced that Wai-iti Recreation Reserve will become New Zealand’s first Dark Sky Park.
The park is located just five kilometres out of Wakefield, which is close to Nelson.
The news means that Wai-iti was now protected for current and future generations of New Zealanders.
The area was chosen for the lack of artificial light infiltration.
The Nelson Science Society Astronomy Section had worked with the Tasman District Council to create the area. The understanding is that the 135-hectare reserve and forestry will be looked after and preserved.
The park is now added to the list the number of accredited Dark Sky venues in New Zealand. These include the existing and much larger reserves and sanctuaries at Aoraki-Mackenzie, Stewart Island/Rakiura and Aotea/Great Barrier.
What is a dark sky park?
A Dark Sky Reserve is an area where you can see an exceptional quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment. That area is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment. Building on this land is forbidden.