Stonehenge Aoteroa

The Hub of Astronomy in Wairarapa



Open school holiday 6th - 21st July

Stonehenge Aoteroa is New Zealand's unique open air astronomical observatory, built following ancient knowledge of the stone circles and adapted to the conditions of New Zealand. We look forward to seeing you here during our regular opening hours and for special events.

You can visit the henge anytime we are open, without having to make any appointment. Check out our opening hours below. A map of the Stonehenge Aotearoa structure and a short audio-visual explaining how the stones work are included in the visit.

Open: for self-guided tours, Wweekends and public holidays. Private tours at any time by arrangement.
Or you can book directly through the booking system.

Opening Hours

Daytime: 10am to 4pm
Evening: by appointment
February - May: Wednesday to Sunday
June - August: Weekends & Public Holidays
September to December: Wednesday to Sunday
January: every day to the 30th

We are closed December 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th, then open every day from December 27th.

Phone 06 377 1600.

Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve
Wairarapa receives Dark Sky Reserve Status

"Thanks to half a decade of advocacy by a small group of local volunteers, seeking answers in the stars will be preserved in Wairarapa for generations to come, now that the International Dark-Sky Association [IDA] has finally granted the region Dark Sky Reserve status." - (Times Age)

UNESCO's Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative
As featured on UNESCO's Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative website

Clive Ruggles asked our permission to List Stonehenge Aotearoa as a site of Astronomical Importance. We were pleased to give our permission – Kay Leather and Richard Hall

The sky, our common and universal heritage, is an integral part of the environment perceived by humanity. Starting from this general idea, the Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight, adopted in 2007, states that “an unpolluted night sky that allows the enjoyment and contemplation of the firmament should be considered an inalienable right [of humankind] equivalent to all other socio-cultural and environmental rights”.

Many different factors, but most notably the continued increase in light pollution, are turning this resource—virtually unchanged throughout the history of humankind—into an extremely scarce asset. An essential element of our civilisation and culture is rapidly becoming lost, and this loss is affecting most countries on Earth. Under these conditions, certain places whose sky is still dark, and whose scientific cultural or environmental values depend on starlight, should be recognized and preserved as points of reference to a common heritage in danger.

The heritage of science continues to be insufficiently recognized, something that was stressed as recently as 2008 at a UNESCO International Expert Meeting on Science and Technology held in London. A part of the necessary recognition, at least in the astronomical field, may come from a new concept of tourism. In addition, the starry sky can highlight the strong link between tangible and intangible heritage.

The contents of this page are based upon text in the ICOMOS-IAU Thematic Study no. 1 (2010). Original text © Clive Ruggles, Michel Cotte and the contributing authors.

RASNZ newsletter with the official report on the Wairarapa Dark Sky Reserve

Wairarapa Becomes Official Dark Sky Reserve

Why It’s Time for a Worldwide Lights-Out Program

Video courtesy of Phil Stebbing

Learn about the cycles of nature, movements of celestial bodies and archeoastronomy: how our ancestors have understood the phenomena in the sky, how they used these phenomena and what role the sky played in their cultures.

Listen to, or watch, the Arrow FM broadcasts on our Arrow FM Night Sky page
Arrow FM

Book a daytime guided tour

You will learn about the henge and its link with the past, with ancient civilisations and Māori starlore, Polynesian navigation and archeoastronomy.


Things To Do At Stonehenge


You are able to visit the henge at any time by arrangement. See our opening hours below. You can book a private tour with Richard Hall any time, daytime or sunset. Must be arranged in advance.



Explore our magnificent night sky. The program begins with a short presentation on our place in the universe. This is followed by an audio-visual that takes you on a tour of our current night sky identifying the planets and notable celestial objects. Weather permitting; we then take you on a laser tour of the heavens beneath the stars at Stonehenge Aotearoa.

Star Treks are available on any evening but must be booked in advance. Allow 90 minutes for your tour which should begin about an hour after sunset.

Minimum price for 2 people is $160 or $80 each. Prices per person reduced as the numbers rise. 3-6 people are $55 each and so on. Email:



A self-guided tour of Stonehenge Aotearoa. The visitor is provided with a map of the Henge and views a 15 minute audio-visual that explains how the Henge works. Then, with map in hand, you explore the stone circle.

Allow 40 minutes for your Trek which is available during open hours. A trek does not have to be pre-booked.
$15 adults, $10 seniors, $5 for primary or secondary students.


Guided tour

Private and Group story-telling guided tour of Stonehenge Aotearoa. The program begins with a presentation on ancient stone circles and how our ancestors used the sun, moon and stars for religion, navigation and time keeping – when to sail, when to plant, etc. This is followed by an audio-visual that explains how the Henge works. We then explore the Henge accompanied by stories of the solstices, equinoxes and the zodiac.

Guided tours, which are available any time or day, must be booked in advance. Allow 90 minutes for your guided tour. Price per person is reduced as the numbers rise. Minimum for 2 people is $130 or $75 each. 3-6 people are $48 each and so on. Bookings are required. Email:


Sunset Tour

A ‘Guided Tour’ of Stonehenge Aotearoa that includes, weather permitting, viewing the sun set at the Henge.

Sunset Tours are available on any day but must be booked in advance. Allow 90 minutes for your tour which should begin an hour before sunset. Prices as the same as Guided Tour. Email:

opening hours

Upcoming Events

Check out the upcoming events, tours, exhibitions, courses and much more at Stonehenge Aotearoa.

Wellington On A Plate

Occurs on 17th and 18th August 2024

Ignite your weekend with Fire and Stone, a once-in-a-lifetime elemental dining experience of whole cuts cooked over fire, snuggled up in their cosy Nordic tipi village, alongside the monumental Stonehenge Aotearoa. Canterbury hospitality legends Mat Johns (Food by Fire, Momofuku Daishō), Josh Hunter (Whakapapa of your Kai) and Finbar MacCarthy (Gatherings) return after last year's sell out event Whakapapa of your Kai. They'll fire up an epic five-course feast by candlelight, matched with wines from Palliser Estate and a musical lineup to dance the night away, and if the skies are clear experience a guided stargaze from astronomer and Stonehenge Aotearoa creator Richard Hall.

Fire And Stone - Buy Tickets

Celebrate the Spring Equinox

Occurs on September 22, 2024 at 5:00pm

Come celebrate the Spring Equinox with us! Enjoy the sunset from within the henge (if possible), learn about how your ancestor viewed the equinox then enjoy exploring the night sky.

Adults $30, Seniors $25, Child (primary) $5, School student (secondary) $10

Space Week - Alien Worlds

Occurs on 9th October 2024

Join the search for Extraterrestrials at Stonehenge Aotearoa in October during Space Week.

Adults $30, Seniors $25, Child (primary) $5, School student (secondary) $10

Legends of Matariki

Occurs on November 2, 2024 at 7:00pm

The sacred time is the early morning rising of Matariki (the Pleiades) but the same stars are visible in the evening sky in November. It is warm, the sky is getting darker. This is the time of learning and understanding.

Adults $30, Seniors $25, Child (primary) $5, School student (secondary) $10

The Star of Bethlehem and the Summer Solstice

Occurs on December 21, 2024 at 7:30pm

What was the Star of Bethlehem? Ever wondered what it really was? This programme answers that. We go down to the henge to watch the sun set. After that we return to watch the Summer Stars AV. As the sky darkens we listen to music. When the sky is dark we can look at the stars.

Adults $30, Seniors $25, Child (primary) $5, School student (secondary) $10

Dates For 2024

Daylight Saving BeginsSunday September 29
SPRING EQUINOXSunday September 22(Actual date of Equinox Monday 23)5pm
LEGENDS OF MATARIKISaturday November 27pm
STAR OF BETHLEHEMSaturday December 21(Also date of Summer Solstice)7:30pm

The Night Sky

Click here for the latest Night Sky on Arrow FM Read Interview With Richard

Venue Hire

Stonehenge Aotearoa is available for private functions – birthdays, and special occasions by arrangement.


We also offer our venue for weddings too! Here's a testimonial from a recent event:

"A Shoutout to Kay and Richard of Stonehenge Aotearoa. We've just celebrated our daughter's wedding. We started hunting for a venue in June, 2021 for an Easter wedding in April, 2022. We visited quite a few venues. We settled on Stonehenge, Aotearoa for several reasons, our daughter's partner doing his Masters in Astronomy being the absolute clincher.

It was the perfect venue. It was truly a lucky find. Not only was it unique and beautiful, the owners, Kay and Richard, went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating. Comparing prices, I would say their rates were very reasonable.

And we couldn't have managed without the help of our Events Manager, MJ (0274580035). She organized a superb grazing table for us and took on board all the little pre-wedding tasks we entrusted her with. In a nutshell, I think MJ is efficient, flexible and her prices are reasonable. Both Stonehenge and MJ have earned a ton of gratitude from us all. Others who helped: Our regular handyman (Thank you, Jason) and Festival Hire ( Highly recommended!)"

Khoty Mathur (mother of the Bride)


Guide only to basic charges (charges may vary with individual requirements):

Send us a message if you would like more information or wish to make a booking:


Latest news and updates from Stonehenge Aotearoa:

Latest Photos By Jack T Lee

Thanks to Jack for these wonderful photos from the recent Stars and Stones event:

Henge and Milky Way at distance
Heelstone with setting sun
Black and white henge
Sunset and shadows

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