Outbound Souk | 2017-02-21

New Zealand offers night-time experiences that stamp hearts and claim them as their own. Experiences that hook you and present to you on a mega canvas the drug called life, injecting you with the purest air and offering chances for a communion with yourself like nowhere else in the world. Experiences laid out by the heavens themselves, that are nothing short of magical!





Clear skies, dark nights and pixie dust fall upon an undisturbed landscape, which is lying in waiting. One stands mesmerised as one gazes upon the night sky in New Zealand nowhere else in the world do the stars shine so brightly. With near zero light pollution, New Zealand is home to the world’s largest Gold Rated International Dark Sky Reserve Reserve enclosing within its boundaries the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and the villages of Lake Tekapo, Twizel and Mt Cook. Those interested in a closer encounter can take a night tour to Mount John Observatory and use the country’s most powerful telescopes to admire the Milky Way and more in all its glory. Count by all means if you can upto 50 million!



Navigating the snow smothered mountains around Queenstown becomes even more glamorous as you swish through the snow to the view of the city lights twinkling below and the famous galaxy of stars winking from above. As you steer the terrain matching your level of expertise, invigorating hot chocolates, soul-warming mulled wines and more, at the restaurants en route keep you fuelled.



As the sun sets and the moon rises, kayak into the spectacular waters of the Bay of Islands. The romance of the setting is magical as you pass the Pataua and Hokianga islands and get drenched under a waterfall where the river meets the sea. If the silvery moonlight lighting the dark night is not magic enough for you, opt for the stunning bioluminescence  or phosphorescence created by absorption of plankton radiation during the day magically lights up the waters at night creating a surreal magical glow as you dip the paddle in the water¬, causing the plankton to light up. It is a moonlit ride that you shall never forget!



When volcanic rumblings gave birth to this group of islets just off the coast of Tutukaka 11 million years ago, they also created a nest of caverns, tunnels and cliffs below the water surface. Nights below are a myraid of colours and glows that celebrate the bounty of nature at its most generous. Be fascinated by the sleeping fish or simply by the arresting beauty of this sub-aqua terrain which is at its most fascinating at night. Nightimes is also the time to swim with the lobsters and other nocturnal creatures who also scour the seas only at night.



Streams of water have ‘moled’ into the underlying limestone and created a maze of ‘burrows’rather stalactite anointed caves in Waitomo, North Island. While the caverns make for a fascinating ride, the true surrealism of this dreamlike experience comes from the thousands of glow-worms, which light up the caves just like the stars in the New Zealand skies.One can go black water rafting and slide peacefully on water admiring the magical beauty of this labyrinth of caves. However the true thrill is in getting a wet suit, wearing an inner tube and jumping into the inky pools of water as the sway of water guides you through the sunken chambers as the glow worms twinkle above.



Rakiura the island’s Maori name aptly means the land of the glowing skies. The island is about 85 per cent covered by Rakiura National Park, one of the few landmasses to conveniently watch the Southern counterpart of the Northern lights or Aurora Borealis. With little pollution and extremely low light pollution, the island offers many spots to watch the grand show of lights in isolation. While you bide your time and wait for the light ballerina to make her move, the island offers many an activity to keep you occupied.



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