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Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand

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RASNZ Affiliated Societies - society list

Auckland logo

Auckland Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.astronomy.org.nz/
Email: info@astronomy.org.nz
P O Box 24187,
Royal Oak,
New Zealand

The Auckland Astronomical Society was founded in 1922 and today has more than 500 members. The Society meets at the Stardome Observatory in Auckland on most Mondays (except January) offering a wide range of interesting talks and activities for members. Regular star parties are held at a dark site for casual observing. Facilities available to members include an excellent borrowing library, rental telescopes, DVD recordings of guest speakers and events; a monthly Journal of over 20 pages. A number of our members are volunteers at the Stardome; others are actively involved in astronomical research.

Officers for 2014:

President: AAS President (Bill Thomas)
Secretary: AAS Secretary (Gavin Logan)
Treasurer: AAS Treasurer (Andrew Buckingham)

Canterbury Logo

Canterbury Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.cas.org.nz
Email: president@cas.org.nz
Victoria Street Post Office,
PO Box 25 137,
Christchurch 8144,
New Zealand

Central Otago Astronomical Society

Contact: Dr Barrie Wills, PhD
Phone: (03) 448 8215
Email: bjwills2@slingshot.co.nz
Central Environment Services,
Central Computer Consultants,
42 Ventry Street,
Alexandra 9320

Coromandel Astronomy Group

Contact: Alastair Brickell
Phone: (07)-866-5343

We are a small group with the aim of fostering interest in the night sky for young and old alike. No previous experience is necessary...just curiosity. We hold very irregular observing sessions using a 6" refractor when weather and mood suit. The group was formed in 2002 and has grown quickly and there are currently about 25-30 members on our books and we regularly get 12-20 or more to our sessions.

The latest event was a transit of Mercury BBQ and observing session overlooking the Hauraki Gulf from the hills above Coromandel town...a great evening with most spectacular eta Aquarids thrown in! (But clouds west of Auckland covered the transit at the last minute).

Anyone interested in joining us as a regular member or as a visitor passing through should contact Alastair Brickell by phone (07)-866-5343

Dunedin Astronomical Society logo

Dunedin Astronomical Society Incorporated

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/dunedinastronomy/
Email: dunedin.astronomy@gmail.com
P.O. Box 6019,

The Dunedin Astronomical Society is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy. The society operates from the Beverly-Begg Observatory on Robin Hood Park in Dunedin.

The observatory houses a Celestron C14 on a Paramount mount. A number of cameras including an SBIG-ST7 are available for use with the system. The society owns a number of other telescopes (including the very heavily used club built 18" telescope) and reference materials that are available to members. DAS has access to a farm cottage near Middlemarch which is used by members as a dark sky site.

During night time savings public sessions are held on Sunday nights starting at 7:30 pm. Education sessions for private groups may be made by arrangement through the education officer.

The Society meets on the first and third Tuesdays each month except January. Meetings start at 8pm and are held in the Observatory annex.

If you would like a notice considered for publication in our monthly newsletter send email to the newsletter editor.

Ron Paine (President), phone: 03 453 4696, email: Ron Paine

Observatory: phone 03 4777683 (answer phone)

Galactic Circle Aotearoa New Zealand

The Galactic Circle is now merged into the Wellington Astronomical Society.

Gifford Observatory Trust

Website: http://www.gifford-observatory.wellington.net.nz

A Wellington based group operating the Gifford Observatory behind Wellington College.

The Chair Person is Peter Graham

Gisborne Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.astrogas.co.nz
Contact: Huon Chandler
Email: hac.gas@xtra.co.nz
P O Box 678,
Gisborne 4040

Hamilton logo

Hamilton Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.has.org.nz

Our society is based at Hamilton Observatory, next to Hamilton Zoo in Brymer Road. For details, visit www.has.org.nz or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/hasnz."

Hawera Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.haweraobservatory.org.nz
Email: contact@haweraobservatory.org.nz

We meet at the King Edward Park Observatory, High St, with access through Stan Lay Drive off Camberwell Road (next to the High School). In the dome is a fixed 5" Cooke refractor made in 1905 and the Society also owns portable 8" Celestron and 6" Dobsonian telescopes for use outside. Downstairs is a meeting/lecture room, with a computer displaying real-time Starry Night software, and a TV/video for showing astronomy-related tapes.

We welcome people of all ages, although we ask that adults accompany those who are 14 years and younger. Special times may be arranged for interested groups from schools and other organisations. We generally hold two major events each year.

Meetings: 7:30pm (April-September) or 8:30pm (October-March), second Wednesday of the month.


  • Nick Radich, ph: 06 278 6445
  • Theresa Sutherland, ph: 06 274 9333
  • Daniel Hovell, ph: 021-334-187

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Hawkes Bay Astronomical Society

Email: gary@holtplanetarium.org.nz
HBAS Secretary,
36 Exeter Cres.,
Napier 4110

The Hawkes Bay Astronomical Society meets on the second Wednesday of each month, except January. Meetings are held at the Holt Planetarium on Chambers Street in Napier and commence at 7pm. The meetings are quite informal with much interactive conversation about recent topics of interest. The facilities of the planetarium are well used and members get free entry to the Sunday evening public programmes. New members are always welcome. We have just about finished construction of our Pukerangi Observatory, located about 25 km northwest of Napier. It will house three permanently mounted quality instruments.

Horowhenua Astronomical Society Inc.

Website: http://www.horoastronomy.org.nz/
Contact: Tina Hills (secretary)
Phone: 06 3686926
Email: info@horoastronomy.org.nz
Horowhenua Astronomical Society,
c/o 16 Twin Peaks Grove,
Levin 5575

The society operates the Nelson Bartlett Observatory in Foxton Beach, Horowhenua. The observatory is equipped with a 5.5” refractor with a solar filter; an 18” Dobsonian and a 10” Schmitt Cassegrain. We have two dedicated Lunt solar telescopes as well. We hold regular meetings and attract a wide variety of guest speakers and undertake observing sessions at the observatory. The society also holds free stargazing events in the Levin Adventure Park, 92 Oxford Street, Levin.

We also hold "StellarFest", which is an annual winter astro-camp held in Foxton Beach. This is a three day event, and comprises observing, presentations by professionals and amateurs, BBQs, movies, displays, astrophotography etc. It is a friendly astronomical get-together at a venue with excellent facilities.

Society Meetings: First Thursday of the month (except January). 7.30pm during Standard Time, 8.00pm during Daylight Saving; Foxton Beach School, Foxton Beach.

President - Stephen Chadwick
Vice President - Ian Cooper
Secretary - Tina Hills
Treasurer - Simon Hills

Astronomy Section, Nelson Science Society, RSNZ

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/nelsonsciencesociety/home/astronomy-section
Contact: Paul Fisher
Phone: +64 3 545 0785
Email: wildlands.nelson@xtra.co.nz
27 Lud Valley Road,
Nelson 7071

Meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at Landcare Research, Milton/Halifax Streets, Nelson.

Star Parties are held once a month at the Atkinson Observatory, Princes Drive, Nelson.

New Plymouth Astronomical Society

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/astronomynp
Contact: John Calcott
Email: jcalcott@paradise.net.nz
The Secretary,
P O Box 818,
New Plymouth 4340

Meetings (Club Night) are held at the Observatory on the third Saturday of the month starting at 7:30pm.

Public nights at the observatory are every Tuesday, except during Xmas and New Year; 8:30pm during Daylight Saving and 7:30pm during Standard Time. The Observatory is situated on the south end of Marsland Hill in central New Plymouth, above and behind St Mary's Pro-Cathedral. The car-park is accessed from Robe Street. There is a sign at the base of the access road that runs up past the Civil Defence Headquarters.

Contact details for the society are:

President: Nick Gladstone

Observatory Director and acting secretary: John Calcott
38 Govett Avenue
New Plymouth 4310
Ph: 06 753-9186

Treasurer: Michael Kruse
5c Bromley Place
New Plymouth 4310
Ph: 06 753-9743

North Otago Astronomical Society

Contact: Hans Brienesse
Phone: (03) 434 8757
Email: marg-hans-briens@xtra.co.nz
30 Stour Street,
Oamaru 9400

The Society has a small, active, membership, who meet on the first Monday of each month.Public nights are held at the observatory each Friday, weather permitting, during the first and last quarters of the Moon.However, the observatory is closed during the summer months.

Each September, the Society hosts the Stargazers' Getaway weekend gathering at Camp Iona, Herbert, 15 minutes south of Oamaru. A programme of speakers is arranged, but the emphasis is on an informal, relaxing, weekend, open to anyone with an interest in astronomy.

Northern Observational Astronomy Association

Contact: Barbara Ives
Email: fbives@clear.net.nz
307 B Winifred Avenue,
Whangamata 3620

Palmerston North Astronomical Society

Contact: Ian Cooper
Email: icoops@inspire.net.nz
C/- Ian Cooper (President),
Main Drain Road,
RD 3,
Palmerston North 4473

The Society is based in Palmerston North and has its meetings on the last Wednesday of each month other than December and January. These are held at the observatory on Cliff Road hill or weather permitting and by phone arrangement, at our 20 inch observatory at Main Drain Rd. RD3

Secretary: Peter Wilde

Peter Wilde (Secretary),
12 Burfield Place,
Palmerston North 4412
Phone: 06 3584857, mobile 027 284,1610
email: p.wilde@clear.net.nz

The Phoenix Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.astronomynz.org.nz
Contact: Richard Hall (President)
Email: phoenix@astronomynz.org.nz
PO Box 157,

The Society is based in Wellington and Wairarapa, though membership is NZ-wide, with professional and amateur astronomers, including many beginners. The Society’s observatory complex is at a dark sky site near Carterton. The observatory contains several telescopes including 25 cm and 58 cm reflectors; an astrograph for taking astronomical photographs and comfortable clubrooms. Nearby the life-size Stonehenge Aotearoa incorporates astronomical features relevant to Western, Eastern and Polynesian cultures. Bookings for visits from the community and school groups are welcome.

TPAS hosts Stardate in the Hawkes Bay in January, and the Winter Astrocamp in the Wairarapa in August. Open to everyone, these relaxing informal weekend gatherings cover all aspects of astronomy from cosmology to observational astronomy with a focus on observing our wonderful night skies during the evenings. It hosted the 2012 RASNZ Conference in Masterton last year. TPAS also produces the annual New Zealand Almanac to showcase NZ astrophotography and astro-art.

Meetings are held each month in Wellington and at our clubrooms in the Wairarapa. Regular observing evenings are held at our dark sky observatory. Location and date / time information for these meetings is published on the website.

President: Richard Hall

Phone: 027 230 5191

Secretary: Andrew Larken

Phone: 027 421 2363

Rotorua Astronomical Society

Contact: Heather Cameron
Phone: 022 313-9976, Ken Blackman (07)348-4312
Email: chalkyz@vodafone.co.nz
13 Kiwi Street,

The Rotorua Astronomical Society is a small society that meets in the Rotorua Arts Village (R.A.V.E) on the corner of Hinemaru and Himemoa streets on the first Wednesday of the month. Meetings are usually addressed by one of the members. The society has an observatory located at a dark sky site near the Green Lake on the way to lake Tarawera and just 15 Km from Rotorua Central Post Office. The Main telescope is a 15 cm Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector. Other members, including one who has won awards for telescope building, have their own telescopes. There is also an interest in Educational Astronomy.

Meetings are held at 7.30 pm on the first Wednesday of the month (excluding January)

Skydome Observers Incorporated, BAYLYS BEACH (near Dargaville)

Email: grahaml.jones@gmail.com
Graham L Jones,
139 Hokianga Road,
Dargaville 0310

Meetings are irregular at the moment whilst we undertake new arrangements.

Skydome Observers Incorporated is the only west coast club north of Auckland. The observatory is at Baylys Beach, where we are blessed with dark skies and widespread views of the sky. At present we are negotiating to purchase the observatory from the existing owner and relocate it to Dargaville. It houses a 15" Newtonian Reflector with Argo Navis computer control. A refractor with a SolarMax40 fitted for daytime use is piggybacked to the main scope. Until new arrangements are in place all contact is with Graham Jones as per above details.

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South Canterbury Astronomers Group

Website: http://www.scastro.org.nz
Phone: 027-330-2542

We cater for people interested in all aspects of Astronomy, and our membership includes a wide range of age groups, occupations, and all levels of experience from beginners to experienced professionals. Our aim is to get people actively involved with learning and taking part in astronomy through a fun, social and enthusiastic atmosphere.

Monthly meetings are usually held at 7:30pm on the last Friday of the month at the Fairview Hall in Timaru. We have 3 telescopes for loan to our financial members and for monthly observing at our meeting site.

Contact the current president Glenn Williams on 027-330-2542 to confirm details for the coming meeting.
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Southland Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.southlandastro.org.nz
Email: info@southlandastro.org.nz
PO Box 1168,
Invercargill 9840

The Southland Astronomical Society is the southern-most society in the world. Formed in 1961, it is a small but strong group of about 50 members.

Meeting nights are the first Thursday of each month at 7.30 pm. from February to December at:

Hearing Association Rooms
126 Leet Street

Meetings have varied formats, talks by members or guest speakers, slide or quiz evenings, practical demonstrations or instruction and lots of discussions of many different topics.

A group of members operates the public Observatory during the winter months (April to end of September) on Wednesday evenings, 7 - 9 pm. It is opened on other evenings for school and other groups by arrangement (contact the Museum).

The society publishes a small monthly newsletter. It has a number of small telescopes available for loan to members.

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Tauranga Astronomical Society

Website: http://tauranga-astro.x10host.com
Email: tas.secretary@gmail.com

President: Stuart Murray

Secretary / Newsletter editor: Jonathon Palmer

Phone: (07) 571 4474
Email: Jonathon Palmer
6 Dunrobin Place,
Tauranga 3112,
New Zealand

Vice president: Chris Lee

Phone: 021 279 6219
Email: Chris Lee

The Tauranga Astronomical Society was formed in 2002. Public meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month starting at 7.30 pm. The observatory is also open to visitors on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

Wanganui Astronomical Society

Contact: Ross Skilton
Phone: 06 345 9654
Email: rskilton.aorere@clear.net.nz
Wanganui 4574

We meet every Friday night at the Ward Observatory for public viewing. The Wanganui Society meets on the third Wednesday of every month.

cSecretary: Mark Lee
Address: 167c Parsons Street, Wanganui
email: astromark@xtra.co.nz
phone: 06 344 2258 or 02 7457 9615

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Wellington Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.was.org.nz/
Email: was@was.org.nz
PO Box 3181,
6140 NZ

The Wellington Astronomical Society has a membership of about 75, which includes a number of student members.

Meetings: Are held at Carter Observatory in Kelburn., on the first Wednesday of the month (except January). Our Research Astronomy Group begins at 6:30pm on meeting nights, followed at 7:30pm by the social meeting open to any interested persons. Our main areas of research interest are Occultations and Variable Stars.

Observing: Each month there are two regular observing evenings, that are usually held at Tawa College. The society also has links with a dark-sky site at Pauatahanui equipped with a Meade LX200 30 cm telescope, the Gifford Observatory with a 13 cm Zeiss refractor, and the Carter Observatory’s Thomas King Observatory which houses a 14 cm Grubb-Parsons refractor. Contacts: Please check our website for meeting and observing night details, or contact the Secretary or President.

President: Dr Aline Homes

Phone: 04 478 4666
email: aline.homes@actrix.co.nz

Secretary: Chris Monigatti

Phone: 021890222
email: chrismon@xtra.co.nz

Whakatane Astronomical Society

Website: http://www.skyofplenty.co.nz
Contact: Nichola Van der Aa
Phone: 07 322 2033
Email: nvanderaa@xtra.co.nz
564 Grieg road,
RD4 Whakatane 3194

Public nights are held on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year, weather permitting, at 7:30 pm, or earlier by arrangement. Bookings are welcome for other nights from School classes, and other groups of six or more, starting times from 5:30pm or half an hour after sunset during the summer. The observatory is available all year round. Society meetings are on the second Wednesday of each month, except January, at the observatory in Hurinui Avenue, off Hillcrest Road. All are welcome.


350mm Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain
250mm Meade Schmidt Cassegrain with Goto Control. This instrument is on indefinite loan to our Society.
150mm refractor built by John Smith of Kawerau, fitted with a solar filter.

President: Norman Izett
Email: normanizett@xtra.co.nz

Vice President: Keith Blair
Email: blairfamily@slingshot.co.nz

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Site maintained by Peter Jaquiery
Site last updated 24th February 2015