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Old 08-11-2019, 03:30 PM
ausastronomer (John Bambury)
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
Posts: 2,496
The best skies I have experienced are on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Because it so rugged, a lot of places are difficult to access and there are very few people live there. In addition to the dark skies, the skies are very transparent because there is no dust particulate in the air. The area from Wanaka to Franz Joseph Glacier encompassing Mount Aspiring National Park and Mount Cook National Park are exceptionally dark. Unfortunately due to the mountainous topography, the seeing can be pretty ordinary and more conducive to naked eye and binocular observing than telescopic observing. If you can get up high enough above the thermals from the adjacent mountains the seeing can be very good and sub 1". Unfortunately the very few roads to get you to this altitude are very hairy and these points more often than not can only be reached by chopper due to heart failure, snow and or rock falls.

Cheers
John B
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