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Carter Observatory

40 Salamanca Road | Kelburn, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
+64 4 910 3140
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88%
Ranked #17 of 125 Attractions in Wellington
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Landmarks
Owner description: Carter Observatory offers visitors a state of the art, digital planetarium with an almost limitless...
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Landmarks
Hours:
Sun 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Mon 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue 10:00 am - 9:30 pm
Wed - Fri 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am - 9:30 pm
Owner description: Carter Observatory offers visitors a state of the art, digital planetarium with an almost limitless range of virtual space journeys, along with multi-media exhibits that tell the Māori and European story of New Zealand’s southern skies and the role of the stars in navigation. Carter re-opened in March 2010 as a world class visitor attraction after a multi-million dollar refit. Over its 70 year history it has served as New Zealand’s national observatory and this legacy is reflected in a collection of New Zealand astronomical history including the oldest telescope of its kind operating in New Zealand.Carter offers a fun learning experience for kids and visitors of all ages and has new exhibitions on space flight, New Zealanders and their role in space sciences and much much more. We know you'll leave inspired.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access

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202 reviews from our community

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dubai
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2014 NEW

When I organised my trip in Wellington, I made sure to include the Carter Observatory in my "must visit" list. I made sure we visited on a night when there was star gazing. (Tue & Sat only- open till 10pm) Indeed it was very educational for both adults n children. I wished we could stay on longer to view all... More 

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Emerald, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2014 NEW

Took the cable car up the mountain and got to experience one of the planetarium shows. Very good value and show was fantastic. Recommend you check show times before you arrive to try and time your visit to match your preferred show.

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Orange, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014 NEW

The Observatory mixes historical information with geologic and intergalactic evidence. The various explanatory panels are well designed and the audio-visual presentations are well delivered. There is lots of things to touch, twist, sit in and play with for the kids (and adults when no-one is looking). We missed the "show" so cannot comment on this.

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Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2014

Interesting in the planetarium; being able to look up into the dome to view the 'stars etc' Haven't been at night to view the real stars etc yet though. Information centre.

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Tauranga, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

A very well presented video showing on the moon landing. The museum and displays were very educational.

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Wellington, New Zealand
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
16 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2014

The observatory is located in the Botanical Gardens so is in a wonderful setting. The observatory itself has a rich amount of information and a planetarium is a superb experience which is a must.

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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2014

There has been a great improvement to the foyer of the observatory and the display rooms are full of information that will interest young and old. There are interactive displays, video clips and lots of educational toys for children. Star dome is really effective for viewing the stars as one sits back on the comfortable chairs. The display and commentary... More 

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Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
7 attraction reviews
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

If you're over 10- skip the (not cheap) show. It is meant for small kids, and you'll learn almost nothing from it. The exhibition is nice, with free admission, and worth couple of minutes of your time.

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Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
16 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

Good set up and planetarium shows a beat experience. It always is a bit busy trying to see through the telescope they should get some smaller portable ones and put them outside or something. The kids have fine here and it is certainly well set up for kids.

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Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
23 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2014

Top of the hill right off the cable car ride and botanic gardens. The history of this place is awesome and the surrounding elements of star mapping and the overall tour are very informative. It is worthwhile as part of the total package at the top of the hill after the cable car ride. Give yourself the extra time and... More 

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