Only in NZ: The most breathtaking night skies in the world

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New Zealand has some of the most beautiful night skies in the world and a Kiwi photographer is on a mission to share them with the world.

A magical shot captured at Castle Hill. Photo / Paul Wilson Images
A magical shot captured at Castle Hill. Photo / Paul Wilson Images


Paul Wilson's awe-inspiring images have been shared thousands of times and are inspiring stargazers from around the world to make their way down under.

This is the 'good old beast' that gets Paul Wilson to his stargazing destinations.
This is the 'good old beast' that gets Paul Wilson to his stargazing destinations.

He's lucky enough to have a mate with a 4WD, so they travel deep up the riverbeds under the Southern Alps to shoot images and time-lapse video that no one else has been able to capture before.

The Waipapa Point Lighthouse, which is a seven hour drive from Christchurch. Photo / Paul Wilson Images
The Waipapa Point Lighthouse, which is a seven hour drive from Christchurch. Photo / Paul Wilson Images

What makes his stunning images unique are the epic landscapes of the South Island that serve as a backdrop to the stars: snow-capped mountains, expansive lakes and rocky riverbeds.

Venus rises next to the Milky Way at Hickory Bay, Banks Peninsula. Photo / Paul Wilson Images
Venus rises next to the Milky Way at Hickory Bay, Banks Peninsula. Photo / Paul Wilson Images

So why is our little slice of the world such an incredible spot for capturing the night sky?

"It's winter here when the Milky Way galaxy is at its most visible, meaning more dark hours to get out there and capture it," explains Wilson.

Another factor was the lack of light pollution in the South Island, making it easier to capture the galaxy.

In fact, New Zealand is one of only three countries in the world to have a Gold Rated International Dark Sky Reserve - the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve on the South Island.

The incredible landscapes of the South Island feature in his images. Photo / Paul Wilson Images
The incredible landscapes of the South Island feature in his images. Photo / Paul Wilson Images

This dark sky reserve is also the biggest in the world, and includes the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and the villages of Lake Tekapo, Twizel and Mt Cook.

Video

While Wilson's nights are spent capturing the night sky, during the day he's a wedding photographer.

Prints of his images are available to purchase here: https://www.facebook.com/paulwilsonimages/

- NZ Herald

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