– Welcome to Magrathea Rural Dark Sky Retreat –
our little bit of paradise in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
We now offer ‘bnb’ style accommodation suitable for a maximum of two guests for between 2-4 nights (longer stays by negotiation). You will find yourself in a peaceful rural location, surrounded by farmland and vineyards. The night sky is beautiful, with the nearest streetlight several kilometres away…
Our guests will experience their own fully self-contained accommodation, complete with full cooking and bathroom facilities in a brand new, private one-bedroom suite. Breakfast ingredients will be provided, along with tea/coffee etc. There is free WiFi and a 46 inch TV.
Conditions permitting, guests will be invited to take a tour of the wonderful dark night sky with us and view some of the most interesting objects through an 8-inch telescope. If conditions don’t allow night-sky viewing, a presentation of some of our astronomy images will be made available. If you are keen to see the best that the night sky has available, we recommend that you check the moon phase calendar before booking. Last quarter and new moon offer the darkest nights. If you have your own portable telescope or binoculars, you are welcome to bring them. We also recommend you bring a red-light torch if you have one.
A few recent images captured from Frogstar Observatory:
Our outdoor lighting (including sensor lights) has been designed to illuminate where needed, without disrupting the spectacular night sky.
Our property has recently been converted from farmland. We began planting trees in May 2019, and now have around 1,500 trees, plants and shrubs in the ground (mostly native). The gardens are a work in progress, but are quickly becoming established for privacy and shelter from the prevailing winds. Birds, frogs and a wide variety of wildlife are now making themselves at home in our bio-diverse haven. You are free to wander the grounds but are asked to stay out of the pond (for safety reasons) and out of our private courtyard unless invited. You can relax on your patio overlooking our wildflower meadow, surrounded by a truly rural environment while being serenaded by the frogs calling from our pond.
Magrathea is an Eco-conscious destination. We have installed a 6-kilowatt solar power system to generate most of the power we use. Our water supply comes directly from the sky and tastes beautiful right out of the tap. We have a biological septic system that breaks down all the waste and this feeds our wildflower meadow which looks amazing all through the warmer months… It is insect heaven!
Nearby, there are wineries and country restaurants that operate seasonally. We are located less than half an hour from downtown Hastings, or 45 minutes from the sea-side Art Deco capital of Napier. Because we are situated on a dead-end rural road, there is typically very light traffic. Biking around is possible, but a car is the best option for getting to town. Free parking is available at your accommodation.