- Visiting Us
Planetarium shows, prices, and how to find us
- Book Now
- Opening Hours
- What to Expect
- Planetarium Shows
Planetarium shows currently playing at Carter Observatory
- Star Pass Membership
- Carter's Gift Shop
- How to Find Us
Map and directions to Carter Observatory located in Wellington Botanic Garden
- Accessibility to Carter
Information on accessibility at Carter Observatory
- Important Notice about our Telescope Dome
Important Notice about our Telescope Dome repair - March 2013
- Language Translation
Carter Observatory's exhibition in your language
- About Us
Our heritage and our people
What's coming up
- Venue Hire
Corporate events & birthday parties
School programmes and resources
- Contact Us
Various ways you can contact the team at Carter Observatory
What to Expect at Carter
The refurbished (in 2010) Carter Observatory includes a multimedia exhibition all about the Southern Skies, a 9m digital full-dome planetarium, heritage telescopes, and space-themed gift shop.
Shows in the planetarium are scheduled regularly across the day. You can browse in the exhibition, then take in a show - or enjoy a show then wander around the exhibition and gift shop. It's entirely up to you.
When you visit Carter, give yourself at least an hour and a half to appreciate what is on offer. If space is of special interest to you, we'd suggest you give yourself a good few hours.
For the safety of all visitors, we ask that children up to the age of 14 years are supervised by an adult.
Call us on 04 910 3140 if you need additional information, wish to book a school or group visit, or hold an evening or daytime event at Carter.
Pelorus Trust Planetarium
Take a journey to space in the Pelorus Trust Planetarium, a state of the art, digital experience that will take you on a virtual space journey, from Wellington to some of the outer regions of our own Solar System and beyond.
This is a special domed theatre, set with reclined seats that allow you to relax, lean back and take in a very different view of the sky above you, day or night.
You'll have Carter Observatory staff with you who can answer your burning questions about our Southern Skies.
Planetarium shows are listed here.
Our interactive exhibition begins with the story of Space, Time and Matter - the sheer scale of the Universe, the Big Bang, an interpretation of how our world began. You'll also hear the Māori story of creation, experience a gravity well and can examine the possibilities of life on other planets!
Travel through Carter's very own Black Hole into our Solar System. You can learn all about the planets that surround us, New Zealand's astronomy community and understand our Southern Skies. You can even handle an actual space rock, read interperative panels, watch video stories and learn at your own pace.
The Astronomy of Oceania
Matariki, and the role of the stars in Māori New Year is explained, along with the ways of Polynesian and Māori astronavigation. Become absorbed in the journey of Māori from Hawaii to Aotearoa New Zealand, and learn how Maui caught the Sun.
European aspects of early navigation, particularly the astronomical aspects of Captain Cook's visits, including early time keeping and astronomy in New Zealand are displayed in our stunning library that also houses a treasure trove of books and materials from across centuries and around the world.
Public telescope viewings are held using the Thomas Cooke telescope on our late nights, as weather permits.
Please note: only tickets bought for the 6pm, 7pm and 8pm shows are valid for telescope viewing on our late nights. Customers who purchase tickets for shows earlier in the day will need to purchase new tickets for an evening show to participate in telescope viewing.
Throughout the year there will be other opportunities for telescope viewings around special space events. Keep an eye on our website and newsletter for details.