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Carter Observatory

Look at the rings of Saturn, touch rocks that have fallen from space and go on a virtual journey to the farthest regions of our solar system.

Carter Observatory has some of the country’s oldest telescopes, a digital planetarium, astronomical artifacts and interactive exhibitions. This collections weaves together Māori, Polynesian and Western astronomy.

Enter the first gallery to watch multimedia displays about the origins of the universe and the possibility of life on other planets. Hear about the traditions and myths of the Māori story of creation.

Step inside the Solar System gallery and touch and play with the digital orrery, an interactive model of our sun and the planets that orbit it. Pick up and handle the Gibeon meteorite, a 15-pound (7-kilogram) lump of iron and nickel that fell on Namibia in prehistoric times. You can also touch a large stony meteorite that was found in China.

Lie back on a reclining seat in the digital planetarium and go flying through the stars. Different shows, including one for preschoolers, are run throughout the day. Each show focuses on different aspects of space exploration. Stay in your seat after the show for the live presentation during which one of Carter’s astronomers discusses the night sky during the time of your visit. Check out the observatory’s website for show details and programing schedule.

Look out into space through the powerful Thomas Cooke telescope. Public telescope viewings are held on the observatory’s late-night openings and are included with the general admission price. Depending on the weather conditions and where the planets are aligned you may be able to see Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.   

Situated in Wellington Botanic Garden, the Carter Observatory is a two-minute walk from the top of the Wellington Cable Car, in the neighborhood of Kelburn. The bus stop in nearby Upland Road is served by several routes and there is a paid car park close to the Cable Car.

The Carter Observatory is open every day except Christmas Day and December 26.


Guide to Exploring around Carter Observatory


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Carter Observatory

See all 175 Properties near Carter Observatory
Rydges Wellington ¥10,645
Rydges Wellington

Rydges Wellington

75 Featherston St, Wellington
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District, and Wellington Waterfront. Beehive and St Paul's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is only a 3-minute walk.

    ibis Wellington ¥6,601
    ibis Wellington

    ibis Wellington

    153 Featherston St, Wellington
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Wellington, this hotel is steps from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District, and Wellington Waterfront. Old Government Buildings and Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station) are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 6 minutes by foot.

      James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor ¥8,510
      James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

      James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

      147 The Terrace, Wellington
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of St Paul's Cathedral, Carter Observatory, and Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). Old St Paul's and Botanic Gardens are also within 1 mi (2 km). Wellington Station is 10 minutes by foot.

        Novotel Wellington ¥8,980
        Novotel Wellington

        Novotel Wellington

        133 The Terrace, Wellington
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station) and Wellington Central Business District. Beehive and Old Government Buildings are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 10 minutes by foot.

          Travelodge Hotel Wellington ¥7,439
          Travelodge Hotel Wellington

          Travelodge Hotel Wellington

          2-6 Gilmer Terrace, Wellington
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Wellington, this hotel is steps from Lambton Quay, Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station), and Wellington Central Business District. Civic Square and Wellington Waterfront are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 14 minutes by foot.

            Boulcott Suites ¥9,420
            Boulcott Suites

            Boulcott Suites

            5 O'Reily Ave, Wellington
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Te Aro, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District, Cuba Street Mall, and Victoria University of Wellington. Wellington Waterfront and Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand) are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 17 minutes by foot.

              InterContinental Wellington ¥12,845
              InterContinental Wellington

              InterContinental Wellington

              2 Grey Street, Wellington
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Lambton Quay, Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station), and Wellington Central Business District. Civic Square and Old Government Buildings are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 10 minutes by foot.

                The Setup on Manners ¥5,031
                The Setup on Manners

                The Setup on Manners

                57, Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Te Aro, this eco-friendly apartment building is steps from The Opera House, Cuba Street Mall, and Wellington Central Business District. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 18 minutes by foot.