Carter Observatory

Carter Observatory


5 Rankers Reviews

3 Face-to-Face

5 Museums and Galleries

3 Wellington

  • Enquire

    • Call and discuss your needs.

    • Instant personal connection.

    • Credit card booking.

Online Maps


External of Carter Observatory
Pelorus Trust Planetarium
Thomas Cooke Telescope at Carter
Pickering Gallery


Be inspired by our southern skies in our state of the art planetarium and multi-media galleries, taking a uniquely New Zealand perspective of our place in space.

Reopened in March 2010, Carter offers visitors an extraordinary opportunity to learn about New Zealand’s Southern Skies through its state of the art planetarium show, along with multi media exhibits sharing how our early Māori, Polynesian and European settlers navigated their way to these shores. Take a look into Carter Observatory's past through our artefacts.

Gain insights into manned spaceflight through our two brand new exhibits: The Pickering Gallery that takes a look at mans Moon landing, rocket launches and the role of satellites in current research; and the Tuhura Module where kids discover what its like to live and work in a space station.

Look up on a clear night in New Zealand and you will see Te Ikaroa, The Milky Way. You may dream of flying into space, fondly remember a special event under the stars, or simply gaze at the beautiful above, jam-packed with stars. A visit to Carter inspires you to take the time to look up and reconnect with the skies above us.

Be inspired by our southern skies in our state of the art planetarium and multi-media galleries, taking a uniquely New Zealand perspective of our place in space.

Entry: $18.50 adults / $8 children / $13.50 concessions / under 4 free

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm daily (open until 9.30pm Tuesdays and Saturdays). Closed Christmas Day.


Feature Value Info


Carter Observatory

Commercial organisation


North IslandWellington RegionWellington


  • Museums and Galleries


Max's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Totally worth it! Walk through a 45 minute exhibition about our galaxy and then choose the movie you want to see depending on the different time of day. I recommend 'We are stars'.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Jonas Weidner's avatar

Jonas Weidner


Ranking: 10/10

Really nice. I learnt alot about our universe. There are lots of videos so you don't have to read everything. The show was good as well.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Bill P's avatar

Bill P

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Very enjoyable, exceeded expectations and the person giving the tour was very informative but not condescending - recommended.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in November 2012

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

thedame72's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Our family goes regularly to Carter's especially during the school holidays when they run great activities! My kids love all the interactive displays which they can touch. We love the underground plate which rumbles when you stand at the rocket launch site and the endeavour rises into the sky!

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in May 2012

LizM's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Carter Observatory is a great educational experience for the whole family. The entry fee is fair and includes entry to the exhibition, a planetarium show and viewing through the Thomas Cooke Telescope (during the evenings). The staff are friendly and knowledgeable.

Highlights include an excellent range of shows in the planetarium, interactive displays and lots of interesting information about the stars. The Tuhura Module - an area set up like the inside of a space station - is a favourite for my children. They also enjoy watching videos of rockets launching, touching a piece of the moon and feeling heavy meteorites.

The annual pass (StarPass) is a great option. It pays for itself after only 2-3 visits. This has enabled our family to see all of the planetarium shows - some more than once - and explore the whole facility. Carter also offers excellent special events. Most of which are free for Star Pass holders. We attended an event based around the Transit of Venus earlier this year which gave us all a better understanding of this unusual event. We also visited during the recent partial solar eclipse.

For tourists the observatory is a great family option that can easily be tied in with a trip to the Botanical Gardens, Cable Car and Cable Car Museum.

Reviewed over 9 years ago