It’s not everyday that a giant, cosmic entity lights up the sky with an intergalactic aura—completely kicking a regular full moon to the curb. To tell you the truth, it’s been a good 40 years since a moon was packing this much heat at one time… reow. The rare combination of a blood moon and a supermoon is set to appear in Aotearoa’s night sky tonight Wednesday 26 May and was last visible here in 1982 so to say we're amped is a little bit of an understatement.
So what makes this phenomenon so special? Blood moons—also known as total lunar eclipses—happen when Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun, hiding the Moon from sunlight and blocking most of the blue light. The remaining light refracts onto the Moon’s surface causing a red glow. A supermoon is when the moon is closest to the Earth making it look much larger than usual says Stardome Observatory & Planetarium astronomy educator John Rowe. The more you know!
Though the lunar eclipse will be visible from 8:47pm on Wednesday May 26 to 1:49am on May 27, you'll want to be in position for 11.11pm, which is when the moon will be completely hidden from the Sun by Earth and the reddening most noticable, but it'll only last about 15 minutes.
So to ensure you have the best solar viewing spot possible, here’s the best places to watch this blood supermoon eclipse in Auckland. #noted.
Take yourself up Mt. Vic in the adorable little suburb known as Devonport. At this location, you get a view of the small town as well as spectacular city views. The wide open space makes it easy for you to walk around to get the best view of the blood supermoon...as long as the skies are clear! Don’t forget to make a visit to the local fave Corelli’s Café before you leave Devo. Their carrot cake is an absolute must.
North Head Historic Reserve
Yup, that’s right. Devonport doesn’t have just one look-out point, but two! North Head is situated a little further down from the central part of the suburb but the views are nothing short of spectacular. After you get your dose of the eclipse, be sure to take a stroll down to Cheltenham Beach. This North Shore gem is like no other as it's surrounded by no exit streets, making it exclusive...ideal for when you’re needing some me-time.
When something this big is about to happen, why not make an evening of it? Pack up your car with blankets, pillows and all the picnic essentials and begin the roadie to one of Auckland’s most-loved beaches. What’s hard to beat during the day, Tawharanui is equally as exceptional at night. This may just be the perfect spot to sit back, soak up the views and watch the wonderful moon do its thang. P.S. We may have just gifted you with the perfect ingredients for an evening of utter romance. Any opportunity to impress, right?
One Tree Hill
The key to getting a good viewing of the eclipse is to take yourself somewhere high up to get closer to the sky. This brings up to One Tree Hill. Cars have now been banned at the summit point of One Tree Hill so this means more cardio but totally worth it. Less hectic, more serene and more room for appreciation of the blood supermoon.
Long Bay Regional Park
The Long Bay walk is an easy stroll of just under 6km but the stunning scenery will take your mind off your evening cardio session. You’ll find yourself crossing beaches and farmland and reaching high points to get the best views of Auckland.
Great Barrier Island
Considering Great Barrier is one of three Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world, we are absolutely #blessed to have it right on our doorstep. This is the spot where the sky meets the ocean, away from the big city where light pollution is minimal and dark skies are shining. On a normal visit to Great Barrier, the views are out of this world, we literally cannot fathom this spot with a frickin’ blood supermoon! If a cheeky mid-week getaway is on the cards, this'll definitely be a night to remember.
Located en route to Piha, Anawhata makes for a more secretive moon gazing spot. Away from the hustle and bustle, take your pick between a spot on the raised hill or head for the chilled out beach below. Our West Coast beaches are known for showcasing some of the best cosmic shows. All it takes is a short drive out of the City to see what the galaxy has to offer. We’re thinking a gigantic takeaway order of fish and chips alongside a few cold brews could take this starry-eyed sitch to the next level. Duh, food makes everything more enjoyable.
A ferry ride is the perfect addition to a cosmic light show, so why not head to Waiheke for an evening of delicacies. Book a table at one of the island's restaurants and dedicate the evening to good food, great wine and a sensational galactic show. Grab a BnB for the evening, pitch up a tent or time your returned ferry ride with the Moon's peak moment. However you choose to spend the evening, Waiheke Island has you covered.
Shakespear Regional Park
The spot to be for those embarking on a nomad lifestyle, Shakespear Regional Park is our inner-city escape we can’t get enough of. A short 45-minute drive out of the city lands you at this ideal star gazing spot. Boasting one of the best camp grounds in Auckland, pitch up your tent, chuck some bangers on the BBQ and lax out with the Moon's beauty at your fingertips. What’s best, the surrounding beach makes for the perfect morning shower—it’s a win-win.
Mount Eden Village
Seeing this solar light show doesn’t have to mean travelling far. Simply go for a stroll up Mount Eden as the sun goes down and prepare to have your mind blown. It’s no secret that Frasers do some of the best hot drinks in town—not to mention a fine wine list—and it’s just our luck that their doors are open until the late evening. Pick up a cheeky slice of one of their infamous cheesecakes and watch the night's action without the admin of driving far. Lazy persons guide, right here.
Why not load up on an epic feed before the celestial light show?
Image credit: Supplied