Tekapo is located in the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand and is a famous tourist attraction. Lake Tekapo, the town’s largest freshwater lake in Oceania, produces high-quality salmon and is a great place for fishing and water sports. Every year from autumn, numerous skiers in the world are attracted by the snow-capped foothills.
Tekapo is best known for its starry night sky. At night, the sky is tranquil and bright, the Milky Way and the large group of constellations are clearly visible, as if in a fairy tale world. In fact, such a beautiful landscape was formed through the efforts of people in the town.
In addition to tourists, the town of Tekapo has only about 320 permanent residents. In order to maintain the beauty of the night sky there, Tekapo people have reduced their use of lights since 1981. They try to avoid the use of lights where there is no crowd, and accurately design the street lights so that the light beam accurately shines to the places that need to be illuminated without diffusing to the surrounding. There, the only light on the ground was fluorescent strips on both sides of the road. This series of measures enables people to see the beautiful starry night sky with the best view and to encourage the world to realize the importance of having a clear starry sky for human beings.
Since 2005, the town has submitted an application to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to designate the sky as an “International Starry Nature Reserve”. The application was finally approved in 2012, and Tekapo Town became the world’s first “International Dark Sky Reserve”.
In recent years, more and more people have chosen to come here to experience this spectacular scene because people in cities have never seen such a night. Due to the city has a large number of factories and a large population, the pollution of light sources and air pollution prevents people in the city from having such a scene. It can be said that this is even a luxury for people living in cities. Even though we cannot ask people not to use any light source from now on, we can make people realize that light source pollution is also an existing problem.