An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand. It is located in the central region of the Northern Island of New Zealand and features 3 active volcanoes, whose summits are of great significance for the Maori population. One of them, Ruapehu, is listed as particularly good for stargazing, as well as the entire central plateau. A stargazer from the EarthSky community says of this place: “Anywhere in Tongariro National Park is good or even out in the countryside close to nearby small towns like Ohakune. Altitude. Absence of light. Clean air.”
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.