The Pacific island of Niue is the first country to become a dark sky nation

15 May 2021Updated: 4 hours ago | 52 people are reading

The Pacific island of Niue is the first country to become a dark sky nation

© Lonely Planet The Pacific island of Niue is the first country to become a dark sky nation

On the island of Niue you can enjoy a beautiful clear starry sky as this is the first country without light pollution. Dark skies ensure that you have a clear, uncontaminated view of the stars. Completely dark skies are rare because 80% of the world's landmass suffers from light pollution.

Niue is the world's smallest independent nation with just over 1,600 inhabitants and is located in the center of the triangle formed by Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands. The island has now received formal accreditation from the International Dark-Sky Association for an International Dark Sky Sanctuary and International Dark Sky Community.

Niue has taken important steps to achieve this status, including complete replacement of street lamps across the island and adjustments to private lighting. The island now also has additional measures, formal protection of the air, sea and land.

The people of Niue have a long history of star navigation, lunar cycles and star positions. The knowledge about the night sky, owned by the elders in the community, has been passed down from generation to generation. The elderly hope that the passion of learning about the cultural history of the stars will revive among the younger generations. "Being a dark sky nation will help protect Niue's nighttime starry sky for future generations and visitors to the country," said Felicity Bollen, CEO of Niue Tourism.

used for whale watching and sea access are already located on the island. In addition, the roads that cross on the island are ideal viewing locations. "Visitors can enjoy astro tours led by trained members of the Niuean community," said Felicity. "They will witness the wonder of a night sky illuminated by thousands of stars."

Opening image: rediguana_nz / iStock