Sustainable stargazing in our Dark Sky Sanctuary

Good Heavens' mission is to share the wonders of our spectacular starry sky with visitors to beautiful Great Barrier Island. It's a pleasure to live in an International Dark Sky Sanctuary - among the darkest of all the Dark Sky Places in the world. Our island is an off the grid island. Light pollution is minimal, our night sky is very dark and our stars are bright.

Mindful and conscious

It is part of the reason why we have chosen to live and work in this island sanctuary. The island also boasts many other natural treasures. And we are mindful of this fragile island ecosystem and tread lightly on it throughout our stargazing experiences. We're consciously using products that generate limited waste, and use laser pointers that are charged by the sun. During our experiences, we will also touch on the effects of light pollution. And after our experiences, we only leave footprints behind.

Personal and unique

We are also mindful of you - our client - and choose to offer dark sky experiences that are illuminating, comfortable, professional and tailored to you. So whether it's a stepping stone for further exploration of the universe or a one-off experience, your stargazing experience should be unique and personalised. An experience you will remember forever.

We love the excitement we feel when we look up and get lost in the stars. We are looking forward to sharing this feeling with you.

Deborah Kilgallon Good Heavens
Deborah Kilgallon

โ€‹I grew up in by the sea in Kerikeri, New Zealand, riding horses and looking up at the stars before heading off overseas for adventures through Asia, Europe, the Americas, then back home to NZ.

In 2014, my husband and I decided we wanted to live in a place that we truly loved. We wanted to create a healthy, active, sustainable life for us and our imminently arriving child. We chose Great Barrier Island. A stunningly beautiful place where we are surrounded by lush bush, sea and stars.

โ€‹Prior to establishing Good Heavens with Hilde, I worked for a central bank (The Bank of England) in London for 10 years. I also worked for large corporates (Westpac and NZ Bus) for a further 4 years in Auckland, Sydney and Wellington, mainly in Change Management. This has set me up well for running a business, understanding my clients needs and creating products to meet these needs.

Stargazing fills me with so much joy. And seeing the delight our clients get when gazing up into our dark starry sky with us is just wonderful. Iโ€™m a Mum to one young boy, a keen gardener, hiker, boogie boarder and stargazer.

Owner and Director of Good Heavens

Member, Auckland Astronomical Society

BSc (Hons) Economics and Mathematical Sciences

Diploma in Financial Services and Management

Hilde Hoven Good Heavens
Hilde Hoven

I was born in the Netherlands and moved to New Zealand and Great Barrier Island in 1999 after meeting my partner on the island. Growing up in the light-polluted Netherlands, becoming an amateur astronomer was not initially on the cards. It was attending a Dark Sky Ambassadors course here on the Barrier, and seeing Saturn and Omega Centauri up close, that changed that for me.

My background lies in hospitality management, and I have worked freelance as an online translator since 2001. Hospitality is in my blood. Using language to convey the concepts of astronomy is exciting. Seeing the enjoyment our clients experience when they see these concepts illustrated through our telescopes and binoculars is heartwarming. There is so much to see, so much to learn and so much to share in our beautiful skies.

My stargazing journey has opened up a whole new dimension to me. Sharing the universe and making people feel at home in our dark sky is a real buzz to me.

Iโ€™m a mum to one teenage boy and a stepmum to two adult sons. In my spare time I love to read and learn, play games, hike, surf and spend time with my family and friends.

Owner and Director of Good Heavens

Member, Auckland Astronomical Society

BA Hotel Management (Marketing)

Graduate Diploma, Translation Studies