About Us

The Oxford Area School Observatory is likely the only operational observatory in New Zealand, owned by and operated under auspices of a school. We pride ourselves in this facility and commit ourselves to furthering astronomy education for all ages.



The observatory is the result of an initiative of local amateur astronomers to provide a housing for the Meade 10 inch telescope of the Science Department. This was strongly supported by the school and with funding from the local Lions Club and others it became a reality. The key component, a 4 metre fiberglass dome was designed and built by the local amateur astronomer James Moffat. The observatory was opened on 16 June 2006 and has been in routine use ever since.


N Thatswhere N domebuilder N doesitfit N 16 June 2006 N entrance
 Telescope pier going there  On-site dome construction  Does it fit?  16 June 2006  Entrance now



The original Meade 10 inch telescope was replaced with a new Meade LX90 12 inch telescope in late 2020. The 10 inch will still be used on a pier outside during events.



hur844observatory1 scaledImage source: North Canterbury News

RNLImage source:
Rangiora New Life School


The observatory is operated by volunteers, some locals, some further afield, who organise and run Open Nights, Group Visits, Night classes (courses) and Special events. It is a facilty that is available for the entire community but as a school we obviously also focus on the younger generation in the entire district.





Read more about our programme and what we offer elsewhere on this website about

  • Open Nights
  • Group Visits
  • Courses



Use the Contact Us menu if you have any queries.

You can find us on Facebook here.