An IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary is public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, or educational value, its cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.
A sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Park or Reserve in that it is typically situated in a very remote location with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies and it does not otherwise meet the requirements for designation as a park or reserve. The typical geographic isolation of Dark Sky Sanctuaries significantly limits opportunities for public outreach, so a sanctuary designation is specifically designed to increase awareness of these fragile sites and promote their long-term conservation.
Certified IDA International Dark Sky Sanctuaries
- !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park (South Africa)
- Aotea / Great Barrier Island (New Zealand)
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (U.S.)
- Cosmic Campground (U.S.)
- Devils River State Natural Area - Del Norte Unit (U.S.)
- Gabriela Mistral (Chile)
- Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (U.S.)
- Massacre Rim (U.S.)
- Medicine Rocks State Park (U.S.)
- Niue (NU)
- Pitcairn Islands (B.O.T.)
- Rainbow Bridge National Monument (U.S.)
- Stewart Island / Rakiura (New Zealand)
- The Jump-Up (Australia)
Designate an International Dark Sky Sanctuary
IDA designates International Dark Sky Places following a rigorous application process requiring applicants to demonstrate robust community support for dark sky protection and document designation-specific program requirements. Learn more and start the process here.
Download the current International Dark Sky Sanctuary guidelines
2021 Submission Deadline Dates
|22 February 2021||31 May 2021|
|30 August 2021||29 November 2021|