we are in wairarapa, New Zealand
At the centre of the henge is a bronze compass rose marked with the cardinal points. The coordinates of the centre of this rose are:
LATITUDE: 41o 06’ 04”.8 South
LONGITUDE: 175o 34’ 24” East, or 11h 42m 17.6s ahead of coordinated universal time.
ELEVATION: 94 metres above mean sea level.
Stonehenge Aotearoa is designed specifically for its location in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand’s North Island. It combines modern scientific knowledge for way finding with starlore. Thus the henge is not a replica of mysterious ancient monuments but a modern interpretation, based upon the many stone circles and astronomical stone structures scattered around the globe.
Stone circles played an important part in the history of almost everyone. The Henge is also a window into the past. You will find ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Celtic, Pacific and Maori starlore at Stonehenge Aotearoa. It is used to teach te maramataka (the Māori calendars of time and seasons). The stones also form a Polynesian star compass and can be used to teach navigation.
Stonehenge Aotearoa consists of 24 upright pillars, connected by lintels to form a circular structure 30 metres in diameter and approximately 4 metres high. This structure is similar in design and size to the circle of sarsen stones at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plains, England.
Seen from the centre, the pillars and lintels form windows or doorways along the horizon. These frame the rising and setting points of bright stars that are either important seasonal markers or navigational beacons.
Large stone circles have special acoustic properties that focus and amplify sounds within the circle. In ancient times these acoustic properties were used to create special effects at ceremonies held within the circle. Stonehenge Aotearoa has these acoustic properties and forms a natural amphitheatre.
WHO BUILT STONEHENGE AOTEAROA?
Approximately 150 members of the Phoenix Astronomical society were involved at one time or another in the building of Stonehenge Aotearoa.
However, there was a core group of enthusiasts that were there every weekend, rain or fine, throughout the period of construction. These are our “Beaker People” (from left to right): Graham Palmer, Chris Cahill, Alan Green, Geoffrey Dobson, Richard Hall (project manager) and Kay Leather (construction team manager).
Other members who made a considerable contribution to the project are our chief surveyor, Robert Adam who put over 1000 hours at surveying and astronomical calculations into the design of Stonehenge Aotearoa; Lesley Hall, who organised the working bees; Katrina Leather and Chris Martin who were construction leaders during the main building phase …
…… and the late Richard Beavis who, towards the later stages of the project, was working on the Henge every weekend and often during the week. Of recent times sculptor and stonemason Pat McKenna joined the team. Many of the new structures at Stonehenge Aotearoa were designed and sculptured by him.