Mayo Dark Sky Park

    Our Story

    In May 2016, a Gold Tier standard of International Dark Sky Park was awarded to Wild Nephin National Park, known jointly as Mayo Dark Sky Park. The dark sky certification process is modeled on conservation programmes, such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves.

    A Gold Tier award is the highest possible accolade, meaning that Mayo is now internationally recognised as one of the best places in the world to view the wonders of the night.

    Mayo Dark Sky Park is a great example of a collaborative project between our communities, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Coillte, GMIT Mayo Campus, South West Mayo Development and Mayo County Council. We are very proud of the strong partnership formed between local people and state agencies who worked together on this project. The process of preparing a dark-sky application took over two years to complete from initial research undertaken in 2013.

    Formal responsibility for Mayo Dark Sky Park is shared between the management of National Parks & Wildlife Service and Coillte. Both parties have committed to a responsible lighting plan for the Dark Sky Park.

    Mayo Dark Sky Meeting and International Dark Sky Award

    Our very experienced team of guides at Wild Nephin National Park welcomes visitors to the Dark Sky Park and the excellent facilities available (check seasonal opening hours). Our guides run the Dark Sky Educational Programme for the year and can organise a guided tour for your groups (prior booking essential).

    Although the visitor centre closes during some winter months, the viewing sites within the Dark Sky Park are still open to the public all year round.

    Welcome to Mayo Dark Sky Park. Mayo is now home to Ireland’s first International Dark Sky Park, showcasing some of the darkest, most pristine skies in the world.

    Where the darkest skies reveal the brightest stars.


    Wild Nephin National Park,
    Ballycroy Visitor Centre,
    National Parks & Wildlife Service,
    Ballycroy Village,
    Co. Mayo
    +353 (0)98 49 888