Earth & Sky Mt John Observatory, Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie Country
Located only 15 minutes drive from the Tekapo township, Mt John Observatory has an uninterrupted 360 degree view of the Southern Alps including Mt Cook, lakes, rivers, ancient glacial deposits and vast tussock grasslands - plus it sits below one of the clearest skies in the world.
LAKE TEKAPO - WINDOW TO THE UNIVERSE|
Home to the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. The International Dark-Sky Association remarks, "The new reserve is coming in at a Gold level status. That means the skies there are almost totally free from light pollution. To put it simply, it is one of the best stargazing sites on Earth."
Lonely Planet states, "The Astro Cafe's glass-walled pavilion atop Mt John has spectacular 360-degree views across the entire Mackenzie Basin - quite possibly one of the planet's best locations for a cafe. Tuck into bagels with local Aoraki salmon, or fresh ham-off-the-bone sandwiches; the coffee and cake is pretty good, too."
Mt JOHN BY DAY
Drive or hike 300m to the summit of Mt John for amazing views of the Mackenzie Basin, Southern Alps and turquoise blue Lake Tekapo. Visit the ASTRO CAFE, and enjoy high country fare and great coffees.
Imagine viewing day-time stars on a day tour of Mt John University Observatory. Favourable skies and powerful telescopes allow the sun, stars or a planet to be viewed. Marvel at New Zealand's largest telescope, the MOA and learn about the research it conducts.
TWILIGHT TOUR - 2hrs approx
Take in the stunning view from Mt John after the Sun sets below the Southern Alps. You will have a chance to visit the world's southern-most optical research facility. New Zealand's largest telescope and explore the working environment of astronomers. Enjoy a delicious treat in our Astro-Café while enjoying a short multimedia presentation; then join us outside to peer through telescopes and explore the darkening sky. This tour has something for everyone!
- This tour does not get cancel for cloud cover. Only for extreme weather conditions such us snow, high winds or rain.
- Children must be over 8 years old or over to join this tour.
- Only available during summer months.
Join us for our famous Mt John Observatory tour, located in the world's largest dark sky reserve. On the night tour we provide transport, equipment and guidance; all you need to bring are keen eyes, warm clothes and a desire to see, learn and experience! Telescopes are able to reveal familiar planets through to rich star clusters. Bring your DSLR camera; be amazed with what you could capture.