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Dark Sky Project

Lake Tekapo Stargazing Tour at Mt John Observatory

Help code: 37DF-34DF

  • Discover what the southern sky has to offer
  • Get a glimpse of what a life is like as an astronomer
  • Look deep into the cosmos
  • See and learn about all the different research
  • Objects & constellations visible in the sky
  • Bring your DSLR camera and capture the night sky
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Gaze deep into the cosmos and learn more about the Southern sky on an evening tour at Mt John Observatory in Lake Tekapo. On a clear night, you can look deep into the universe viewing incredible constellations, stars and planets with an exciting look through one of powerful telescopes at the observatory. The two hour tour includes a fascinating look inside the work and life of an astronomer with an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse at the research and equipment used at Mt John Observatory. This is your chance to learn more about the universe and experience a once in a lifetime tour of the Southern Hemisphere with knowledgeable astronomers.

The evenings can be quite cool so a "US Antarctic Expedition" jacket plus a solar charged LED flashlight and a warm hot chocolate is provided for your comfort and enjoyment. Tour times will vary from season to season, however, all tours will depart from the Dark Sky Project office in Lake Tekapo. This is the perfect evening activity for all ages in Lake Tekapo with a thrilling look into the universe and the chance to capture some unbelievable photographs of the night sky.


  • 2 hours guided tour
  • Warm hot chocolate
  • “US Antarctic Expedition” jackets (that really went to Antarctica) to wear during tour
  • Solar-charged LED flashlight for you to keep at the end of the tour


  • Hotel transfers
  • Meals


  • Discover what the southern sky has to offer
  • Experience the thrill of looking deep into the cosmos with our powerful telescopes
  • Get a glimpse of what a life is like as an astronomer
  • See and learn about all the different research that goes on at Mt John
  • Get introduced to the objects and constellations visible in the sky to the naked eye
  • Bring your DSLR camera and our astrophotographers may be able to capture the night sky for you


  • Due to changing sunset times throughout the year
  • In most times of the year tours may start anytime between 6.30pm and 10pm
  • In Summer months tours usually start anytime from 10pm and 12am, finishing as late as 2am
  • You must call to re-confirm your exact tour time on the day (contact details will be printed on your voucher)


  • Please allow 2 hours for this experience


  • Tours depart from the Dark Sky Project office, located at Twizel Main Street, 7945, Fairlie-Tekapo Rd, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand

Additional Information

  • This tour is offered in both English and Japanese, please select the correct language at time of booking
  • You must be over the age of 8 years to participate in this tour
  • If it is cloudy you are privileged to have the opportunity to visit the southern most optical research facility in the world. The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory is usually not accessible to anyone other than the astronomers, who are carrying out ground breaking research each night
  • On cloudy nights, the stars are hidden from view and so the astronomers take a well deserved break – allowing our knowledgeable astronomy guides to showcase the cutting edge research facility
  • Tours will be cancelled if there are high winds, rain, ice or snow

Booking Information

  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of purchase
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the experience
  • Mobile Vouchers are accepted! - Vouchers can also be presented on your mobile device for this attraction
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher
You might want to check how much Moon will be visible during your tour. During a Full Moon the fainter stars and Milky Way are washed out. At other times, a partial Moon will affect the sky less, and look amazing through the telescopes. If there is no Moon up during your tour the sky will be at its darkest, with the most detail visible in the Milky Way!
Need help with your booking? Contact Us Help Code: 37DF-34DF

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