Lake Tekapo Stargazing Tour at Mt John Observatory

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Highlights & inclusions

Discover what the southern sky has to offer
Look deep into the cosmos
See and learn about all the different research
Objects & constellations visible in the sky
Every night sky reveals something new.
It’s your ticket to a rare and exclusive glimpse of the galaxy from New Zealand’s only professional research observatory.

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Wed, Jul 24, 2024

What you can expect

Embark on New Zealand's premier mountaintop stargazing experience. Dark Sky Project is proud to offer exclusive stargazing tours from the summit of Mount John, home to the world renowned astronomical research centre.

At 1,029m high, Mt John offers unrivalled 360-degree views across the largest accredited International Dark Sky Reserve in the world.
Our expert astronomy guides bring the night sky to life, sharing the science and the stories of our Southern skies. Stargaze using the naked eye guided by lasers and then proceed to explore deeper through up to 16" optical telescopes, including in our private observatory dome. Take in the incredible Milky Way, far off planets, star clusters, solar systems, and even distant galaxies; every night sky beholds something different.

Our exclusive Summit Experience runs for 2 hours, includes transport to and from Mt John, use of our ECW (extreme cold weather jackets) to keep you warm at the summit, and the full use of our telescopes.

The nature of the terrain on Mount John requires a certain level of fitness, you need to be confident walking 100 meters on a gravel incline and be able to climb a couple of steps in the dark. Guests looking for a more accessible tour should check out our Crater Experience at Cowan’s Private Observatory, which is an ideal accessible alternative.

Our Summit Experience is a weather-dependent activity. If it is not possible to observe due to weather, your booking will be cancelled and fully refunded.


What you need to know

  • 2 hours guided tour
  • “US Antarctic Expedition” jackets (that really went to Antarctica) to wear during 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
  • Tour check-in location is 1 Motuariki Lane Lake Tekapo, Canterbury 7999.
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 10 years to participate in this tour
  • 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