Earth & Sky Stargazing and Observatory Tours,
Lake Tekapo's “Window to the Universe”
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 CAFÉ, “possibly one of the planet’s best locations for a café,” (Lonely Planet, NZ); enjoy fresh high country fare and great coffees. Imagine viewing day-time stars on a DAY TOUR of the University of Canterbury Mt John 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. The ASTRO CAFÉ is currently open 10am to 5pm in winter and 9am to 6pm in summer. A small road user levy is payable at the Mt John entrance.
Want a special photo opportunity capturing a truly magical time? Watch nature transform from dazzling twilight colours through to an emerging starry night sky. Our astronomy guides will give you a tour of the sky using laser pointers to help direct and orientate you then use telescopes to view those most distant objects. Tour options
Join us for our famous My John Observatory tour, located Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve - the world’s largest dark sky reserve. Obtaining gold status, the Mackenzie is recognised as having one of the darkest skies known to man. On the 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 dense rich star clusters. Bring your DSLR camera; we could even capture the Milky Way for you. On nights when the stars are hidden from view, delve into the inner sanctums of the Observatory as we educate you about the largest telescopes in the country and the discoveries that they have made. Tour options
Earth and Sky regularly caters to school groups by providing a wide range of interesting and informative contexts for students, offering an interactive and hands-on approach to their learning of astronomy. With the best skies in the country, and the assistance of our Astronomy Guides, it’s the ideal environment to explore the heavens above.
In the daytime we provide unparalleled views of the MacKenzie Basin from the snow-clad mountains of the Southern Alps, including Aoraki Mt Cook, to the radiant turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo — but don't forget the telescopes!
Departure Times vary. Booking is advised
P +64 3 680 6960 or email