Mount John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo

4.5
#5 of 16 in Things to do in Lake Tekapo
Gaze into the outer reaches of the universe at Mount John University Observatory, an astrological center offering day and night tours of its facilities, plus the opportunity to use the telescope to spot the moon, stars, and other planets. The top of Mt. John makes an ideal location for this observatory thanks to the superior visibility afforded by the expansive landscape and the lack of manmade light from the surrounding area. Established in 1960, the center hosts some of the world's leading astronomical research programs. Visitors have the chance to marvel at the wonders of space and the largest telescope in New Zealand, accompanied along the way by knowledgeable staff. With our online itinerary creator, Lake Tekapo attractions like Mount John University Observatory can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Create an itinerary including Mount John University Observatory
map
Places to stay near Mount John University Observatory
Mount John University Observatory Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
550 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We were really looking forward to watch the stars up at Mt John, but we were absolutely dissapointed after the tour. We looked at the stars just by our eyes, no telescopes for star-gazing. The short p...  more »
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our evening. It was an eye opening and educational experience. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable.  more »
  • An essential part of a visit to Lake Tekapo. Clouds eliminated starlight viewing but amazing view in late afternoon was worth the trip. Closes at 6 pm in summer.  more »
Google
  • The view is stunning! Now you need to pay a small fee ($5NZD)to go to the top but really worth it. What a beautiful lake and you will be surprised by the colour of the lake. Too beautiful to be true. I cannot believe my eyes when I first saw it. This is a must see when you on the South Island. I believe this is one of the most amazing lakes I have ever seen in my life. Enjoy.
  • Great views form up here! Definitely worth paying the road user charge to get up there. There's a cafe at the top that's a bit pricier than you may expect, but delicious food all the same.
  • 5-star view! Road is a bit hairy as it's 1 lane in places - be prepared to pull over to let others past. Wouldn't recommend using a large vehicle for this reason. There is an $8 charge to go up the road. Good cafe at the top but be prepared to wait for a bit as it's very busy.
  • Stunning views from the top. The little Cafe is great too. Well worth the $8 entry fee.
  • Awesome stargazing experience! Special thanks to our tour guides with their amazing laser beams reaching the sky! Great job guys! Memorable! :)

Plan your trip to Lake Tekapo

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Mount John University Observatory by other users

43 days in New Zealand & Australia BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Lake Tekapo BY A USER FROM BELGIUM June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Mackenzie District BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Lake Tekapo BY A USER FROM CANADA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in South Island BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, relaxing, beaches, shopping, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Oceania BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 32 days in South Island BY A USER FROM IRELAND June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in South Island BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES May, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans