Mount John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo

4.5
#5 of 14 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. See Mount John University Observatory and all Lake Tekapo has to offer by arranging your trip with our Lake Tekapo travel itinerary maker.
Create an itinerary including Mount John University Observatory
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
464 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • August 13, 2017
    From the hot springs along the lake, then upwards to mt john and back to lake tekapo took us (2 young sportive adults) 2hours. Very nice view. The snow made some parts a bit hard and slippery. If you ...  more »
  • August 12, 2017
    Went for a star gazing tour at MJO. Unfortunately the cloud cover was about 60% and the moon was 99% bright so there wasn't the amazing star views we were hoping for. That said, the team did offer to ...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    The great coffee is not the reason you go there or the cakes or the friendly service, its the on top of the world 360 degree view that is a must.  more »
Google
  • Stunning views over Lake Tekapo & Lake Alexandrina. Every time we visit we find it awesome. It's a shame though what was a free activity during the day, started to charge. Started at $5 for your car & this last visit it was $8. Perhaps if you're able it's best to walk up the other side!
  • There is a cost to go up the road, don't be put off by it. The views are spectacular and make you proud to be a kiwi. Science and scenery combine for breathtaking view. The cafe is pretty standard cabenet fare and coffees.
  • We all loved the walk from the lake to the top, even with some snow on the ground. Amazing view!
  • A must do place if you are near Lake Takapo. Great view! On cloud 9! Gate closes at 5pm
  • Amazing view. U can basically see 360 of view all around u. Highly recommended

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.

Where to stay in Lake Tekapo

Because of its humble size, the small town of Lake Tekapo has a limited amount of accommodations. That said, among the available lodgings you'll find a good variety of options, from scenic resorts and cottages to youth hostels and budget accommodations. Motels provide a good option along the side of the roads leading to and from the town.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Lake Tekapo by other users

7 days in Lake Tekapo, Mt. Cook Village & Queenstown BY A USER FROM INDIA December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in South Island BY A USER FROM THAILAND November, outdoors, relaxing, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Lake Tekapo BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SOUTH KOREA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 19 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans