Mount John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo

4.5
#5 of 15 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.
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Mount John University Observatory Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
522 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We were encouraged to take the drive up to this venue by friends,so worth the effort( as many note the road is narrow,but most drivers are accomadating) the views are spectacular ,trails require sturd...  more »
  • Astro Cafe's view is absolutely, the coffee is very concentrated, the cake is also very delicious, there are many frozen drinks can choose. It's going to take a little while to drive up, but it's also very expensive.
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  • We were lucky as the night time weather was not looking promising. Picked up at the office down by the supermarket around 2am....Yes, 2am :( for a short drive up the hill to the observatory. There we ...  more »
Google
  • Amazing views of the whole area. There is a short walk around the observatory that provides some great photo opportunities. The cafe on the top is really nice too. It costs $8.00 to access the road that takes you to the top where there is a car park.
  • I enjoyed the planetarium show. I think the age appropriate group would be 12-16, and families. It wasn't too busy when I was there.
  • Great place with amazing panoramic views over Lakes Tekapo, Alezandrina and Pukaki. If you lucky enough you can see Mount Cook in a far distance in a good weather condition. Book a night tour in advance if you really interested.
  • Nice place, awesome view coffee shop. A lot of cool telescope. I heard their night tour are also super awesome but too bad it was all booked.
  • Fantastic tour. Well organised. Authoritative and helpful guides. Would suit a complete novice or a curious amateur.

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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.
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