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
499 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Stunning location high above Lake Tekapo, excellent introduction to stars, galaxies and star clouds. We felt extremely well looked after on that windswept moun...  more »
  • Read about Mount John in our guidebook and hubby decided it would be good to see for the views over Tekapo and surrounding area, and he wasn't wrong. However, bearing in mind it was only my first day ...  more »
  • The wind was blowing a bit when we got up there but it was worth the views. Try to go as the cloud I’d lifting. The $8 entry fee is worth it.  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!
  • Stunning views great coffee. Downside is charge for vehicle to drive up. Was free last time. This will put some Kiwis off.
  • Highlight of my trip to Lake Tekapo. Yes, it's a private road and you must pay before driving up there. Absolutely worth.
  • Beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area. Nice climb with clear path and markers.
  • 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.

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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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