Mount John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo

4.5
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
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
702 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • I could have booked this spectacular opportunity to view the night sky at 185NZD per person. Helping people to understand the constellations of the night sky should be their priority, not ripping...  more »
  • You can cheat and drive up. Our hostel warden said the road was open 10am to 6pm and costs $8. We walked from a small car park near the ice rink in Lake Tekapo. The walk takes up to 1.5 hours and is.....  more »
  • We did the tour that started at 9.15pm and lasted until 11.30pm. Kate and Will were extremely knowledgeable and very welcoming on a very windy night. They explained everything in detail and made our.....  more »
Google
  • Even if you are not joining the famous observatory tour on Mt John, a day trip to the top of Mt John gives you a splendid view of its surrounding, especially the beautiful Lake Tekapo. To drive up, you need to pay $8 through a guarded gate. Hiking up from Lake Tekapo is also another option. Definitely a good place to visit and walk around to take in the view on a good sunny day.
  • An experience you should not miss if you are around Lake Tekapo.. The observatory is doing some ground breaking job on micro lensing, and the stuff is very happy to explain and show us the results. A must do!!!!
  • Great wall for all levels of fitness, just over an to the summit from Tekapo Springs. Brilliant views once above the pines.
  • I unfortunately didn't have time to visit the observatory itself, but I can only imagine how great it is. This review is for the sky. I'm from a small town in Canada with very little light pollution so I've always been blessed with a beautiful night sky. However, being in a dark sky reserve is a completely different deal. Wow, just wow. This is something everyone should experience. Try and make at least one stop on a clear, moonless night and prepare to be blown away.
  • Such great views! Warning, the lot gets full and you don't know until it's too late. You are in the line without any option of turning around. You're only allowed up once a car comes down.

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11 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 29 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 46 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, outdoors, relaxing, shopping, popular sights Preferences: August, outdoors, relaxing, shopping Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 42 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, slow & easy, hidden gems Preferences: July Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 2 days in Lake Tekapo BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 3 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: August, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 8 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, kids, popular sights Preferences: August, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 12 days in Timaru BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
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