New Zealand

Dark Sky Project - Observatory Tour

Location:Lake Tekapo & Aoraki Mt Cook

Summit Experience - Mt John Stargazing and Observatory Tour 2hrs

(restricted to children over 5 years of age)

Join the staff of Earth and Sky on our famous observatory tour on Mt John! Come see the wonders of the southern night sky, and experience the thrill of peering through powerful telescopes. When the stars are hidden from view, take a journey to discover the nocturnal world of an astronomer, see a range of research equipment that is out-of-bounds to the general public and experience the working environment of an astronomer.

  • Due to light restrictions, guests will be transported to the observatory by Earth and Sky’s vehicles.
  • All tours will depart from the Earth and Sky office in Tekapo village.
  • Hiking to the summit after dark is prohibited.
  • Warm clothing & sturdy footwear essential
  • The majority of the tour is conducted outside & some walking is required. . 
  • Note the last 400m of the coach trip up Mt John & first 400m downhill will be with park lights only.


Crater Experience - Cowan's Hill Stargazing

(restricted to children 5 years of age and older)

Cowan’s Observatory (located just 5 minutes away from the Tekapo village in a dark sky location) has two manmade craters large enough to protect groups from the wind. Guests will have access to field telescopes, knowledgeable astronomy guides and will view the same night sky as guests on Mt. John.

  • Smaller, more intimate tour setting
  • Excellent introductory astronomy experience
  • Only runs on CLEAR nights!


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