Mount John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo

#5 of 25 in Things to do in Lake Tekapo
Observation Deck · Scenic Walking Area
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
712 reviews
  • The observatory is a drive from the main road. You have to pay $8 to enter the private road that takes you to the observatory. The cafe was closed when we went.  more »
  • We paid the $8 toll(pay by credit card only) to drive up to the summit, the views up here are amazing, the colour of the lake is stunning, there were lupins up there which are always pretty  more »
  • 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!!!!

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