Mount John University Observatory, Lake Tekapo

#5 of 25 in Things to do in Lake Tekapo
Scenic Walking Area · Observation Deck
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
714 reviews
  • A friend recommended we go to the observatory and we were so glad we did. The views are amazing. Beautiful Lake Alexander is also close by to visit after. There is a $8 road toll  more »
  • At $185 an adult and $85 a child for an hr and a half with a hot chocolate we were quite disappointed. The staff were very passionate about their subject and gladly answered questions. Overseas...  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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