We’re a team from all over the world, speaking several languages, each with our own stories to tell, brought together by our love of sharing world class hospitality, cultural story telling and astronomy experiences in the stunning alpine village of Lake Takapō (Tekapo).
We’re courageous, challengers of the status quo, quirky, curious, and playful. We tackle challenges head on, share successes, and nurture each other to be the best possible versions of ourselves.
We love the remoteness, being part of a community of likeminded people, and protecting the night sky. We like sharing our home with tens of thousands of visitors from around the world each year.
We’re astronomers, hosts, cooks, story tellers, high achievers, salespeople, custodians, customer carers, and administrators. We are makers of things and doers of stuff. We’re musicians, motorcyclists, skiers, snowboarders, scuba divers, artists, chefs, athletes, photographers, adventure seekers and much more. We have an active role in the community, with Iwi, the university, education, and other forms of outreach.
When we’re not at work we’re at one another’s homes, with our friends from around town, out taking photographs, swimming, skiing, hiking, flying gliders, cycling, going on 4WD or dirt bike adventures, camping or bunking down around the fire with wine in hand. When it’s time to get out of the village it’s a short trip to Twizel, Mount Cook, Wānaka, Queenstown, Dunedin, and Christchurch. There are twice daily flights from Timaru to Wellington which are typically reasonably priced .
Put simply we take our mahi seriously but not ourselves. We’re passionate and proud of it.
If you’d like to join us in changing peoples’ lives through the enriching experiences we deliver every day, we’d love to hear from you.
We Want You!
The Dark Sky Project operates two observatory sites in Takapō. One is at the summit of the University of Canterbury Mount John, and the other is at our private Cowans Hill observatory. At each site we operate astronomy tours to learn about and observe the night sky through compelling narration and use of our powerful telescopes.
We’re world leaders in this. Our guides come from all walks of life, not all join us with a knowledge of astronomy, but very quickly gain it! It’s important to have an interest and a willingness to learn, but most of all it starts with being passionate about interacting with people and delivering a rich and engaging experience.
We’re also privileged to operate the award-winning Dark Sky Experience. A guided indoor multimedia tour that approaches astronomy through the lens of our Māori ancestors. We talk about the Māori interpretation of the night sky, it’s uses, and why these still matter today. Our Dark Sky Experience guides are proud of the kōrero we have been gifted, and quickly learn Te Reo terms, delivery, and context.
Food & Beverage Staff
We operate two iconic food and beverage sites in Takapō.
The Dark Sky Diner is a 55 seat bar and restaurant with a full glass frontage looking out across the shore of the lake and up to the Southern Alps. We have a modern and well-equipped open kitchen that feeds hundreds of experience-seeking diners each night. We have a distinctly South American menu which we’re proud of, and a team that reflects this. The Dark Sky Diner is a full-noise venue, more like our living room than a restaurant.
On the summit of Mount John is the iconic Astro Café. A site with views across the Mackenzie Basin in all directions. It has become a must-do for visitors to stop for coffee and cake while taking in the spectacular scenery.
If you reckon you make the best darn coffee in the country, can pour an iconic cocktail with your eyes closed, or reckon you can bring a guest to tears of nostalgia with your recipes – we’d love to hear from you. Not quite there yet, but have an open mind and willingness to learn? We’d love to hear from you too.