The Astro Café – Your Mt John Observatory Café with a View

Where earth and sky meet for delicious food, great coffee and breath-taking views.


Our daytime café at the top of Ōtehīwai Mount John, boasts some of the best views across the Mackenzie Basin, Lake Takapō (Tekapo) and up to Aoraki Mt Cook.

The Astro Café serves a range of drinks, including delicious barista-made coffees. Our cabinet food selection includes sweet and savoury options which are sure to have your mouth watering while you take in the views on offer.

Take in the sights from our observation deck or enjoy stretching your legs on the 30-45 minutes scenic walk around the Summit.


Astro Cafe & Mount John Access Road Opening hours

Astro Cafe: Monday - Sunday || 10am - 3pm (final order at 2.30pm)

Mt John access road:  Monday - Sunday || 10am - 4pm

Please note: The Astro Café may be closed in certain weather conditions - in this instance the entrance to Ōtehīwai Mount John will be shut.

The Dark Sky Diner located at the Dark Sky Project base will open from 10 am on days when the weather conditions prevent the Astro Café from opening. 


Commercial Operators

Vehicles with over 23 seat capacity are not permitted due to tight corners on the access road. Commercial tour operators are required to contact us prior.

For all enquiries, please contact 03 680 6960 


Getting here 

From Takapō, visitors can drive the short 15 minutes trip up the Mount John Observatory access road which is accessible from Godley Peaks Road, off State highway 8.

Please note, there is a road user fee of $8 per vehicle (payable at the gate by cash or EFTPOS) to cover the ongoing maintenance of the private Mount John Observatory access road.

Alternatively, if you have a few hours to spare and are up for a bit of exercise, guests can choose to tackle the famous Ōtehīwai Mount John Summit Circuit track which covers 8.9km return to Takapō (Tekapō). We do recommend wearing suitable sturdy footwear and to have a reasonable level of fitness.