You may be wondering why we refer to our township as 'Takapō', and not Tekapo?


It's a great question!


Dark Sky Project is owned by founders Hide Ozawa and Graeme Murray, and Ngāi Tahu Tourism. Ngāi Tahu is the largest iwi by population in Te Waipounamu (the South Island).

Ngāi Tahu Tourism is one of the largest tourism operators in Aotearoa (New Zealand). Our purpose is to make the connection to our customers, through our people, to our place and to Ngāi Tahu. We take great pride in warmly welcoming manuhiri (visitors) to our experiences. Manaakitanga (hospitality) is one of the core values that drives the way we do business. As hosts, we care for our customers and our team as our own whānau (family).

Takapō is the name Ngāi Tahu ancestors recorded for this region. We are on a mission to support the revitalization of Māori place names which includes choosing to use the name.

The recently launched Ka Huru Manu, the Ngāi Tahu mapping website, shows thousands of Ngāi Tahu place names throughout Te Waipounamu (the South Island) - Takapō is just one of these names. Place names are tangible reminders of our history and values. They represent a significant symbol of the Ngāi Tahu historical association and relationship with our landscape. They are primarily associated with people, historical events, geographical features, and natural flora and fauna.

At Dark Sky Project we are extremely proud of our region, and to use the name Takapō - we invite you to join us.


Stargazing from a purpose built crater, nestled away from wind & light pollution. 

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Night sky filled with stars with open hatch on observatory