Terms & Conditions

General information

Guests MUST check-in at the Customer Service Counter, prior to an experience departure

  • Dark Sky Experience: 10 minutes prior to the schedule departure
  • Summit Experience: 20 minutes prior to the schedule departure
  • Crater Experience: 10 minutes prior to the schedule departure

The Summit and Crater Experiences are held outdoors and subject to weather conditions. For this reason, Dark Sky Project is unable to guarantee full clarity, ideal skies, or visibility of certain objects. Please see cancellation policy below.

Guests must abide by all rules and policies stipulated by Dark Sky Project and its representatives, including those displayed around the Dark Sky Project, and affiliated properties. This includes but isn’t limited to safety and operational instructions on the experience.

Guests are not eligible for refunds or other compensation if they are late and miss their experience departure. Guests who wish to rebook their experience must pay the full cost of the new booking. All experiences are subject to availability.


Health and Safety

To minimise light pollution, guests are prohibited from using, or bringing, any white lights, including but not limited to LCD screens, flash photography, illuminated mobile phones, flashlights, torches, light up shoes etc. Smoking or alcohol / drug consumption is not permitted during any Dark Sky Project experience.

If guests are considered to be under the influence of alcohol, causing undue disruption or negatively impacting other guest’s experience, they may be removed from the experience at Dark Sky Project’s discretion. In this instance, no refund will be given.

All children must be actively supervised by a parent or guardian to ensure minimal disruption to other guests. A minimum ratio of 1 adult to two children is required. Summit, Crater and Lake Front Experiences are restricted to children 5 years and over.


Minimum Clothing requirements

Warm clothing is essential on all our outdoor experiences regardless of the season. The Mackenzie region is an alpine environment which means it is cold at night, even during the summer months. An ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) jacket will be offered to guests on all outdoor experiences, however it is the responsibility of guests to wear suitable clothing. The following is a minimum guide only:

  • Flat, warm and comfortable footwear suitable for walking on uneven terrain
  • Wind-proof jackets, thermals and full, warm pants
  • Hats and gloves
  • Please note: glowing, flashing or light-up shoes or clothing is strictly prohibited due to light pollution issues.

Health and safety is paramount – Dark Sky Project reserves the right to refuse guests should they not be adequately dressed for the conditions.


Changes to bookings

To cancel or amend an existing booking, please contact us on (03) 680 6960 or info@darkskyproject.co.nz with your booking reference, full name and change request. Please allow up 48 hours for a response. 



Third party bookings

Please note: If you have booked through a booking agent or third party, please contact them for their cancellation terms and conditions as they may differ to the below and any refunds will need to be processed through them.


Cancellations by guests

You may cancel up to 24 hours before the experience departure time and receive a full refund to the credit card used to confirm the booking. If you cancel within 24 hours of the experience departure time you are not entitled to any refund. 

Please note that for group reservations of 10 or more guests, no refunds will be given within 7 days of the date of the experience. 


Cancellations by Dark Sky Project

The Twilight, Little Star, Summit and Crater experiences operate outdoors in an alpine environment where the weather can be variable. For this reason, we are unable to guarantee full clarity, ideal skies or visibility of specific celestial objects on these tours.

Twilight, Little Star and Summit Experiences

These experiences operate in all weather conditions unless we deem it unsuitable due to extreme conditions - eg high winds, lightning, snow or persistent rain. In the event of cloudy or unclear skies, guides will present a tailored observatory and astronomy tour. A refund of up to 50% tours may be offered if cloudy skies remain throughout the tour, prohibiting guests to view stars. Refunds are at the discretion of Dark Sky Project. In the event of extreme conditions, these tours may be cancelled. In this event, you will be offered the cancellation options below.

Crater Experience

The Crater Experience may not operate in the event of cloudy skies. In the event of cancellation, the options below will apply.

Cancellation options

If it is necessary for us to cancel your experience, you will be offered the following options:

a. Reschedule your selected experience  to another evening (this will be non transferable and  non-refundable); or

b. Receive a non transferable and non-refundable gift voucher (to the equivalent value as your booked experience) valid for use within 12 months; or

c. Subject to weather conditions and availability, move to another outdoor experience and receive or pay the price difference; or

d. Move to the indoor Takapō Stars Experience on the same evening and receive or pay the difference in the experience price. If for any reason we are unable to offer our indoors Takapō Stars Experience (for example: technical difficulties or lack of availability), you will be offered a full refund. Learn more about Takapō Stars Experience.

Partial and full refunds

Refund will be made to the same credit card that was used to confirm the booking. If you have booked through a third party or booking agent, refunds will be processed through them.


Payment Terms

The name of the business that will appear on your bank/credit card statements will be Earth and Sky Limited Partnership. Your account will be charged in New Zealand Dollars.

Confirmation of direct bookings will be only confirmed when full payment has been received.



Please contact us on (03) 680 6960, or info@darkskyproject.co.nz