summit experience

SUMMIT EXPERIENCE

at University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

See more, see further with New Zealand's ultimate mountaintop stargazing experience at the world-renowned astronomical centre; UC Mt John Observatory.

Immerse yourself in the stunning surrounds, pristine night skies and sophisticated viewing technologies as our expert guides share the science and stories of our Southern Skies.

Don't miss New Zealand's premier stargazing experience. Exclusive to Dark Sky Project, the Summit Experience at Mt John Observatory is in partnership with the University of Canterbury.

The nature of the terrain on Mount John dictates a certain level of fitness. You need to be confident walking 100 meters on a gravel incline and be able to climb a couple of steps in the dark.

The Summit Experience is a weather dependent activity. If weather conditions prevent us from taking you outdoors (e.g. cloud cover or inclement weather) you'll be offered alternate options including learning about our southern skies from our purpose-built technological and interactive venue. Please read our terms and conditions for further information. 

We strongly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

NIGHT OWL SPECIAL: Staying up late for stargazing? In order to respect social distancing while in level 2, we are adding some extra tours for our Summit Experience. We are offering a 20% discount if you book our last tour of the night. On our booking page, select 'The Night Owl Special' (subject to availability).

BOOK NOW

Tour Overview

Location

University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

Stargazing

Up to 16" optical telescope

Time of day

Evening, outdoors

Minimum age

5 years & over

Family options

Early evening options available

105

Length

105 minutes

Tour times

Various throughout the year depending on time of sunset

Available 7 days a week

Checking in

Please check in at least 20 minutes prior to departure at Dark Sky Project Base, Takapō (Tekapo) lakefront.

What to wear

We supply ECW (Extreme Cold Weather) jackets.

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

The University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

Planning your trip

Moon Phase

The sky is at its darkest when there is no moon however as we are in a Dark Sky Reserve there is still plenty visible throughout the whole month.

Weather

Takapō has its own unique alpine micro-climate and can change without notice. Weather predictions are often inaccurate. We recommend allowing as much time in the region as you can.

Cloud

Our guides tailor content to what is visible on a given night. In the case of full cloud cover, we will offer an alternative option. In some cases a full refund may be offered.

Pricing

Seasonal Pricing

Apr 2021 – Dec 2021

Child

Ages 5-17

$85

Family

2 Adults 2 Children

$385

Extra Child

Additional to Family Pass

$84

Adult

18 years & over

$149

Night Owl Special

Save 20% on our last departure of the night

$149 $120

BOOK NOW