Tours and Tickets
Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience
4.5

Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience

By Dark Sky Project
About
from
$51.29
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-120, max of 26 per group
Duration: 1h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: Chinese, Japanese, English
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  • 45 minutes guided tour through four zones, delivered by passionate guides
  • Explore the science based narrative of how living beings came to be
  • Delve into the depths of the Milky Way
  • Get up and close with the viewing of the restored 125-year-old Brashear Victorian-era telescope
  • Entry/Admission - Lake Tekapo


Start:
  • 1 Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
    Beside the 4 Square supermarket
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 105977P3

    • Most travellers can participate
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 26 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience?
    Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience price starts from $53.16. Discover and book Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience on Tripadvisor
    What is the Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience cancellation policy?
    Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience?
    Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience is hosted by Dark Sky Project. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Dark Sky Project on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 1h. Discover and book Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 105977P3

    Reserve your spot

    Similar experiences

    Itinerary
    • You'll start at
      1 Motuariki Lane
      1 Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
      Beside the 4 Square supermarket
      See address & details
    • 1
      Dark Sky Project
      Stop: 60 minutes - Admission included
      A treat for the senses, the Dark Sky Experience brings science, Māori astronomy and fascinating multi-media installations together in a ‘Big Bang’ of awe and inspiration. Thought-provoking, educational and entertaining, the Dark Sky Experience is truly unique and promises to change your outlook in the best possible way.
      Read more
    • You'll return to the starting point
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Dark Sky Project
      1,140
      Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
      Joined in April 2008
    • iWuverine83
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing, Must-do experience on the South Island
      New Zealand is full of beautiful and wonderful experiences, and I have to say - this was possibly the most memorable one of our 2 week trip. Very fortunate that our tour to the crater could proceed so we could see the millions of stars in the night sky. Not just a simple stargazing trip, the staff were so knowledgeable and approachable giving us a crash course in astronomy 101. Would definitely visit again if I have the good fortune to visit NZ in the future.
      Written 6 April 2024
    • Robert D
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Scam.
      Say this company run a scam. Avoid. If there are clouds they will not refund you’re trip the claim their Terms and Conditions allow them to keep your money and give a subpar indoor talk. AVOID
      Written 28 March 2024
    • GeorgeM926
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Made the very best of conditions
      We could not go to the summit due to high winds . We were offered a full refund but decided to go to the other activity . This was somewhat blighted by cloud and bright moon . That said the guides were great and making the best of what must also be for them disappointing conditions . We still had a great experience and I’m sure all would have been satisfied but just as we were leaving we were told we all had a 50% refund . Great customers service and despite the elements against us and enjoyable time
      Written 26 March 2024
    • TorontoPaul2014
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Not worth the cost
      While the tour leader was enthusiastic , I didn’t think the experience was worth the cost. Most of the time was spent waiting to have a quick turn at one of the two available telescopes. I would not recommend this tour.
      Written 25 March 2024
    • Reviewer4691
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great experience
      Although we were booked on the summit tour this tour was amazing. The guides were very knowledgeable and views great. And Phillipa are shuttle driver kindly took us back to the campsite.
      Written 6 March 2024
    • Adventure14664388960
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Dark sky experience— Mount John
      The staff were all so friendly and helpful. We were offered the opportunity for a refund prior to viewing due to clouds , but chose to go ahead as southern cross was on view. Unfortunately wind gusts upto 100km and having evening cut short for everyones safety. Staff were brilliant— all very professional and created a calm and informative session in the cafe , whilst we waited for winds to settle and walk to bus. Many thanks to “Marina” our lovely and informative guide— we learnt lots despite a short visit. Bus driver was also awesome 🤩 Coats are toasty warm and added to the fun. Company has offered everyone a full refund . I would highly recommend 😊
      Written 2 March 2024
    • G7624KPjimh
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Such a Fascinating tour!
      Our tour was at 11 pm and we were concerned that the cloud cover would prevent us from doing this tour, but we got lucky because the clouds started clearing as we drove out to the crater. This was probably the most informative tours that we have ever been on. The lecturer was so informative of the constellations, the solar system and the various stars. They had 3 telescopes set up to look deep into the sky, but the most interesting part of the tour was just listening to the lecturer and seeing him point out all the objects in the sky. Would highly recommend this! Just be aware that it was pretty chilly with a good wind, so I suggest that your dress accordingly.
      Written 25 February 2024
    • 357silkeu
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Unfortunately the trip was cancelled
      The trip to the crater was canceled due to a large grey cloud & we were given a refund which was great. We were offered a talk in the observatory which was inspiring . There was a lack of Oxygen in the room which prompted me to leave early.
      Written 20 February 2024
    • B5630LBpeterr
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing experience
      We had heard that the dark skies around Tekapo were fantastic. As I enjoy some amateur astronomy, I decided to try the Dark Sky experience at Mt John observatory. We were rewarded by a fantastically clear night and the sky was truly amazing, never seen a better view of the night sky. The staff were excellent and explained what you were looking at and had a number of telescopes set up to view different objects in the night sky. 100% recommended if you are interested in the night sky.!
      Written 4 February 2024
    • 368dustyw
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing
      Highly recommended when in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand The exsperiance begins with boarding with Philippa, our pilot on the space shuttle to the Galaxy. Philippa is a wealth of knowledge and entertainment as she navigated the narrow steep windy road to the summit and Observatory. Our guides on the summit were filled with a wealth of knowledge. The time spent learning about the southern sky and what the galaxy has to hold was beyond belief. Then again Philippa boarded us back on her Galaxy space shuttle for the return trip.
      Written 21 January 2024
    • taniabaxter
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Don’t miss this experience
      We absolutely loved the Dark Sky Crater Experience! It is one of the best tours I’ve been on. Me, my partner and our teenage daughter were all blown away by the whole experience, and there were so many highlights: just seeing the stars without the usual light pollution; looking thru the telescopes at Jupiter, Alpha Centauri, and other stars, clusters and galaxies, and we were especially impressed with the guide called Marina. She is enthusiastic with a wealth of knowledge and she made the experience extra special. I’ve been camping many times and seen the stars but Marina really explained the night sky and how to find various constellations and how to navigate using the Southern Cross etc. A must-see experience.
      Written 12 January 2024
    • MissHK2009
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Unreasonable Arrangement for Cancellation
      We had booked the stargazing tour for Christmas Eve (12:00 midnight). After we reached the gathering point inside the Dark Project building at 11:30pm, the staff advised us to walk around in the building for a while for other customers to arrive. Well, we wandered in the souvenir shop then. At about 12:00, the staff waved all the customers to the front desk but declared that the activity had to be cancelled for cloudy/ rainy weather. And customers could only either: 1) switch to another indoor stargazing activity which fee is much lower than the outdoor one we enrolled 2) get refund, not full refund but only the difference between the amount we had paid and the fee of the indoor activity. The arrangement is so ridiculous. Firstly, why not notify customers well in advance that the tour has to be cancelled? The weather was not that good whole day. We were still asked to walk around for a while in the gathering point before their declaration of cancellation. Secondly, cancellation for bad weather is at no fault of customers but no full refund is allowed (except booking via agent which we did, luckily).
      Written 9 January 2024
    • gilltomc
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Rude unhelpful staff on the ticket desk and inflexibility of ticketing.
      Unfortunately the weather was against us and despite returning at 2am the cloud cover was too thick to see. We had tickets for three of us for the crater experience and didn't want to see the virtual tour which is offered when it's cloudy. So we asked if the cost of the three crater tickets could be exchanged for two more expensive summit experience tickets to enable one of us that lives in New Zealand to come back at a later date. Two of us have to return to the UK so can't come back. The person on the ticket desk pretended that he didn't understand our request and was very rude. So they have my money and don't care and can't be flexible. Just a bad experience for us and very disappointing on the customer service side of things.
      Written 12 December 2023
    • Tina C
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Do not miss out on this opportunity!
      Amazing launch to space with Phillipa as our captain! She was fun and engaging as we rode to the observatory and kept us feeling safe (even with driving in the pitch black!). Our fearless leader, Tu, has great enthusiasm as he explained about stars and planets and how the world of space works. Dan came and helped out towards the end with showing us the different phases of stars being born. We were so grateful for the coats provided to us at the beginning of the tour (we wanted to keep them, they were so warm), but it was still a pretty cold/windy night at the observatory. We also did the virtual star gazing experience (with Dan) before the summit experience and we felt like it enhanced the experience greatly! Not only was Dan great at explaining things, but he made it easy to understand and you could tell how passionate he was about the work! Overall, this is one of the top experiences of our lives so far. Do not miss out on the opportunity to experience the night sky in a new way! We are hoping to come back very soon to do this all again!
      Written 29 November 2023
    • jamiedB1072AV
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Heartbroken to have trip cancelled - love what they do
      I hate to say this, but our entire trip to NZ was planned around a new moon visit to Dark Sky Project. Visiting in the late spring we were so hopeful for great conditions, but our 9:30 pm tour was cancelled as we all milled about the lobby hoping for better news while light clouds passed through the sky. We are so passionate about night sky preserves and absolutely love what they are doing here - I hope we can return for the full experience. If you are hoping to do this, try to book on your first of multiple nights in the area - they did offer to rebook the next or later evenings but we were heading out of the region (our mistake!).
      Written 25 November 2023
    See all 1 review
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    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles52 reviews
    Excellent
    36
    Very good
    6
    Average
    6
    Poor
    0
    Terrible
    4

    Missmolly106
    Auckland, New Zealand1 contribution
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2022
    Hello

    Just writing to express our disappointment in our experience at your venue as listed above. We had travelled from Auckland with friends from Christchurch after reading your tour offer regarding the Summit Experience ($169pp). Unfortunately through no fault of your own, when we arrived at your venue the cloud cover caused cancellation of the tour. We were offered an on site experience at a reduced price of $49 (Normal price $30). Along with the 8 other participants we accepted the alternative offer. We found it extremely disappointing for the following reasons.

    We expected to at least see something of the sky through the Brashear telescope or the McClellan telescope on site.

    A combination of the background music and a face covered presenter made it very difficult to hear, combined with her international accent. At times she was quietly spoken and was asked to speak up and the music was requested to be turned down, but were told that it was automatic. As a suggestion a microphone may have enhanced her voice.

    A second administrator came into the room and viewed his technical device shortly after this request and the music dropped a little.

    We would also have expected a more definitive aspect or explanation of our solar system and a short video taken through the telescope or photos.

    Considering that this is an international attraction we were completely disappointed at what this attraction offered our international tourists. As a highlight of the Tekapo experience this attraction falls well below international standards.

    We were definitely underwhelmed and would not recommend this experience to other people.

    We look forward to your response to our concerns.

    Trevor Pitt
    Written 3 January 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Dion
    Lake Tekapo, New Zealand2 contributions
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    Appalling Customer focus. Don’t expect for anything that they do poorly as a business to be anything but your fault as the customer! After booking a bucket list adventure for my 84 year old mother n law, my teenage girls, wife and I travelled to the amazing little town of Tekapo ready to take up our adventure as per date and time confirmed and sent to us by Dark Sky project staff. Imagine our utter dismay with the sky being picture perfect when we arrived at the venue to find they don’t open Wednesday evenings, a must win booking confirmation, in their part, had us staring at literally, a dark sky building! But this was somehow our fault! I suppressed the desire to be “that guy” the following day and they were only too happy to invite us onto the tour that night, because surprise, surprise, that’s when we were booked in there anyway!!! (But don’t worry about the email evidence saying the contrary) And of course as luck would have it the following evening was a let down weather wise. In granting them some fairness they did say that if the weather packed in, it was our choice to risk that. Sadly, it was a non event and an 80% refund was offered. On the basis of how the missed appointment was their fault I asked for a 100% refund. I was told in no uncertain terms, I should be happy with 80% and 3 weeks after the non event at still waiting for my refund. If customer centric values are anywhere near this business’s goals, they’d be lucky to get an F grade from us!
    Written 25 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Terry A
    Sydney, Australia18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2023
    The Guide was so knowledgeable, and the tour was absolutely mind blowing.

    After the initial bus ride for about 20 minutes, some with the headlights off up the mountain side, we arrived at the summit experience.

    After a short walk up the incline to the Cafe deck, the tour of the night sky opened our minds to the vastness of our galaxy.

    This is a must for anyone who believes the earth is flat, as you will have your mind expanded to the universe you are missing.
    Written 15 February 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora Terry, thank you for your review and comments. We are so happy that you enjoyed the stargazing experience with us. We hope to see you soon again, Ngā Mihi, Dark Sky Project Team
    Written 15 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    AmyAuckland
    16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We found the Summit Experience a fantastic and humbling experience. We were lucky with a clear sky and seeing all the stars was breath taking! We found the tour organised and the guide was informative. We had the opportunity to learn about the different stars and constellations with the help of a laser pointer. We then got the opportunity to use a telescope which was wonderful.

    We also did the Dark Sky Experience which was also well organised. Good to reinforce what we learnt from the Summit Experience and hear about astronomy from a Maori point of view.

    Both experiences have definitely have sparked my interest in Astronomy!
    Written 11 August 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora Amy, Thank you for taking the time to write such an awesome review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. We are over the moon to hear that you enjoyed our Summit Experience and got to learn about the night sky with our knowledgeable and friendly guides. It's fantastic also to hear you enjoyed our Dark Sky Experience where you can learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Cruize! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
    Written 15 August 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Jonathan p
    Salisbury, UK44 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    The views from the observatory are quite stunning, yet it is hard to feel that this trip was good value for the $179 pp (NZ).
    The guide was very knowledgeable and informative and it is great to have the sky ‘named’ especially if not used to the Southern Hemisphere.
    3 telescopes were provided though in truth there was not a great amount of material visible when we were there.
    This was not a cloud issue.
    We had paid as part of a long holiday and had a good time, but if I was simply calling in- download a star app and take a walk along the lake shore for a similar experience!!
    Written 3 March 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora Jona! Thank you for the review and observations. I guess the visibility of the sky yesterday night it wasn't that clear because the moon is almost in the 90 % of visibility. Sorry for you disagree about it. Thank you anyway and I will pass to our guiding team. Have a lovely day. Ngā Mihi, Dark Sky Project team
    Written 3 March 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Jo H
    Wellington522 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2021
    While the building, telescope and surroundings are wonderful, it's the guides and storytelling that bring this experience to life. Having done the evening tour some years ago, it was wonderful to see this all weather, daytime experience available and incorporating a broader, Aotearoa New Zealand story of our relationship with the heavens. I'm sorry I can't remember the names of our guides who were excellent.
    Written 4 September 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora Amy, Thank you for taking the time to write such an nice review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. We are over the moon to hear that you enjoyed our Dark Sky Experience and got to learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Cruize! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
    Written 30 September 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Sarah P
    Christchurch, New Zealand47 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2023 • Family
    Of our group of 8, 4 of us drew the short straw and had to go at 11pm rather than 7.15. But it was worth the wait as the sky had cleared, the wind had dropped and Saturn had risen. The guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable the night sky was incredibly beautiful, made clearer by the fact there was no moon.
    Written 14 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    CC 22
    Sydney, Australia6 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2024 • Family
    This was a bit disappointing for the price. Geared more for younger kids - not space literate teenagers and adults. I hoped to learn a bit more about the Dark Sky Project, research etc but it was mostly about Māori astronomy, which was quite interesting, but not sure it was enough to sustain the 45mins at the $180 it cost for our family. .
    Written 11 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Kiwiseley
    Auckland Central, New Zealand444 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2022
    If you expect to look through a telescope then you will be disappointed. As per it's name this is an experience and as such each person will have a different impression of what is presented. The first room in the experience gives a Maori perspective of the night sky and how it was/is used for navigation and hunting etc.
    Matariki was very well explained and given that we now have a holiday because of it, I took more interest. We were invited to ask questions so many of us did.
    We were told about "the big bang" and the start of time leading to our solar system and it's eventual demise. You probably should have an interest in the universe if you pay to see this attraction. I thoroughly enjoyed it and many thanks to our "guide" for spending the extra time.
    Written 20 May 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Like2pray
    Oregon122 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2019
    We attended the 11:45 PM experience. It was a clear, moonless night - so perfect for looking at the stars! There were so many to see and far beyond our expectations. Our French guide, Adrian(?), was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. His energy really added to the evening.
    A photographer took a group photo and posted it on their business Flickr account for us to see later. The memento was nice to have.
    Written 6 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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