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Mount John University Observatory

422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
+64 3-680 6000
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Review Highlights
Spectacular views

Went for a ride to the summit on our motorcycle. Loved the panoramic views but found the $8 per... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Kiaussi
via mobile
Great veiw

Seems a little unfair,why you ask- one person on a motorcycle $8. Five people in a car $8.? Also... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
wynofsel
,
Wellington, New Zealand
via mobile
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Overview
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good24%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“astro cafe” (25 reviews)
“per vehicle” (7 reviews)
“mount john” (27 reviews)
LOCATION
422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
CONTACT
Website
+64 3-680 6000
Write a ReviewReviews (568)
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All reviews
"astro cafe"
in 25 reviews
"per vehicle"
in 7 reviews
"mount john"
in 27 reviews
"amazing views"
in 23 reviews
"walk up"
in 9 reviews
"cup of coffee"
in 7 reviews
"degree view"
in 9 reviews
"great coffee"
in 7 reviews
"nice cafe"
in 8 reviews
"entry fee"
in 9 reviews
"night tour"
in 16 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 7 reviews
"short drive"
in 7 reviews
"sunny day"
in 11 reviews
"stargazing tour"
in 8 reviews
"clear night"
in 14 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 5 reviews
Filter

1 - 10 of 445 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Went for a ride to the summit on our motorcycle. Loved the panoramic views but found the $8 per vehicle a bit steep. Most tolls around NZ are cheaper for motorcycles. Lake Tekapo tourism page needs to update the price as I was expecting to...More

Thank Kiaussi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Seems a little unfair,why you ask- one person on a motorcycle $8. Five people in a car $8.? Also the lake tekapo info page says $5.

Thank wynofsel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were there on an incredibly windy day (and oh so cold!) Beautiful views We dove up and my husband did the walk back to the bottom (which was surprisingly not windy as it is a bit sheltered!)

Thank TristanEF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Fantastic trip up to observatory. New moon so very dark. Could clearly see the Milky Way with naked eye. Saw Jupiter and Saturn, Leo and Sirius. Very cold so wrap up warm. Tours are weather dependant . You need a clear sky. I recommend to...More

Thank Adriandcass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Gorgeous little cafe with the most amazing views! Grab a coffee and a cake and sit outside for uninterrupted views of Lake Tekapo. You can drive up there no problems but the hike up is really rewarding and easily signposted. Extend it a little further...More

Thank Jennie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's worth the drive out there...check opening times...there are tours available & star gazing tours at night...we didn't get to see in the observatory etc....but the view is worth the drive..More

3  Thank john241Caloundra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret M, General Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your kind review regarding your recent visit to the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory. It is great to read that you chose to visit our facilities during your recent visit to New Zealand. We hope to welcome you back...More

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Standing at the top of Mount John at the start of our tour, I was in awe of a night sky like no other I'd seen before. Absolutely breathtaking and even saw my first shooting star which was amazing! I'm a New Zealander and thought...More

1  Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret M, General Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for sharing your personal visitor experience with our team here in Lake Tekapo. We are delighted that you enjoyed the brilliant views seen from the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory. Situated beneath the largest international Dark Sky Reserve in the...More

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Reviewed 5 weeks ago

On a clear or sunny day, great views of Lake Tekapo. You can't see any of the telescopes or equipment (too sensitive and expensive), which means you basically pay $8.00 to drive up a steep hill to a cafe and a view. Overpriced.More

Thank rbthodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret M, General Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for taking the time to share your visitor experience with our team. We are delighted to read that you enjoyed the excellent horizon to horizon views of the Mackenzie Basin and surrounding areas. We want to thank you for choosing to...More

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

We hiked to the top of Mt John and really enjoyed the stunning 360 degree view of the lake and surrounding mountains. The colour of Lake Tekapo is really at its best from up here. We took the 1 hour track up which actually only...More

Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret M, General Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your excellent, informative review regarding your recent visit to Lake Tekapo. We are thrilled to read that you chose to use the free Mt. John Walkways to reach the summit of Mt. John. It is great that you were able...More

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Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

Great view from here- we visited at around 10am. Super busy and difficult to get a parking spot. Also difficult to get good photos as soo many people are around.More

Thank Jessica G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Margaret M, General Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

Great view Great view from here- we visited at around 10am. Super busy and difficult to get a parking spot. Also difficult to get good photos as soo many people are around. Kia ora, Thank you for taking the time to share a ‘short but...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Melissa R
19 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from australian2000 | Reviewed this property |
No, they don't. I suggest you bring one up along the way and have a torch with red light to see your camera settings, so that you don't affect the dark night sky.
1
Vote
deharrods
26 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from ItsATouristTrap | Reviewed this property |
I am almost certain that the road is closed at night for light discipline reasons due to the stargazing tours that happen at the observatory every night (i.e.--vehicles carrying the tour groups must drive up the hill with... More
0
Votes
Anton G
15 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 13 answers
Response from ShaunSNJ | Reviewed this property |
Hi, I would agree with taking the walking path to catch the sunrise as the road will be closed. I wouldn't say it is private but rather, an exclusive road for educational and research purposes. You need to take note of the... More
1
Vote
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