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  • Excellent69%
  • Very good24%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“astro cafe”(25 reviews)
“per vehicle”(8 reviews)
“mount john”(28 reviews)
About
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Contact
422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Website
+64 3-680 6000
Reviews (573)
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All reviewsastro cafeper vehiclemount johnamazing viewswalk updegree viewcup of coffeegreat coffeenice cafenight tourentry feewell worth the tripsunny dayshort driveworth the effortclear nighthot chocolate
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1 - 10 of 450 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

We went to see the Observatory after spending 1-2 hours in and around the Tekapo Lake. It is some 10-15 km from the lake on a mountain. The observatory was closed However the view from this height was fantastic around. Especially the Ariel view of...More

Thank SojanIpe
Reviewed 1 week ago

Unfortunately the nights were overcast so we could not take advantage of the stars. The daytime views were excellent and there is a very nice café to enjoy them from/

Thank HollyFan
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We did the walk up to the summit (a relatively easy 1 hour climb) and were rewarded by amazing 360 views of the beautiful landscapes around Tekapo. We liked it so much that we did it again, by car, one day later ($8 car entrance...More

Thank Dom21076
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for taking the time to share your recent visitor experience with our team. We are thrilled that you chose to walk to the summit of Mt. John. Situated at the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory, the views are breathtaking and...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Go for it. You will be rewarded with spectacular views at the peak. Start early. Don't forget to stop and soak in the views,the fresh crisp air. We did that climb in winter.More

1  Thank Madame B
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your recent visit and review! The 45 minute walking track is always a great way to start the day, entrance at the bottom of the mountain next to the holiday park. Its always great to see that everyday these views...More

Reviewed 5 June 2018

We were so lucky, when we checked in the information center, they said the site was closed half an hour ago, due to strong wind. We could drive up and checked it out. When we arrived at the gate, they said it just reopened, we...More

Thank itcheetam
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your review and recent visit to University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. We are pleased to know that by the time you got to the Mt John access road, the winds had reduced again making you able to enjoy the...More

Reviewed 17 May 2018 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
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

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 views of the Mackenzie Basin and surrounding areas. We want to thank you for choosing to use the privately...More

Reviewed 16 May 2018 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
Reviewed 13 May 2018

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!)More

Thank TristanEF
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

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 views of the Mackenzie Basin and surrounding areas of the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. The hike to...More

Reviewed 12 May 2018 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
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

Kia ora, Thank you for your TripAdvisor review for your recent visit to Lake Tekapo. It is great to read that you thoroughly enjoy your tour and you were able to see many objects. As we are in an alpine environment our team are trained...More

Reviewed 11 May 2018 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
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

Kia ora, Thank you for your recent visit to the Astro Café and the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. Our café operates daily from 9am to 5pm, offering a wider range of food and hot drinks, the uninterrupted views are a fabulous place to...More

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Questions & Answers
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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
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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
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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
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