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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
Breathtaking views

Absolutely breathtaking views of the lake. Good walk to the top as well (if exercise is something... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
tayla5478
,
Melbourne, Australia
via mobile
A good viewing spot over Lake Tekapo

As it was getting very cloudy we decided to drive up to Mount John Observatory during the day... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Car0le88
,
Manchester, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 544 reviews
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Overview
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good24%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“astro cafe” (25 reviews)
“private road” (10 reviews)
“per vehicle” (7 reviews)
LOCATION
422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
CONTACT
Website
+64 3-680 6000
Write a ReviewReviews (544)
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All reviews
"astro cafe"
in 25 reviews
"private road"
in 10 reviews
"per vehicle"
in 7 reviews
"mount john"
in 27 reviews
"walk up"
in 9 reviews
"amazing views"
in 22 reviews
"great coffee"
in 7 reviews
"cup of coffee"
in 7 reviews
"degree view"
in 9 reviews
"nice cafe"
in 8 reviews
"night tour"
in 16 reviews
"entry fee"
in 9 reviews
"short drive"
in 7 reviews
"stargazing tour"
in 13 reviews
"night sky"
in 22 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 7 reviews
"sunny day"
in 10 reviews
Filter

1 - 10 of 429 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Absolutely breathtaking views of the lake. Good walk to the top as well (if exercise is something you enjoy). Highly recommend

Thank tayla5478
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

As it was getting very cloudy we decided to drive up to Mount John Observatory during the day rather than wait for the evening. It cost $8 to drive up and was worth every dollar for the view. It was very windy but we walked...More

1  Thank Car0le88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago

We went on one of the nights and the staff briefed us wonderfully, helped us click pictures of the night sky, gave us hot chocolate, if you're lucky you may even see the southern lights. If you're in Lake Tekapo, its a must visit.

2  Thank traveljetter2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 week ago

Definitely worth the hike! A good half day activity as you can have lunch at the top cafe. Good for photos and overall serenity.More

Thank Kellie M
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 days ago

Kia ora, Thank you taking the time to share your recent visitor experience to the Astro Cafe. We are delighted to read you chose to hike to the summit of Mt. John, and that you chose to enjoy lunch at the Astro Cafe, situated at...More

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Had a great time with very knowledgable guides, showing us the highlights of the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate so that we had to reschedule, and there was a lot of high cloud making it difficult to take...More

Thank SGFFCA
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 taking the time to share your visitor experience with our team. We are disappointed that you were met with adverse weather conditions during your visit, but delighted that you chose to continue with your tour and journey to the University...More

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We did the 11:45-1:45 star gazing and were blessed with a perfect clear sky for incredible viewing. It was an out of this world experience.More

Thank got2bebiking
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 choosing to join an Earth & Sky Tour to your recent New Zealand trip itinerary. We are delighted that you were met with clear skies as the stars aligned for your visit. The University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory is...More

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This is so worth the centre to the observatory. The views are stupendous and great photo opportunities from the top so high up....I fee is charges for driving up the the road. Or you can hike spend the day have a picnic ( take your...More

Thank Lesley 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 1 week ago

Kia ora, Thank you for taking the time to share your visitor experience with our team. We are delighted to read that you added a visit to the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory to your New Zealand Itinery. It is great that you chose...More

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Went on the Earth and Sky 1 hour 15min trip to Cowan Obs. To be honest my expectations weren't great - id seen the night sky before!!! Couldn't have been more wrong - the view from a crater in a field without any artificial light...More

Thank Rob9950
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 choosing to join our Cowans Observatory Tour during your recent visit to Lake Tekapo. Cowans Observatory is our second Dark Sky location, accessed only by joining our team on an Earth & Sky Tour. It is always a pleasure to...More

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Just south of Lake Tekapo is Mt John Observatory, a University of Canterbury facility for astronomy that has established a cafe and tourist stop, presumably to generate funds for operations. It costs $8NZ to enter the gates by vehicle and it’s a short 5 minutes...More

Thank towerpants
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 2 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your kind review regarding your recent visitor experience with our team. We are delighted that you chose to add a visit to the University of Canterbury Mt. John Observatory to your recent travel itinerary in New Zealand. It is great...More

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Wow! This tour was amazing. We visited a week ago & booked our tour a few days before as we were timing it with the weather. We were very lucky the forecast was correct and at 2am the stars came out to play. We’ve seen...More

Thank Chloenich
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 2 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for taking the time to share your recent visitor experience with our team here at Earth & Sky. We are pleased to read that you had a smooth booking process and were advised on possible weather predictions prior to your decision...More

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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
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