Mount John University Observatory

Mount John University Observatory

Mount John University Observatory
4.5
Observation Decks & TowersScenic Walking Areas
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Top ways to experience Mount John University Observatory and nearby attractions

See what travellers are saying
  • seaair1
    Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand64 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely breathtaking, go there!
    For $8 entry to drive up the hill it’s well worth every dollar and then some. The day time view was spectacular as you can see right around from water to the expansive MacKenzie Countryside. There is a cafe up there but I didn’t use it. Go there you won’t regret it!!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 September 2023
  • Brigette
    Hong Kong, China397 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place for photos on sunny day- closing time at 4pm (not 5pm)
    Mt John is a little hill just outside Lake Tekapo and it gives a fantastic Birds Eye view of the entire Lake area as far as Mt Cook on a sunny day. The internet says it closes at 5pm in summer but when we drove to the gate it’s actually 4pm. We only had 30min but went up anyway. $10 NZD (card only) for car access to the top. Ample carpark, narrow road but plenty of shoulders for you to let the traffic passes you so not scary at all. Breathtaking view , wished we had more time. The nighttime star gazing tour was booked out, do book ahead !
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 December 2023
  • George M
    Windsor, United Kingdom339 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous
    Disappointed our Dark Sky Experience was canceled due to cloud we drove up to the top today . There is an $8 charge per vehicle to drive up but worth every cent The views are just magical . You can walk around most of the top and get views in every direction . It was chilly but lovely blue skies . A mist when visiting the area
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 March 2024
  • Grant N
    Hastings, New Zealand1,515 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting drive up - and down. Fantastic views
    Went reasonably early and judging from the queues when we left probably a good idea. The drive up and down is interesting with quite narrow parts making passing a bit fraught ( we had a large 8 seater which took up a lot of road). The view at the top is fantastic in all directions and well worth the trip. While there is a cafe there the prices are as high as the mountain and they're very busy without time to be particularly friendly. But it's all worth it for the views.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Grant N
Hastings, New Zealand1,515 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Went reasonably early and judging from the queues when we left probably a good idea. The drive up and down is interesting with quite narrow parts making passing a bit fraught ( we had a large 8 seater which took up a lot of road). The view at the top is fantastic in all directions and well worth the trip. While there is a cafe there the prices are as high as the mountain and they're very busy without time to be particularly friendly. But it's all worth it for the views.
Written 17 April 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.

George M
Windsor, UK339 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Disappointed our Dark Sky Experience was canceled due to cloud we drove up to the top today . There is an $8 charge per vehicle to drive up but worth every cent The views are just magical . You can walk around most of the top and get views in every direction . It was chilly but lovely blue skies . A mist when visiting the area
Written 27 March 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.

Don
Connecticut12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Hike or drive to the top of this mountain for unforgettable views of the surrounding area. The mountain overlooks Lake Tekapo so it's an easy hike or drive if you're staying in a motel or campground on the lake.
Written 29 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.

Paul B
Chesterfield, UK1,632 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
You can pay 8 dollars and drive up to this observatory and get a magnificent panoramic view of Lake Tekapo and the Mount Cook range of mountains. Fantastic, Highly recommended
Written 20 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.

Brigette
Hong Kong, China397 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Mt John is a little hill just outside Lake Tekapo and it gives a fantastic Birds Eye view of the entire Lake area as far as Mt Cook on a sunny day. The internet says it closes at 5pm in summer but when we drove to the gate it’s actually 4pm. We only had 30min but went up anyway. $10 NZD (card only) for car access to the top. Ample carpark, narrow road but plenty of shoulders for you to let the traffic passes you so not scary at all. Breathtaking view , wished we had more time. The nighttime star gazing tour was booked out, do book ahead !
Written 23 December 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.

Gary S
Mackay, Australia196 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Its a really lovely view but ffs leave the toilets open......paid $8 to get in for what??? The Cafe was closed and we were aware of that but why lock the toilets, my wife is pregnant and needs to go pretty regularly at moment and its a long bumpy road back down the hill to get back to Tekapo!!! We seen multiple people trying to get into the toilets and seemed very let down.
Written 9 November 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.

seaair1
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
For $8 entry to drive up the hill it’s well worth every dollar and then some. The day time view was spectacular as you can see right around from water to the expansive MacKenzie Countryside.
There is a cafe up there but I didn’t use it.
Go there you won’t regret it!!
Written 23 September 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.

Murray
Auckland, New Zealand5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Amazing views of surrounding Mackenzie area. We went up to grab lunch and enjoy the views, both were lovely.
please note, there is an $8 per vehicle charge for going up to the mountain.
Written 31 August 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.

rosanneg955
Auckland81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Hiked up from camp. Well worth walking as appreciated reaching the top rather than driving. Spectacular views from the summit. And great cafe!!!
Written 21 April 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.

Mumrulz
Sydney, Australia39 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
$8NZ to drive up and park was a bit much as the road is VERY narrow and uneven in places and there is nothing much at the top . Parking is unpaved as is the walk up to the summit and coffee shop. not recommended or anyone with a disability 3 small Observatories / telescopes and a coffee shop. Nothing explaining any of it not even the history. Very disappointed
Written 7 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.

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MOUNT JOHN UNIVERSITY OBSERVATORY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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