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Mount John University Observatory

422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
+64 3-680 6000
Review Highlights
Beautiful views, good exercise if you walk up

Most people drove up but we chose to walk up. It was a nice pleasant walk near the Tekapo springs... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Singapore, Singapore
Best views of Tekapo Lake and around

This is such a great spot for great photos. A cafe is also available, serving original hot... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
via mobile
Read all 456 reviews
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  • Excellent70%
  • Very good24%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“private road” (8 reviews)
“mount john” (24 reviews)
“per vehicle” (4 reviews)
422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
+64 3-680 6000
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Reviews (456)
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1 - 10 of 352 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

Most people drove up but we chose to walk up. It was a nice pleasant walk near the Tekapo springs. You do need to be prepared to climb. If you think you are not very fit, it is better to drive up. The cafe at...More

Thank Penh1
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is such a great spot for great photos. A cafe is also available, serving original hot chocolates. The cost for going up there is $8, since the area is private.

Thank Kaikota
Reviewed 1 week ago

This was an experience meandering up the road to the observatory, with snow either side. Once up and parked the view looking out was amazing, looking down on Lake Tekapo and out over the mountains. The opportunity to walk a trail but the wrong shoes...More

Thank Shayne P
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is bar far the best thing I did in the South Island of New Zealand. I am fascinated in astronomy but even if you're not, then you must get the chance to do the dark sky observatory evening. Expensive but well worth it. The...More

1  Thank Rich-Lee-Rewarded
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

You will have the best view of tekapo at Mount John, though it charge you few dollars if you drive. It is the best spot in lake tekapo.

Thank Chan K
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We travelled to Lake Tekapo on our first weekend in NZ and it did not disappoint. We wanted to see something beautiful as we were in Christchurch and wanted something a little less 'busy'. We went to the information centre in the centre of Tekapo...More

Thank Hannah L
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

"Interesting" drive to the observatory, very narrow road particularly after recent snow. The drive to the top is worth it with spectacular views of the mountains. Small café at the top with excellent cakes

Thank robertsfc
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We didn't plan to visit, however decided to take the turn off & have a look. Definately well worth the drive!! Stunning 360 views topped off a the Astro CafeMore

Thank Jasong9999
Margaret M, General Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your brilliant review. We are pleased that you had an enjoyable experience at the Astro Cafe situated at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. The Astro Cafe welcomes visitors from around the world with it’s unique glass walled exterior,...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Walked up to Mount John Observatory and most definitely worth the view! Highly recommended to everyone,

Thank Holly M
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Amazing 360° panoramic views from the top of Mount John. If you are lucky enough to get a clear day the views stretch for miles!

Thank Dunnersfireman64
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Questions & Answers
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
Anton G
15 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 13 answers
Response from NZerGuy | Reviewed this property |
There IS a walkway to the summit of Mt John. It's a loop track. Counter-clockwise takes 2hr to the summit. Clockwise, it's 1hr. I can't post an internet link, but try Googling "new zealand travel insider mt john walkway... More
28 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from MapleLeafGirl123 | Reviewed this property |
Hi, we didnt take the star gazing tour. It's $60 per adult and $30 per child for just 80 minutes. I nice local fella in Lake Tekapo told us a great star gazing spot is at the Church of the Good Sheppard. It was perfect... More