Trip Planner: South Pacific / New Zealand / South Island / Canterbury Region / Mackenzie District / Lake Tekapo / Mount John University Observatory
Gaze into the outer reaches of the universe at Mount John University Observatory, an astrological center offering day and night tours of its facilities, plus the opportunity to use the telescope to spot the moon, stars, and other planets. The top of Mt. John makes an ideal location for this observatory thanks to the superior visibility afforded by the expansive landscape and the lack of manmade light from the surrounding area. Established in 1960, the center hosts some of the world's leading astronomical research programs. Visitors have the chance to marvel at the wonders of space and the largest telescope in New Zealand, accompanied along the way by knowledgeable staff. With our online itinerary creator, Lake Tekapo attractions like Mount John University Observatory can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Tours to Mount John University Observatory
Mount Cook Private Day Tour via Lake Tekapo including Lunch BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $290
Duration: 12 to 13 hours
Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki Day Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $307
Duration: 10 to 12 hours
Mount John University Observatory reviews
Absolutely stunning views of the area. It is well worth the visit. There is an $8 road charge to drive in but worth it. We were hoping to have a nice coffee at the top but the cafe was closed... more »
We were lucky enough to go on one of the late evening tours. Our guides picked us up from our hotel. We did the tour which was very interesting and educational for us. At the end of the tour were..... more »
Even if you are not joining the famous observatory tour on Mt John, a day trip to the top of Mt John gives you a splendid view of its surrounding, especially the beautiful Lake Tekapo. To drive up, you need to pay $8 through a guarded gate. Hiking up from Lake Tekapo is also another option. Definitely a good place to visit and walk around to take in the view on a good sunny day.
An experience you should not miss if you are around Lake Tekapo.. The observatory is doing some ground breaking job on micro lensing, and the stuff is very happy to explain and show us the results. A must do!!!!
Plan your trip to Lake Tekapo
Get a personalized planA complete day by day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
See all ›
Side trips from Lake Tekapo
Hidden gems in Lake Tekapo
Nearby attractions in Lake Tekapo
See all ›
Winter Sports in Lake Tekapo
Plans to Mount John University Observatory by other users
15 days in South Pacific BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, fast-paced, hidden gems Preferences: November Attraction style: Hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 27 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM CANADA January, popular sights Preferences: January Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 3 days in Geraldine BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Christchurch & Lake Tekapo BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, popular sights Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 14 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND October, popular sights Preferences: October Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium