Time-lapse animations taken by Maki Yanagimachi around Lake Tekapo, NewZealand
Welcome to the Mount John University of Canterbury Observatory, home to New Zealand’s largest telescope, located at Lake Tekapo in the heart of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and one of the best stargazing sites on Earth. Learn and share in our enthusiasm of the universe with tours operating both by day and by night. During the day drive or hike to the summit of Mount John and join our Day Tour where you can view day-time stars and enjoy a spot of lunch at the Astro- Caf? that sits 300 metres above the turquoise water of Lake Tekapo. At night you can see the wonders of the southern night sky and experience the thrill of peering through powerful telescopes and have your very own camera mounted to our sky tracking mount and one of our experienced astrophotographers will take photos of the night sky for you.
Take in the stunning panoramic views from Mt John as the Sun sets below the Southern Alps. You will have a chance to visit the World’s Southernmost optical research facility, New Zealand’s largest telescope and explore the working environment of astronomers. Enjoy a delicious treat in our Astro-Café whilst enjoying a short multimedia presentation; then join us outside to peer through telescopes and explore the darkening sky. Warm clothing is essential. Please note our astrophotography service is not offered during this tour.
Come and see the wonders of the southern night sky on our famous observatory tour and experience the wonder of peering through a powerful telescope which reveal familiar planets and rich star clusters. All that’s required is that you bring warm clothes, a keen eye and a desire to see, learn and experience and on a cloudy evening you have the opportunity to delve into the inner sanctums of the Observatory where you learn about these large telescopes and their discoveries around the country.
Ensure you bring your DSLR camera so that one of our astrophotographers can capture the night sky for you and time permitting they will explain some of the mysteries of astrophotography.
Allow one of our astronomy guides to introduce you to the southern night sky. Take a look through our telescopes at Cowan’s hill and discover a few hidden secrets throughout the Milky Way. This tour is perfect for your first stargazing experience, and will only operate if the sky is clear enough to see some of our southern night sky objects.
The facilities we keep at Cowan’s Observatory are similar to what you’d be using on Mt John, but the tour is a little shorter. It is a dark sky location just like Mount John. Cowan’s observatory is closer to the township, offering a more sheltered environment. This makes it a great choice for families. Warm clothing is essential, all year round.
Get up close at night with our region’s most celebrated icon. Situated amongst a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps, this little cobblestone church is deservingly one of New Zealand’s most photographed landmarks.
This short walking tour takes you on a journey of the Aoraki-Mackenzie region, our Southern Skies, t?tai arorangi (M?ori astronomy) and allows you exclusive access within the Church of the Good Shepherd grounds at night to get that special photograph. Our experienced team of astronomy guides and astrophotographers. Guests will receive a digital photograph of their travel group in front of the charming Church, in addition to our astrophotographer’s favourite image of the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo on that night.
A popular tour for those not inclined towards the cold, this shorter tour at the beginning of the evening avoids the worst of the frigid winter nights. Although earlier, keep your eyes peeled as the night sky reveals itself before you over the course of the tour. Head up to Mt. John on one of our coaches to be greeted by our knowledgeable guides who will introduce you to the stars above and delve into the wonders seen through the telescopes. As you’re standing around in wonderment enjoy one of our hot-chocolates to help keep away the winter chills.
Phone: +64 3 680 6960 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Visit Our Website: www.earthandsky.co.nz/
Images copyright & provided by: Maki Yanagimachi and David Weir