Mt John Observatory at Lake Tekapo

The observatory is set up at Lake Tekapo for academic purposes as a result of a grant to the University of Pennsylvania from the US National Science Foundation.

This was the chosen location as it met the criteria for an observatory site, which were:

  • a large number of clear nights
  • a dark sky not polluted by artificial light from any nearby town/ city
  • a site reasonably close to power, water supplies and main roads and not too far from a major city.

Tekapo is known for its clear night skies and people from all over New Zealand and the world head over to view it. There are plenty of  starlight tours that guide you though the observatory and many day tours inside the observatory.

For those of you who view this just as a research unit and are enrolled at UC in the Physics and Astronomy Department, you could book a telescope for your research if suitable. Follow this link for more details. 

2 thoughts on “Mt John Observatory at Lake Tekapo”

  1. Hi,

    I went down to the Observatory in the holidays and it might be good to mention that UC students can get 50% off tours if they show their student ID’s. There is no where to select this when making a booking so it’s easiest to email them directly.

    The tours are amazing, I would highly recommend the Mount John Observatory Tour which is 2 hours!



    1. Hi Haley,

      Thanks for that, I didn’t know.
      Unfortunately the tour was cancelled due to bad weather when I was there. Sounds like a must go from what you’re saying!

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