UC exempt from Mt John road user fee

A user fee has been introduced for users of the access road to the top of Mt John, from 30 November.

The local astro-tourism operator, Earth & Sky Ltd, which also runs the Astro Café on Mt John’s summit, is managing the daily road access. UC supports this endeavour to raise money for the betterment of the private road, to preserve the unique qualities of the Mt John area and to maintain future access to the summit.

All University of Canterbury staff and students can gain free access to the road by showing their Canterbury Card. This is the only photo ID accepted at the gate.

Currently narrow and steep, the private road was built in the 1960s to provide working access to the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory but has become popular with local and international visitors, especially since the opening of the Astro Café on the summit and the development of the DOC walking track around the hill.

There have been more than a million visitors to the top of Mt John in the last decade. The income from the road user fee will ensure that the increasing numbers of visitors to the top of Mt John can pass safely and enjoy their visit to the unique environment.