Tours and Tickets

Dark Sky Experience provided by Dark Sky Project

Dark Sky Experience
4.5
Book in advance
from
£15.67
per adult
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Duration:
45m
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
26
Wheelchair accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    45m
  • Taking Covid-19 safety measures
  • Group size:
    26
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
About
Get ready to embark on a journey 13.8 billion years in the making. A treat for the senses, the Dark Sky Experience brings science, tātai aroraki (Māori astronomy) and fascinating multi-media installations together in a ‘Big Bang’ of awe and inspiration. Thought-provoking, educational and entertaining, this journey is sure to change your outlook in the best possible way. A world first – this indoor experience is a must on all itineraries whether you’re staying in Takapō (Tekapo) or just stopping by.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 45m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
Chinese, Japanese, English, Chinese
Know before you go
  • Duration: 45m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
Available languages
Chinese, Japanese, English, Chinese
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 105977P3
Call +44 12 2492 8241
Important information
Inclusions
  • 45 minutes guided tour
  • Entry/Admission - Lake Tekapo
Duration
45m
Departure details
  • Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand Beside the 4 Square supermarket
Additional information
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 26 travellers
Inclusions
  • 45 minutes guided tour
  • Entry/Admission - Lake Tekapo
Departure details
  • Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand Beside the 4 Square supermarket
Duration
45m
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 26 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Face masks provided for travellers
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Lake Tekapo
    Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
    Beside the 4 Square supermarket
    See address & details
  • 1
    Lake Tekapo
    Stop: 45 minutes - Admission included
    A treat for the senses, the Dark Sky Experience brings science, Māori heritage and fascinating multi-media installations together in a ‘Big Bang’ of awe and inspiration. Thought-provoking, educational and entertaining, this journey is sure to change your outlook in the best possible way.
    Read more
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
Popular mentions

4.5
29 reviews
Excellent
22
Very good
1
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Missmolly106
Auckland, New Zealand1 contribution
Jan 2022
Hello

Just writing to express our disappointment in our experience at your venue as listed above. We had travelled from Auckland with friends from Christchurch after reading your tour offer regarding the Summit Experience ($169pp). Unfortunately through no fault of your own, when we arrived at your venue the cloud cover caused cancellation of the tour. We were offered an on site experience at a reduced price of $49 (Normal price $30). Along with the 8 other participants we accepted the alternative offer. We found it extremely disappointing for the following reasons.

We expected to at least see something of the sky through the Brashear telescope or the McClellan telescope on site.

A combination of the background music and a face covered presenter made it very difficult to hear, combined with her international accent. At times she was quietly spoken and was asked to speak up and the music was requested to be turned down, but were told that it was automatic. As a suggestion a microphone may have enhanced her voice.

A second administrator came into the room and viewed his technical device shortly after this request and the music dropped a little.

We would also have expected a more definitive aspect or explanation of our solar system and a short video taken through the telescope or photos.

Considering that this is an international attraction we were completely disappointed at what this attraction offered our international tourists. As a highlight of the Tekapo experience this attraction falls well below international standards.

We were definitely underwhelmed and would not recommend this experience to other people.

We look forward to your response to our concerns.

Trevor Pitt
Written 3 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sparklep0d
Greater Wellington, New Zealand9 contributions
Cool experience for whole family. Really enjoyed the mixture of Maori astronomy and modern science.
Beautiful visual displays.
Friendly, knowledgeable guide Tu was great too.
Ka rawe!
Written 10 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Sparklep0d, Thank you for taking the time to write such an awesome review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed our daytime indoor Dark Sky Experience where you get to learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Tu! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
Written 18 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jennie C
Napier, New Zealand9 contributions
Oct 2021
We were thrilled with this tour/experience. We had an amazing guide Tu, who was knowledgeable and friendly. We really enjoyed the Maori mythology intertwined with scientific information and all the family got a lot out of it.
Written 10 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kia Ora jc0nz, Thank you for taking the time to write such an awesome review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed our daytime indoor Dark Sky Experience where you get to learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Tu! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
Written 18 October 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jo H
Wellington508 contributions
Aug 2021
While the building, telescope and surroundings are wonderful, it's the guides and storytelling that bring this experience to life. Having done the evening tour some years ago, it was wonderful to see this all weather, daytime experience available and incorporating a broader, Aotearoa New Zealand story of our relationship with the heavens. I'm sorry I can't remember the names of our guides who were excellent.
Written 4 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Amy, Thank you for taking the time to write such an nice review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. We are over the moon to hear that you enjoyed our Dark Sky Experience and got to learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Cruize! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
Written 30 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AmyAuckland
16 contributions
We found the Summit Experience a fantastic and humbling experience. We were lucky with a clear sky and seeing all the stars was breath taking! We found the tour organised and the guide was informative. We had the opportunity to learn about the different stars and constellations with the help of a laser pointer. We then got the opportunity to use a telescope which was wonderful.

We also did the Dark Sky Experience which was also well organised. Good to reinforce what we learnt from the Summit Experience and hear about astronomy from a Maori point of view.

Both experiences have definitely have sparked my interest in Astronomy!
Written 11 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Amy, Thank you for taking the time to write such an awesome review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. We are over the moon to hear that you enjoyed our Summit Experience and got to learn about the night sky with our knowledgeable and friendly guides. It's fantastic also to hear you enjoyed our Dark Sky Experience where you can learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Cruize! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
Written 15 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bärtierchen
Hamilton, New Zealand12 contributions
Jul 2021
Probably more interesting to the novice as it was a bit light on science, at least during the visual presentations, which were both heavily biased towards Maori myth. There were 4 rooms on our tour, first a cinematic experience, then a room with models of different stars to illustrate size and color differences, another projection room and finally the telescope, which can also be seen from the shop, but you'll be missing out on the interesting narrative. Whilst the projection visuals were stunning, they were also a bit repetitive, especially the 'eel pond', or at time lacking any commentary (in the first room). The guide was affable and engaged.
Written 26 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Amy, Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. It is always great to receive any kind of feedback. Our Dark Sky Experience is an introductory tour where you can learn about mostly Māori astronomy as well as science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guides. Our night time tours (Summit Experience or Crater Experience) are more science based. We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
Written 30 September 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jocelyn P
Christchurch, New Zealand88 contributions
Jun 2021
We really didn't know what the Dark Sky Experience would involve as we'd not heard of anyone who had been. As friends were keen to go we decided to book for the 1015am tour and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great mix of astronomy and Maori narrative about the stars we see in our night sky as well as how the planets and stars were formed. As the promo says, "Get ready to embark on a journey 13.8 billion years in the making" and we are certainly taken back in time.
The guide obviously knew the science as well as being steeped in his ancestral stories of creation and celestial navigation. The film and graphics used to tell the stories in each of the rooms were effective - quite beautiful and mesmerizing really. The tour ends in the telescope room where we learn a bit about its history, having been donated to NZ by the USA over 48 years ago .... finally saw the light of day 2 years ago after years in storage in bits.
In short, we recommend a tour.
Written 19 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kia Ora Jocelyn, Thank you for taking the time to write such an awesome review. It is always great to receive feedback of this nature. It's fantastic to hear you enjoyed our daytime indoor Dark Sky Experience where you get to learn about Māori astronomy and science of the night sky from our knowledgeable guide Cruize! We look forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit us. Ngā mihi, Manon
Written 15 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jace
Rolleston, New Zealand12 contributions
Mar 2021
Our family really enjoyed this experience, a fusion of Maori culture and astromony, this experience was informative, interesting and had a wonderful cultural feel.
Written 5 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Penny A
Christchurch, New Zealand11 contributions
A good facility with sophisticated visual aids. But the balance of the presentation was heavily towards Maori myth and some interesting science rushed over. The guide was personable and welcoming. If you are interested in scientific astronomy, however, you may well be disappointed.
Written 15 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dan7772018
Christchurch, New Zealand10 contributions
Jan 2021 • Family
Just did the tour with our two kids and it was awesome, great blend of science an Maori legend. Very knowledgable guid and a beautiful facility.
Written 28 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 24
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Dark Sky Project
TimTran
TimTran
00
Dark sky fabulousness
Excellently run, great information and very informative guides. Since it's so late (our tour started at 1215), gues
Dan P
Dan P
00
YES on food. NO on tour
Absolutely happy on the food & restaurant service! Our group of 6 had dinner there last night and our food was well
stut254
stut254
00
Spectacular!
I've been wanting to do this for years and now that my son is 12 and very interested in space, it was the perfect t
PatrickW3895
PatrickW3895
00
Left wanting
Did the Summit Experience and I must say, I was disappointed. We did the tour on 29th July and were booked in for
elementofcrime
elementofcrime
00
Great on clear nights
Very lucky with a clear night and full moon, so we had a great experience. They had 3 functional telescopes and ple
JamesGOamaru
JamesGOamaru
00
Stellar Experience
The weather for our visit was just about perfect--viewing conditions were pristine and while it was reported that i
nessybear1
nessybear1
00
Great View and Knowledgeable Staff
Booked the Summit Experience at Mt John Observatory online a month before visiting. The Dark Sky Experience didn't
DADD23
DADD23
00
Tops at the top!
Any interest in the stars and our galaxy will be handsomely rewarded by taking this tour. My wife and I were fortun
Janine_CP
Janine_CP
00
Interesting but poor value
We booked months ago taking a punt on the weather and although the forecast was cloudy and the wind was 40-70kmh we
PBANZ
PBANZ
00
Fantastic Sky at Night tour
Well organised tour with passionate and very knowledgeable guides showing us the sky at night. Really wonderful exp
panatina
panatina
00
Expensive choice
We had perfect weather for star gazing and it's a slick, well managed operation with shuttles up and down to Mt Joh
dngmtfort
dngmtfort
00
Enjoyable, but too large a group
We chose a time when there would be no moon. The sky, with the clear atmosphere and no street lights is magnificen
CarolO1794
CarolO1794
00
Summit Experience Mount John Observatory
This was quite a mind blowing experience. We went on the 11pm tour. The sky was clear with no moon so the view of t
Heather P
Heather P
00
Mind Blowing - out of this world experience
We did a 1:30am tour and were very lucky that visibility was 100% and there was no wind. What a mind blowing exper
964francess
964francess
00
Amazing Experience
Fabulous evening with Louis and Daniel. Explained basics in layman's terms and humorous way, then viewing the moon
Frequently Asked Questions about Dark Sky Experience

Dark Sky Experience price starts from £15.66. Discover and book Dark Sky Experience on Tripadvisor

Dark Sky Experience cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Dark Sky Experience on Tripadvisor

Dark Sky Experience is hosted by Dark Sky Project. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Dark Sky Project on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Dark Sky Experience on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 45m. Discover and book Dark Sky Experience on Tripadvisor