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“Amazing both day and night”
Review of Earth and Sky

Earth and Sky
Ranked #5 of 18 things to do in Lake Tekapo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Earth & Sky Stargazing and Observatory tours operate in beautiful Lake Tekapo situated in the South Island. Visitors find enjoyment, entertainment and inspiration through a ‘hands-on’ experience as knowledgeable astronomy guides share the wonders of space, promote a scientific understanding of the southern night sky, and help reconnect people with a special part of nature using powerful telescopes. Tours operate at two big sky locations including the University of Canterbury Mt John Research Observatory. Lake Tekapo sits at the heart of the gold ranked ’Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve‘ (est 2012) - Earth & Sky - the best attraction in New Zealand to show you the universe.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
298 reviews
188 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Amazing both day and night”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

I have now been on top of Mount John three times: twice with Earth and Sky, and once in the morning to see where I had been. The first time was a night of a full moon. The moon views were excellent, but I admit I was disappointed, as I wanted to see the stars. Of course, this was not under the control of Earth and Sky! So I did some research, and the second time was the night of a new moon, and the sky conditions were nearly perfect. The Milky Way was a brilliant white, and we could see thousands of stars. Listening to the staff, we learned about places billions f years and thousands of light years away while we enjoyed viewing specific areas through the telescopes. They even have astro-photographers who will attach your camera to their precise tripods for no extra fee. It was a highlight of our 8 months in New Zealand and well worth the cost.

The next morning, my husband suggested we drive up ourselves for brunch and a daytime look around. I was so glad he did. The views were amazing in winter, with majestic snow-covered peaks and the brilliant blue Lakes Tekapo and Alexandrina below.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Jody M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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702 reviews from our community

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  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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English first
Gisborne, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Freezing FUN”
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Don't miss this, and book ahead as it often sells out - it did when we were there. The short ride up Mt John takes you to a place of imagination. Brilliant guides help you view the night sky through some outside telescopes and one inside one (but not the big ones as they are being used by the real astronomers!) First celestial object we saw was Saturn, and after that the night was a real pleasure. The moon will always be seen in a special way from now on! If you've never done this sort of thing before, you won't be disappointed. Not cheap, but you only live once!

Visited July 2014
Thank spidernz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“OK, nerds look here”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

Have always been a nerd when it came to astronomy, and my hopeless telescope in high school entertained me for years. When the chance came to visit a real dark-sky observatory, not surprisingly I booked right away.

Drove up in a bus to Mount John, with fascinating history about the place. A truly international flavour to the place, with Japanese scientists, NASA guide, and a South African "guy" that told us how cool free-floating planets are. Highlight of the tour was seeing Saturn on a real telescope, yes, with rings and all!

Don't know why people would comment on the café etc., this is a "museum' type of place, and a bad coffee isn't worth the mark down. For all you "big bang theory" fans, or "star trek" fanatics, I say suit up for an away mission, beam yourselves up, and report to stellar-cartography.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Klang, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Stunning view!”
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Pro: Stunning, Beautiful view! Pleasant and nice attendants. Please reach there early if you wish to try the food served by the cafe.

Con: The curved and steep road. Drive safely up and down the hill.

Visited November 2013
Thank BravoKCY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Excellent and informative evening”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Informative evening if not freezing cold. Recommend to accept the jackets the company offer. Could not have survived without it. Fabulous night sky. Actually got to see Saturn and it's rings through the telescope. Brilliant

Visited July 2014
Thank browny47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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