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.
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