We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Amazing experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Earth and Sky

Earth and Sky
Ranked #5 of 17 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.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
79 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

We went for the star gazing during our trip to NZ last November and loved every minute of it. As the sunset was quite late in November, our trip started only at 12.30 AM in the morning. The experience in this trip could vary from day to day as it depends on whether the sky is cloudless on the day of your visit. Luckily we went on one of those days when the sky was very clear.
The staff were very friendly and informative and provided some very interesting facts about the Astronomy as well as about the Lake Tekapo and its surroundings as well. It was a 20 min trip uphill and total darkness thereafter as no lights are allowed in the observatory area. It was very cold but the jackets provided by the organisers kept us warm. The Astronomers were quite enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge on space and stars as much as the visitors were interested in knowing about them. However, looking at the night sky full of beautiful stars without any intervention from the artificial lights was once in a life time experience. I would love to do this trip again and again just to gaze at the beautiful night sky.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank Takkaratakki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

649 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Wow! Wow! Wow!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

So the twilight tour is a little pricey but I can assure you...if you are remotely interested in stars and taking in the nights sky, it is worth every penny. Never have I seen galaxy's this clear and immense with my naked eye. Millions of stars, so incredible that it took my breath away. Aside form the views, the tour guides are friendly, knowledgable and go out of the way to provide a great experience. They will even take your own personal camera and mount it to capture long exposure photography of the stunning southern sky. We will treasure this experience for the rest of our lives. A must do in Tekapo!

Visited January 2014
Thank Tiffany B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
769 reviews
495 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 366 helpful votes
“Absolutely mind blowing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

A little pricy however it's worth every penny. Shuttle will pick you up from your hotel to their travel agent and they will give you a red light torch (a souvenir in the end) and a warm winter jacket. Then another 15 minutes ride to the HQ and you will be greeted by their guide. First started with a southern star introduction, the Milky Way, horoscopes etc then seeing the surface of the moon and Saturn on a telescope whilst enjoying a hot cup of chocolate, ended with a group photo. Absolutely enjoyable, shame it only lasted for 30 minutes! By the way, I was definitely lucky to have a pure clear sky!

Visited August 2014
Thank Jacqueline A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oamaru, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“a Little dissapointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014

The tour was very costly for what we got, I was expecting some great views of planets close up, but really all we got to see was four things the size of pin pricks, as I Saturn the moon and two other things. They were very hard to see and the wind was quite vicious to say the least. The tour guides were lovely and the one highlight for me was the astro photographer who helped me to take some photos, despite this being very rushed. Our daughter had been very much looking forward to this trip as she is fascinated in Astronomy, stars and the universe in general.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank bossyflossy48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canterbury Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fantastic -- worth the cost”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

I did a last-minute reservation for the Earth & Sky night tour. Very glad I did. The astronomers who did the tour were infectiously enthusiastic about space and quite knowledgeable. The views were great. And if you bring your own camera (any kind), they can put it on their equatorial mount so you can come away with some great night shots. I didn't make use of that, but even just shooting with a tripod (or resting on a table) you can great shots.

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

Travellers who viewed Earth and Sky also viewed

Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District
Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District
Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District
Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District

Been to Earth and Sky? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing