Mt John Observatory Star Gazing
The Tekapo and the Mackenzie District have just been officially approved as the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve.
The International Dark Sky Association have approved the reserve, which includes 4,300 square kilometers making the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve the biggest on the planet. It is also the first ‘gold rated’ reserve, meaning the quality of the night skies is almost unbeatable, making it one of the best stargazing areas in the world.
The reserve includes Canterbury University’s Mt John Observatory, which is very accessible, Twizel, Mt Cook village and of course Tekapo. The observatory has six telescopes, which includes the biggest telescope in New Zealand.
The Mackenzie area is very accessible from the main road linking Christchurch to Queenstown. You drive right past it.
If you are thinking of visiting New Zealand to experience some of the best night sky’s on earth then what would be more appropriate than driving there in a Spaceship.
The Mackenzie area boosts a number of other quality attractions and has some great places to stay. Below are just a few - Email us for more information:
- Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park and World Heritage Site - It is also the tallest mountain in the Southern hemisphere at 3,754 metres (12,316 feet)
- Lake Pukaki, which is the largest of three alpine lakes in the Mackenzie Basin. It is feed by the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers close to Mt Cook.
- You can kayak on a galcial lake
- Skiing and snowboarding
- Fly fishing
- Hot pools
- Heli biking
- Lord of the rings tours
- Scenic flights
Some accommodation options include:
- Hermitage Hotel below Mt Cook
- Mackenzie Country Inn
- Glentanner Park camping ground