Mount John Observatory

Turn off Godley Peaks Road
Lake Tekapo, Canterbury
Mt John, a hill overlooking Lake Tekapo, is the site for an observatory, operated by the University of Canterbury. Mt John was selected as the best site in New Zealand because it has a high number of clear nights, is remote from bright lights, the air is transparent and steady and it is close to roading and electricity.

Mt John is now open to the public and it is possible to walk or drive to the top to get magnificent views.

A walking route through the trees starts at the lakeside beyond the camping ground next to the ice rink. It is a stiff climb and will take over an hour one way depending on your level of fitness,

A Tekapo based company, Earth & Sky, operates day tours of the observatory as well as nightly star gazing tours.




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  • Mount John Observatory
    Mount John Observatory
  • Mt  John
    Mt John
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