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.

Mount John University Observatory

Closed Now: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Book In Advance
Why Book on TripAdvisor?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information
All photos (465)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent70%
  • Very good23%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“astro cafe”(23 reviews)
“per vehicle”(7 reviews)
“mount john”(28 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours Today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
See all hours
422 Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
+64 3-680 6000
Reviews (596)
Filter reviews
468 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews astro cafe per vehicle mount john amazing views walk up degree view nice cafe great coffee cup of coffee night tour entry fee short drive well worth the trip sunny day next morning clear night hot chocolate
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 468 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago

The place is stunning with the mountain backdrop and the ever expanding lake Tekapo make a picture perfect sights. The cafe served good coffee though although it can get a bit too crowded

Thank lawc22
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Great visit here at night. Got to go inside a couple of the domes and used outdoor telescopes too. Saw some stars and planets. Saturn looked so clear that it seemed as if it was painted on the glass at the end of the telescope!

Thank SteveM999_12
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The road has very few to no car when on our way to the observatory in the morning. Great option to stop by and snap some photos of the fields with alps as background. Stunning views of lake and alps on top of the observatory....More

Thank kry_lsw
Reviewed 1 week ago

Great views. Need to go to the cafe as you have to pay to enter so just going for a look and photo shoot, its a bit expensive.

Thank Daph P
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

If you’re ever in Tekapo, this has to be on your to do list. An enjoyable drive up, a short walk from the car park to the summit and then stunning views as far as the eye can see. The cafe also has very good...More

Thank beech-bidois
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This is a must do if you’re visiting Tekapo! I wish we had booked a night at the observatory as well. The $8 toll is worth it as the views on a clear day are beautiful! There are so many things to love about Tekapo...More

Thank eurotrip26
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Located high above Tekapo and with a panoramic view, Mount John provides the perfect location for the Observatory. Our night star gazing tour was a highlight of our time at Lake Tekapo. Fortunately we had an almost clear night which made for great outdoor viewing....More

Thank Barry5252
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The views are amazing 360 on a clear day its breathtaking you can see the lake and the mountain range there is a cafe at the top and you have to pay $8 to travel up on the private road but its worth the view

Thank lawrence h
Reviewed 14 September 2018

Be aware that there is an $8 charge to go up the road to the observatory / cafe. This is not signposted until you have driven the 3 or 4 km from the main road. If you are just after a coffee this is way...More

Thank Denis C
Reviewed 11 September 2018 via mobile

Fantastic night ... forever memorable Knowledgeable guides ... just stunning Hot chocolates and Antarctic coats providedMore

1  Thank MujahidB14
CraigJ952, Business Manager at Mount John University Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Kia ora, Thank you for your Trip Advisor review. We are delighted to read that you found our tour to be well executed, here at Earth & Sky we pride ourselves on ensuring our tours are seamlessly run and that each visitor expectation is exceeded....More

View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 4 nearby hotels
Peppers Bluewater Resort
3,783 reviews
3.70 km away
Lake Tekapo Village Motel
736 reviews
3.80 km away
The Godley Hotel
561 reviews
3.98 km away
The Chalet Boutique Motel
353 reviews
4.03 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 15 nearby restaurants
Kohan Restaurant
1,112 reviews
3.90 km away
Astro Cafe
846 reviews
1.68 km away
Mackenzies Cafe Bar Grill
1,188 reviews
3.90 km away
Reflections Restaurant
706 reviews
3.78 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 29 nearby attractions
Lake Tekapo
2,220 reviews
3.77 km away
Church of the Good Shepherd
1,715 reviews
3.97 km away
Mackenzie Sheep Dog Statue
373 reviews
3.97 km away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
3 September 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from CraigJ952 | Property representative |
Kia ora, The Mt John walkway will close to the public around 5pm, you can walk to a certain point however there are fences that you won't be able to cross after 5pm due to our nightly operation. Stargazing commence from... More
Melissa R
19 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Australian2000 | Reviewed this property |
No, they don't. I suggest you bring one up along the way and have a torch with red light to see your camera settings, so that you don't affect the dark night sky.
26 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from ItsATouristTrap | Reviewed this property |
I am almost certain that the road is closed at night for light discipline reasons due to the stargazing tours that happen at the observatory every night (i.e.--vehicles carrying the tour groups must drive up the hill with... More