Dark Sky Project

Dark Sky Project

Chamber of Commerce Member

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Dark Sky Project

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    +64 3 680 6960

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    1 Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

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    Email us

Dark Sky Project - Stargazing and Observatory Experiences.

Dark Sky Project, formerly Earth & Sky, strives to connect manuhiri (visitors) to the night sky through scientific and cultural experiences, creating a lifelong understanding and passion for the dark sky above.  Located in the heart of Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, Takapō (Tekapo) is one of the quietest spots on the planet yet has one of the busiest night skies in the universe.

Dark Sky Project are world-leaders in astro-tourism experiences and offer  a range of experiences at exclusive locations in this world-renowned stargazing destination. Also discover the night sky during the day with the world-first indoor multi-media astronomy experience that combines science and tātai aroraki (Māori astronomy).

Sit back and relax at Dark Sky Project’s two exquisite eateries. Overlook the picturesque Lake Takapō (Tekapo) as you dine at Dark Sky Diner that boasts spectacular views day and night. Visit the daytime Astro Café located at the summit of Mt John (please note: a road-user fee applies) and enjoy a refreshment whilst taking in the stunning surrounds that boasts some of the world’s best views including the Mackenzie Basin, Aoraki Mt Cook and Lake Takapō (Tekapo).


Summit Experience at University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory (evening/outdoors 105 minutes)

Dark Sky Project’s most popular stargazing experience. Prepare for an awe-inspiring evening of discovery at this world renowned research centre. New Zealand’s most popular stargazing & observatory experience. A truly breath taking experience, be immersed in the stunning surrounds and pristine night skies as their sophisticated telescopes and expert astronomy guides share the science and stories of our Southern Skies.

Crater Experience at Cowan’s Observatory (evening/outdoors 75 minutes)

The ultimate stargazing experience. Enjoy time under the stars whilst enhancing your knowledge of the Southern skies at our private observatory. Cowan’s Observatory is the perfect introductory stargazing experience. The expert astronomy guides will enhance your knowledge and understanding of our Southern Skies as you admire and ponder the possibilities through our powerful optical telescopes.

Dark Sky Experience at Rehua, Dark Sky Base Building (daytime/indoors 45 minutes)

Embark on a journey 13.8 billion years in the making with this multi-media indoor astronomy experience that combines science and tātai aroraki (Māori astronomy). A treat for the senses, the Dark Sky Experience brings science, Māori heritage and fascinating multi-media installations together in a ‘Big Bang’ of awe and inspiration.