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 including University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory and Cowan’s Observatory. Discover the night sky during the day with the new 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 both 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).
DARK SKY PROJECT EXPERIENCES
Summit Experience at University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory
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
The ultimate stargazing experience. Enjoy maximum time under the stars whilst enhancing your knowledge of the Southern skies at our private observatory. Designed specifically with stargazing in mind, Cowan’s Observatory is the perfect introductory stargazing experience. Nestled in the purpose-built private observatory designed specifically for stargazing. 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
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. Thought-provoking, educational and entertaining, this journey is sure to change your outlook in the best possible way. At just 45 minutes long with daytime and early evening tours available, this experience is perfect for those staying overnight or simply passing through.