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Mt. John Observatory

Mt. John Observatory is located 146 miles (235 km) from Christchurch, New Zealand. Mt. John Observatory, part of the University of Canterbury, is a focal point of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Stargazers can book a tour of the observatory through Dark Sky Project, an education center based in Lake Tekapo. Daytime tours…read more »

Mt. John Observatory is located 146 miles (235 km) from Christchurch, New Zealand. Mt. John Observatory, part of the University of Canterbury, is a focal point of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Stargazers can book a tour of the observatory through Dark Sky Project, an education center based in Lake Tekapo. Daytime tours of the facilities are available, but most come for the nighttime tours. Visitors at night are first shown the remarkably clear sky outside the domes, as the observatory is located in the Mackenzie Basin, one of the driest climates in New Zealand. Inside the domes, visitors have a chance to peer through the university’s telescopes, which are regularly used in astronomical research.

Deborah Byrd