The booking fee includes the costs of booking your tickets such as charges for payment processing. It also covers the provision of our customer care center for processing your order, and all charges imposed by our suppliers.
* This tour requires at least one of the following per booking: Adult, Senior
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 a giant purpose-built crater to provide maximum wind protection and minimum light pollution, our 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.
GST (Goods and Services Tax)
Food and drinks, unless specified
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Dark Sky Project, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Dark Sky Project, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand Allow one of our astronomy guides to introduce you to the southern night sky. Take a look through our telescopes at Cowan’s hill and discover a few hidden secrets throughout the Milky Way. This tour is perfect for your first stargazing experience, and will only operate if the sky is clear enough to see some of our southern night sky objects.
The facilities we keep at Cowan's Observatory are similar to what you'd be using on Mt John, but the tour is a little shorter. It is a dark sky location just like Mount John. Cowan's observatory is closer to the township, offering a more sheltered environment. This makes it a great choice for families. Warm clothing is essential, all year round.
Public transportation options are available nearby
Suitable for all physical fitness levels
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Minimum age is 5 years
Dress warm all year round
A minimum of 2 people per tour is required. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for travelers
COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.
08 Feb 2023
Underwhelming, it took place with a full moon ! And not really in a crater, rather a circular clearing. The guide ( Sharni ? ) was passionate and very informative. However in a full moon, which can be determined easily when it will occur, it was not a dark sky. Not what we had expected and at more than NZ$200 per couple not worth the money or hype
24 Dec 2022
This was a must do and we were rewarded with a clear dark sky
The guides were unbelievably knowledgeable
The experience was well organised and is weather dependent but we struck gold
It starts late 11 pm and make sure you rug up as it can be chilly
Such a great experience and quite an eye opener as you feel a little insignificant out there with the stars
Thoroughly enjoyed the experience and super well organised
23 Dec 2021
Absolutely happy on the food & restaurant service! Our group of 6 had dinner there last night and our food was well prepared and well cooked to our satisfaction. We all enjoyed our time there.
Unfortunately my experience with the Cowans Crater tour was not satisfying. We were led to believe that we could see Saturn and Jupiter on the 11pm tour so my wife and I booked a seat. The guide later on said Saturn is a no coz it’s below the horizon. Just said sorry and that was it. Really gutted as the assurance was based on a lie. The person who sold us the ticket should not have assured us then we would not be disappointed. We learned and saw a few things though but not seeing Saturn just did me out. Sorry.
This tour in
is organized by
Dark Sky Project
We always double-check the availability with our local partners for each booking. Even though this is usually a swift process, it can take up to 24 hours. Once this process is completed you will receive your voucher or ticket by email. If our local partner is not able to confirm your booking we will offer you the best possible alternative. If the new date and/or time doesn’t fit your itinerary, we will reimburse the full amount paid.
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