Mount Cook Lodge

Big Sky Stargazing

The darkness of the night sky around Aoraki Mt Cook is unbeatable - its official! Let the team at Big Sky Stargazing introduce you to the wonders above. The 4367sq km Gold Status Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is the largest in the world and for this tour you will be the centre of it all.

In June 2012 the Aoraki Mackenzie region, encompassing Mount Cook Village, was approved as one of only a few International Dark Sky Reserves (IDSR) worldwide, meaning the darkness of our night skies is almost unbeatable!

Video image 

Big Sky Stargazing

View the spectacular southern night sky from within the heart of Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.

The Journey:

Our fully trained guides are delighted to show you our beautiful southern night sky using the naked eye, state of the art astronomy telescopes and binoculars at our outdoor viewing platform or if the weather is not favourable then 'live' under our high definition digital dome planetarium. Unleash your imagination as you discover our neighbourhood in the universe including the Southern Cross, seasonal ecliptic objects, planets, star clusters, moons, distant galaxies and even our very own galaxy, the spectacular Milky Way.

Season & Departures:

August & September 2018: If the guides believe conditions are less than ideal for operating the outside part of the tour, you will be offered a full refund. If the outside tour commences and is cancelled/cut short due to changes in the weather this will impact the refunded amount.

From 01st October 2018: The Big Sky Stargazing tour never cancels - if the weather is deemed to be below the required standard to operate outside, then the tour will move forward with the inclement weather alternative.  This alternative features New Zealand's first full dome digital Planetarium - high definition video images on a suspended 9m wide x 4.5m high full dome. Our guides will take you through a 'live' orientation of the night sky utilising a complimentary star chart as well as immersing you in Maori culture with a dome presentation of Marama a-whetu - recounting the local legend of Aoraki. Content of this tour is subject to change.

Adult Child (4-14 years)

01 Oct 2017 - 30 Sept 2018


01st October 2018 - 30 September 2019

$90 inc gst NZD


$78 inc gst NZD

$45 inc gst NZD


$45.00 inc gst NZD

Important Info:
  • Due to uneven surfaces around the outdoor stargazing area flat soled, enclosed walking shoes MUST be worn prior to boarding the bus. Please dress warmly, even summer nights can be chilly in the alpine environment.
  • Due to high demand, we recommend that you pre-book this activity to avoid disappointment.
  • Weather Conditions: If the guides are of the opinion that conditions are less than ideal for operating the outside part of the tour, the guides will offer the guests the option of continuing with the inside part, or of receiving a refund for the outside part of the tour.
  • Stargazing tours are not suitable for infants. The minimum age for a child is 4 although the tour is not recommended for children under 8.
  • Cancellation Policy: Within 48 hours before departure - loss of 50% of the total price. Within 24 hours before departure - loss of 100% of the total price.