All those 50 million stars that you can see in the night sky above Tekapo are likely to soon be protected as a starlight reserve, the first in the southern hemisphere. The International Dark-Sky Association will make the final decision but all the pointers are looking good. There are uninterrupted views, we have a dry climate, and we are far away from light-polluting towns. There are rules within the township to prevent night lighting spreading upwards and outside lighting is banned between 11 pm and sunrise.
In early June an International Starlight Conference is being held at Tekapo and we think we’ll all be celebrating the new status of our skies!
Mt John Observatory, just above our complex, has six telescopes, including the largest in NZ, at 1.8m in diameter. There are regular tours to allow people to look through these.
We know that already the night skies above Tekapo attract international visitors and when we get the new status as a Starlight Reserve there will be a lot more come here.