We are very lucky to not only have one of the most amazing natural views during day but also at night. Lakestone Lodge is located on the recently named “Starlight Highway” (formerly known as State Highway 8 or Tekapo-Twizel Rd) the road has been given this moniker due to its location in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the biggest Dark Sky Reserve in the world. We have found that Astro tourism is becoming a huge draw card for the region.
Lakestone Lodge enjoys panoramic views where on a fine day/night we can clearly see Aoraki Mt Cook (NZ’s highest mountain) which is 65km away at the other end of Lake Pukaki. The great news is that during the evening when the stars are out and the clouds are behaving we have a very clear view of the night sky and we are lucky enough to see only one other light at night as well as the occasional car light
Lakestone Lodge was designed to minimise light pollution
- No external lights point towards the sky
- No external lights are left on if not required
- Most external lights on sensors and timers
- Large eves over the building minimises any light escaping upwards from the internal lights.
Where to observe the night sky
- From the comfort of your bedroom
- From your private bath
- From your private courtyard, or out the back of the lodge.
On a good night Mike will go out and show the guests what he knows about the universe (which admittedly isn’t much but he’s getting better). Lakestone Lodge has a good telescope that allows you to see the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter or the craters of our moon (weather and conditions dependant).
If you require a more in depth look at the night sky we are positioned nearby some great facilities
- Mt John Observatory
- Tekapo Springs have also started giving sky tours and it is a very relaxing way of appreciating the stars relaxing in the hot pools.
- The Hermitage at Mt Cook Village also offer night sky tours and a planetarium.
- Skyscape is a new building with a glass roof to see the stars from your bed (see our Ultimate Stargazing Package )
Some of the highlights that can be seen with the naked eye from Lakestone Lodge when the weather behaves are the Milky Way, the Southern Cross, various planets, the small and large Magellan clouds, satellites and the International Space Station as well as shooting stars.
Best times to visit
Winter when the nights are longer and when the moon is new
- 17-27 June 2017
- 16-26 July 2017
- 14-25 August 2017
- 13-24 September 2017
- 12-23 October 2017
We have put together the Ultimate Stargazing Package to fully experience the wonders of the night sky.
Don't forget the Starlight Festival this year 13-15 October 2017 at Mt Cook www.starlightfestival.org.nz