Night Sky Experience

Lakestone Lodge is located in the heart of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve and is one of the best places in the world to see the Milky Way (depending on conditions).

We offer an 'out of this world' unique guided tour in our purpose built (fully accessible) Night Sky Arena where you can lie back in a recliner chair, snug with a warm woolen blanket and a hot drink (mulled wine, hot chocolate, tea or coffee) to warm your insides on those cold winter nights. 

Kick back, relax and you might get to see the following features with your naked eye:

  • More stars than most people have ever seen in their lives
  • 'Shooting stars'
  • Satellites passing overhead
  • Planets
  • The Southern Cross
  • The Milky Way
  • Constellations
  • Other galaxies
  • All with no obvious city or town light pollution (we are 150kms from the nearest traffic lights)
  • Also no airplanes overhead at night here
  • When visible we will use a powerful telescope to see craters on the moon, the rings of Saturn and/or Jupiter and up to 4 moons orbiting Jupiter

 

Your guide will point out all the highlights of the southern sky with a special (high powered) laser pointer, teach you how to navigate using the stars, entertain you with interesting stories and blown your mind with some 'facts' 

Tours ($75 per person) are offered Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights* (see times below). Prior bookings essential to ensure a guide is available on the night. Tours will be confirmed at 8pm on the night. If canceled due to cloud cover there will be no charge/full refund.

*Private tours can be arranged at other times ($250 per group 1-6 people or $400 for 7-12 people or $75pp if we find other guests to share the experience with you).

!! IMPORTANT !! When the moon is full or near full it floods the night sky with reflected sunlight and makes the fainter stars impossible to see with the naked eye. It is recommended for the best experience to come to Lakestone Lodge in winter around the time of the new moon if possible.   

We recommend staying 3-4 nights for the best chance to see the stars. Ideally book the Night Sky Experience on your first night.

Below is a schedule of tour times and the best time to see the stars.

***** = Excellent 
****  = OK - most faint stars are still visible
***    = Faint stars are hard to see, ideally visit Lakestone at another time
**     = Only the brightest stars are visible, ideally visit Lakestone at another time
*      = The worst time to see the night sky, ideally visit Lakestone at another time

*****  2021 May 2  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 May 4  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 May 6  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 May 9  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 May 11  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 May 13  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 May 16  Sunday  8:45pm     
****   2021 May 18  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is bright
**      2021 May 20  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 May 23  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 May 25  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 May 27  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 May 30  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
*****  2021 June 1  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 June 3  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 June 6  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 June 8  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 June 10  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 June 13  Sunday  8:45pm     
****   2021 June 15  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is bright
***    2021 June 17  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is bright
**      2021 June 20  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 June 22  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 June 24  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 June 27  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
*****  2021 June 29  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 July 1  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 July 4  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 July 6  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 July 8  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 July 11  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 July 13  Tuesday  8:45pm     
***    2021 July 15  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is bright
**      2021 July 18  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 July 20  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 July 22  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 July 25  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 July 27  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
*****  2021 July 29  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 1  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 3  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 5  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 8  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 10  Tuesday  8:45pm     
****   2021 August 12  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is bright
***    2021 August 15  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is bright
**      2021 August 17  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 August 19  Thursday   8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 August 22  Sunday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 August 24  Tuesday  8:45pm   -  The moon is very bright
*****  2021 August 26  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 29  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 August 31  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 September 2  Thursday   8:45pm     
*****  2021 September 5  Sunday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 September 7  Tuesday  8:45pm     
*****  2021 September 9  Thursday   8:45pm     
***    2021 September 12  Sunday  9:00pm   -  The moon is bright
**      2021 September 14  Tuesday  9:00pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 September 16  Thursday   9:00pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 September 19  Sunday  9:00pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 September 21  Tuesday  9:00pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 September 23  Thursday   9:00pm   -  The moon is very bright
*****  2021 September 26  Sunday  9:00pm     
*****  2021 September 28  Tuesday  9:00pm     
*****  2021 September 30  Thursday   9:00pm     
*****  2021 October 3  Sunday  9:00pm     
*****  2021 October 5  Tuesday  9:00pm     
*****  2021 October 7  Thursday   9:30pm     
****   2021 October 10  Sunday  9:30pm   -  The moon is bright
***    2021 October 12  Tuesday  9:30pm   -  The moon is bright
**      2021 October 14  Thursday   9:30pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 October 17  Sunday  9:30pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 October 19  Tuesday  9:30pm   -  The moon is very bright
**      2021 October 21  Thursday   9:30pm   -  The moon is very bright
*****  2021 October 24  Sunday  10:00pm   -  Late
*****  2021 October 26  Tuesday  10:00pm   -  Late
*****  2021 October 28  Thursday   10:00pm   -  Late
*****  2021 October 31  Sunday  10:00pm   -  Late
****   2021 November 2  Tuesday  10:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
****   2021 November 4  Thursday   10:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
***    2021 November 7  Sunday  10:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is bright
**      2021 November 9  Tuesday  10:30pm  -  Late, long twilight and the moon is bright
*        2021 November 11  Thursday   10:30pm  -  Late, long twilight and the moon is bright
*        2021 November 14  Sunday  10:30pm  -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 November 16  Tuesday  10:30pm  -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 November 18  Thursday   10:30pm  -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 November 21  Sunday  10:30pm  -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
**      2021 November 23  Tuesday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 November 25  Thursday   11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 November 28  Sunday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 November 30  Tuesday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 December 2  Thursday   11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 December 5  Sunday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 December 7  Tuesday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is bright
*        2021 December 9  Thursday   11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is bright
*        2021 December 12  Sunday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 December 14  Tuesday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 December 16  Thursday   11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 December 19  Sunday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
*        2021 December 21  Tuesday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight and the moon is very bright
**      2021 December 23  Thursday   11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 December 26  Sunday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 December 28  Tuesday  11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark
**      2021 December 30  Thursday   11:00pm   -  Late, long twilight = not as dark