Mount John Star Gazing
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Mount John Star Gazing

Next up on our New Zealand tour was the Aoraki Mackenzie area – an International Dark Sky Reserve, and one of only five in the world! The Mount John stars, and Lake Tekapo’s crystal clear blue waters are a site to see. So for obvious reasons, we needed to visit.

In order to see the stars to their fullest potential, you can visit Mount John, and take one of their Night-Time Observatory Tours. We spent the day enjoying the Mount John facilities, looking through their high powered telescopes, enjoying their delicious hot chocolate from the Astro Cafe and trying not to blow away from the strong wind gusts! One of the facility guides, Conrad, told us that recently wind speeds reached upwards of 270 kph, ripping off facility roofs and tearing up asphalt roads! So the winds at Mount John are no joke. Bring a jacket and a hat with a head strap…

Mount John Star Gazing

Mount John Star Gazing

Mount John Star Gazing

We enjoyed our day tour of Mount John, but, as I have previously mentioned, New Zealand is expensive. So, instead of paying for an expensive tour, we decided to go for the low budget tour of driving out to a dark spot, just outside of Twizel, and see what we could see … and we saw the Milky Way! The sky was so clear that night, which, cough, cough, meant it was freezing, but it was the perfect recipe to see stars and galaxies far away. Mount John star gazing is beautiful during the day, and I can only assume stunning at night, but I felt sufficiently covered with our little jaunt outside of Twizel and my introduction to New Zealand’s view of the  Milky Way.

-Chelsea

We are currently in New Zealand, follow along here!

LocationLOCATION: South Island, New Zealand


    • Thank you Shireen. The trip has really made me realize how fortunate and lucky I am and so happy to be able to share the experience here.

    • Gail! You will definitely have to go then! If you love outdoor activities, New Zealand will not disappoint. Every corner is filled with a gem of beauty!

  1. Those photos are completely amazing!!! Sounds like you are seeing a million amazing sites in New Zealand, that is so great! I hear you about it being expensive there though.. I was in Auckland for a 2 day layover on route to Samoa a couple years ago, and I was literally floored by the prices. Especially for food!

    Xo
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

    • Thank you Lee! Right the food is so expensive and really, its mostly fries and burgers, which, once a week or so is great but for every meal…well, lets just say I am so happy for stretchy denim jeans :) Really love LegalLeeBlonde and looking forward to continuing to follow along!

    • Thank you Sera!I loved looking through your blog and your hair is absolutely beautiful! Love the lavender!

    • Thank you Valerie! The location reminded me of something you might have enjoyed because it felt so abandoned (which saying that to anyone else would not come off right, so I hope you get my drift!).

  2. Wowowowowow, these photos are gorgeous! This is my dream to star gaze in a big observatory like this. I watched Magic in the Moonlight and they got stuck in an observatory similar to this and maybe that’s why it’s been on my mind recently. Definitely something I’d like to do, hope you’re enjoying your time!

    xox
    Chanel
    JeMappelleChanel.com

    • I love when movies inspire me and then for random reasons keep popping up in my daily life as reminders! I felt like that after watching Midnight in Paris. But then again, that might have just been my imagination hoping a car would drive by and take me back to visit Gertrude Steins home!! Gah, the dream! Also, your eye make up is always so spot on! I am so jealous! Anyways, Happy Friday!

    • Corinne, I think you would love it then! Also the gorgeous New Zealander men that work there help the situation out too :)

    • Pamela, you will definitely have to go to New Zealand, it is a beautiful country and truly feels like the real middle earth!

    • Yep! Thank you Annie! So far Bangkok has been good. It is beautiful but since it is my first time in Asia, its been a little rough at times. Fallen for a scam (or two – which honestly never feels good). It feels silly because I think of myself as a savvy traveler, but guess Asia is a little different. But it just makes me want to try harder to understand how not to look super touristy and make Thailand one of my favorite travel destinations! We leave Bangkok tomorrow (May 30). Wish we could have met up!

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