Join us for a unique, breathtaking dark sky stargazing experience at Cardrona this summer.
Nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps, the Cardrona Valley offers some of the best conditions on Earth for stargazing. Not only does it have a dark sky with minimal light pollution, but it’s far enough south to have a great vantage point to view the famous Southern Sky, and you may even see the Southern Lights!
The first part is a naked eye astronomy tour. Your guide will talk about the night sky specific to our location in New Zealand. You’ll cover highlights of the Southern Sky, constellations, movements of planets, celestial navigation, and general information about what can be seen without the aid of a telescope.
In the second half of the tour, you’ll use our top of the line portable telescope to see (when visible):
Star clusters and nebulae
The Highlands, Maria and craters of our Moon
The moons of Jupiter (on the first tour of the night)
Rings of Saturn
Your guide will explain what you’re looking at, and why it’s so cool!
Cardrona is ideally placed between Queenstown and Wanaka so that it has very little light pollution – easily accessible from both towns but remote enough to show pristine views of the Southern night sky.
Schedule & pricing
Stargazing at Cardrona runs daily during the summer season (from Dec. 11, 2020 – April 5, 2021)
We run one tour per night and tour times will vary based on light
Tour is an hour and a half long
Price includes light refreshments
The schedule is subject to change and weather conditions
* Departure times in February and March vary based on sunset times. Get in touch to confirm timings of tours in these months!
It will be pretty chilly up on the mountain at night, so bring plenty of layers. We provide luxuriously warm Canada Goose down jackets and snow boots.
The tour is not recommended for small children
Self-drive guests will need to drive up a 14km alpine gravel road to get to the resort for your stargazing experience. Give yourself plenty of time and maintain 2-way traffic at all times. We can arrange for our Wanaka transport to meet guests self-driving from Queenstown at the bottom of our access road. Please contact us at the time of booking to confirm pick-up time and location.
Arrive 30mins early to ensure you have plenty of time to get ready
Stargazing is subject to weather conditions. A call will be made by 5pm each day and you will be informed if the tour is not running as scheduled
Bookings are essential – last bookings will be taken at 6pm on the day of the tour
There will be no stargazing tours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.