Join us for a unique, breathtaking stargazing experience at Cardrona this winter.
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!
Our alpine stargazing tour consists of two parts:
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
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 throughout Winter 2021
We run one tour per night, meeting at 8:00pm (opening day - September 27) & 9:00pm (September 28- October 16) in the Ticket Office
Transport is available for guests travelling from Wanaka and is included in the price of the tour. The shuttle leaves Basecamp Wanaka (50 Cardrona Valley Road) at 7:15pm (June 12- September 27) & 8.15pm (September 28- October 16).
Tour is an hour and a half long. With travel time expect to be back in Wanaka at 11pm and Queenstown by 11.30pm.
Additional pick up available at the bottom of the Cardrona mountain road at 7.30pm (June 12- September 27) & 8.30pm (September 28- October 16).
The schedule is subject to change and weather conditions
Stargazing 2021 Pricing
While tours will operate during Covid Alert Level 2, guests taking transport will be required to wear a face covering.
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
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 4.30pm on the day of the tour