Pukaki observatory wine cellar nz wine mt cook accommodation

"A wonderful experience!" I am into astronomy so we took advantage of the on site observatory to view the southern skies which was the first time for me..great!  The viewing of which continued in the dark skies at the Villa, the Milky Way was stunning.  

Located in the gold level Aoraki International Dark Sky Reserve, the Retreat and onsite Pukaki Observatory is perfectly located to explore one of the darkest skies in the world.  The observatory is well equipped with a 6" refractor telescope, you can take a closer look at far away objects such as Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, clusters, nebula and constellations.  
Imagine sitting in the hot tub stargazing under this amazingly dark sky with only the stars above and the silence of the mountains surrounding you!  Whether viewing from the hot tub or observatory you will be entranced.
Bring your camera for some amazing astrophotography opportunities.  VIEW ALBUM
We have recently developed an Aurora Australis viewing spot where, in the right conditions, you can see and photograph this amazing phenomenon. 

wine cellar observatory stargazing lake pukaki lake tekapo mt cook accommodation

Experience the stars

Join us for a unique dark sky experience in the Pukaki Observatory and adjoining wine cellar.
Starting in the wine cellar you will be treated to refreshments and nibbles whilst being introduced to the Dark Sky Reserve features. 

Then moving through to the Observatory, view the Milky Way Galaxy, stars and planets through our telescope or explore your astrophotography skills.

This is a stellar experience and is a unique opportunity to stargaze in this world class dark sky reserve.  

$115 per person (minimum charge 4 people) or included in our package offer

Aurora Australis mackenzie nz lake pukaki lake ruataniwha
orion nebula lake pukaki mt cook astrophotography
lake pukaki accommodation wine cellar astrophotography

View Aurora Australis 

When conditions are right, walk the onsite historic race to the Aurora Australis viewing spot.

Explore Deep Space 

Learn how to photograph deep space objects during the Wine Cellar Observatory Experience.

Experience the wine cellar 

Enjoy our best local wines or a tot of old whiskey.

When is the best time to book your trip if you want to see the stars?

Well are not able to predict the weather, but we do know the when the moon whill be in a specific phase.  A full moon means the sky is bright and and viewing of the dark sky is not optimal.  CLICK HERE to check when these moon phases occur in New Zealand.


pukaki observatory wine cellar lake pukaki astrophotography
pukaki observatory astrophotography moon phase
pukaki observatory wine cellar aoraki international dark sky reserve

'Yesterday afternoon we hiked around the property and discovered some really wonderful views of the Lake and Mt Cook. By late afternoon we were content to relax on the porch enjoying the expansive valley and Mountain View’s. The dinner prepared by the staff was delicious and very fresh. In the evening we enjoyed some music with their WiFi speaker by the fireplace. After dark, Luke stopped by and we went to the wine cellar to gaze at the stars. We were able to connect Jeannette’s camera to the telescope and we took fantastic pictures of several far away galaxies and sun clusters. Luke was very knowledgeable and also a pleasure to speak with during the evening. All said, a very enjoyable stay and I would recommend this place.' - Moraine Villa Guest, Jan 2020