Enjoying the spectacular night sky in one of the best stargazing locations in the world is being taken to a heavenly level by Tekapo Springs in New Zealand’s Mackenzie country.
A stunning display of stars and constellations light up the night sky above Tekapo Springs. Picture credit: Astrophotographer Mark Gee (@theartofnight)
The multi-award-winning South Island tourism attraction – renowned for its innovation and ongoing investment into new and exciting products and experiences – will excel itself with the introduction of Tekapo Star Gazing.
The tiny township of Tekapo sits within the world’s largest international dark sky reserve (4144sq km), only the fourth such reserve in the world.
And now Tekapo Springs owner Karl Burtscher is delighted to add the latest unique offering to the established facilities.
The star gazing tours with a difference will enable guests to navigate the Southern night sky’s bright stars and constellations from the warmth and comfort of the hot pools.
They can enjoy the after-hours soak (from 9.30pm onwards), watching the moon and stars above as nature paints her ever-changing colours.
Tekapo Star Gazing will be an audio–visual experience, with relaxing star-inspired ‘astro music’ playing in the background as qualified ‘Star Guides’ point out the brightest features.
Once guests have enjoyed the pools, they’re invited to get ‘closer to the stars and planets’ by looking through two new 9.25 aperture Celestron telescopes sitting on the patio outside the complex’s Tahr Bar & Café.
The café boasts stunning views over Lake Tekapo and the magnificent Two Thumb mountain range, and guests can relax with a glass of wine as they reflect on their night-time experience.
Tours are scheduled to start early 2017. They will be 1.25 to 1.5 hours long and will run throughout the year.
Mr Burtscher said Tekapo Springs had been considering adding the night sky products “for the past two or three years” and the timing was now right.
Just under a year ago, Tekapo Springs officially launched three new pools at the complex, bringing the total number of pools to six. The new pools proved hugely popular with visitors and locals and have resulted in a significant increase in visitor numbers.
“We just keep adding more and more reasons to visit Tekapo Springs including our winter ice skating rink, winter snow tubing and a huge inflatable summer waterslide,” said Mr Burtscher.
“Adding Tekapo Star Gazing will continue to broaden what we offer, and extend the range of ‘things to do’ in Tekapo at night. Many Asian visitors in particular are entranced by our night skies because they can’t see the stars at home due to excessive light pollution.
“Anecdotally we also see and hear increasing numbers of people asking for a night options, and our social media sites frequently feature people asking if they can soak in the pools at night, enjoying the star show on offer.”
“We know that approximately 150,000 people a year visit the nearby Mt John University Observatory so there’s clearly a huge and growing demand.”
Tekapo Springs is a year-round attraction nestled on the shores of stunning Lake Tekapo, beloved by visitors from all around the globe. This year it was a winner of the 2016 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards and a finalist in the Champion Canterbury Business Awards 2016.