The Hermitage

Big Sky Stargazing

The darkness of the night sky around Aoraki Mt Cook is unbeatable - its official! Let the team at Big Sky Stargazing introduce you to the wonders above. The 4367sq km Gold Status Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is the largest in the world and for this tour you will be the centre of it all.

Our experienced guides will introduce you to our beautiful southern night sky with a full hour using the naked eye, astro-binoculars and state of the art 14" and 11" astronomy telescopes. Unleash your imagination as you discover our neighbourhood in the universe including the southern cross, seasonal ecliptic objects, planets, planets, stunning star clusters, moons, distant galaxies and even our very own galaxy, the spectacular Milky Way.

An experience is guaranteed. The tour is delivered either from an outdoor viewing platform at our Stargazing building set alone under a massive night sky, or if the weather is unfavourable then your guide leads you through a 'live' orientation of our southern night sky indoors, reclined in comfortable seats of New Zealand's first 360 digital Dome Planetarium theatre where 4k high definition images generated by state of the art computer software immerse you in a stunning digital view of the universe and beyond.

Every night is a unique experience with stars, planets, the Moon and satellites constantly moving as our Earth orbits in space.

Video image 

Big Sky Stargazing Video

Preview the Big Sky Stargazing tour including the planetarium orientation and spectacular night sky from our outdoor stargazing area

Adult Child (4 -14 yrs)

$78.00 per person

$45.00 per person

Prices valid 01st October 2018 - 30 September 2019

All price are in NZD and include GST (15%)

Prices valid 01st October 2018 - 30 September 2019

All prices are in NZD and include GST (15%)


Big Sky Stargazing tours depart every clear evening. Exact departure times vary depending on the time of year and you will be advised of the applicable departure time when you check-in to the hotel.

Winter Departures start from 8.30pm and Summer departures from 10.30pm- English tours. Our Japanese and Chinese tours have later deparature times. Contact our reservations team direct to book onto these tours.

Weather Conditions & Inclement Weather Policy

The Big Sky Stargazing tour never cancels - if the weather is deemed to be below the required standard to operate outside, then the tour will move forward with the inclement weather alternative.  This alternative features New Zealand's first full dome digital Planetarium - high definition video images on a suspended 9m wide x 4.5m high full dome. Our guides will take you through a 'live' orientation of the night sky that is sure not to disappoint.

Important Info:
Due to uneven surfaces around the outdoor stargazing area, flat soled, enclosed walking shoes MUST be worn prior to boarding the bus. Please dress warmly, even summer nights can be chilly in the alpine environment. Stargazing tours are not suitable for infants. The minimum age for a child is 4 although the tour is not recommended for children under 8.
Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel within 24 hours of departure - loss of 100% of the total price
If you cancel within 48 hours of departure - loss of 50% of the total price