faqs

Where is Silver River™ Stargazing located?
  • Silver River™ Stargazing office is located at 48a D’archiac Drive, Lake Tekapo. We share the same check-in point as Lake Tekapo Farm Tours and Isolation Bay Luxury Accommodation.
Where Do Silver River™ Stargazing & Astrophography Tours Take Place?

All or our stargazing & astrophotography tours take place at private locations on our High Country Station. 50,000 acres of pure darkness, all which is located inside the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. 

These locations have been handpicked by our astronomers so that all of our guests will receive private access to some of the Reserve’s best locations, all of which have little to no light pollution, are easily accessible, and conveniently located close to town, and all boast 360 degree views of the night sky. 

What does your tour involve?

Currently, Silver River™ Stargazing offers two amazing stargazing tour options:

  • Our 75 Minute stargazing tour has been designed to deliver an outstanding, quality experience without costing the Earth. We want you to enjoy stargazing the way it was always meant to be enjoyed, No crowds, No Queues, just you, your guide, and the stars.

    This tour includes transport to/from Silver River’s check-in point. Warm full-length jackets, a individual group photos under the stars and at least 60 minutes of guided stargazing including the use of our amazing 14″ Meade telescopes – depending on the night you may even learn how to drive the telescope too! 360-degree views are a given and our tours are capped at 10 people per tour, so you will have more time with the telescopes and more time with your knowledgeable guide without the giant price tag!

  • Our 180 Minute astrophotography tour is for beginners wanting to take the first steps into photographing the night sky, or experienced photographers looking to improve their skills. Let us guide you through the night with an amazing Astrophotography tour. You will be introduced to many different types of telescopes and equipment, all of what you will be able to use to take deep space images, landscape astrophotography time-lapse imaging. This tour is capped at 4 people per tour. We have available DSLR cameras, but you are welcome to bring your own if you like!
What time do the tours start?
  • Due to seasonality and Daylight Savings, our tour times change regularly with the season. Click on the Book Now Buttone and select a date and the times will show up with availability.
What is the best time of year for stargazing?
  • As the seasons change, so does our night sky. Some stars are always visible, but some can only be seen during a certain time of year.
  • During the winter months sunset is much earlier so our tours start early, this is great if you are bringing young chidden on the tour but the weather can get very cold. 
  • During the summer our tours start later, but the weather is much warmer. 
I've booked my tour during a Ffull Moon, will I still see stars?
  • In short, yes. You will still be able to see the brighter stars, important constellations and plenty of objects through the telescope however the light from the Moon will wash out the fainter stars and make them harder to see.
  • The Moon is also one of the most detailed and interesting things you can look at through a telescope. If we have enough time during the tour then our guides can even teach you how to photograph the Moon through the telescope with you phone camera.
Does your tour cancel if we cannot see the night sky?
  • In short – YES, it would be rather pointless looking at clouds on a stargazing tour! 
  • Because the weather in Lake Tekapo can change very quickly we do not like to cancel tours any earlier than one hour before their departure times, often we will wait until check-in before making that decision to give all of our guests the best chance of experiencing the night sky. (In the event of very adverse weather exceptions to this rule will be made)
  • If your tour is going to be canceled you will be notified via the email address you or your travel agent have provided. In some situations, when we believe that the weather has a chance of clearing up later in the night we might push the start time of your tour later.
  • Any decision that we make on cancelling the tours is always made with you, the customer in mind. If you have any questions about your tour we encourage you to get in contact with us.
I need to cancel my tour, what is your refund policy?

You may cancel or reschedule your Booking up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure time of your tour. Please check our Terms & Conditions for the full refund policy.

What if I am late for the tour?
  • If you are running late please get in touch with us ASAP so we can advise you.
  • You must arrive at our office on time for check-in (15 minutes before tour departure time). If you NO SHOW for your scheduled departure, Silver River™ Stargazing has the right to on sell your tickets and put other guests in your spot. you will NOT be eligible for a refund. Our tours run consecutively throughout the night and have to run to a strict timetable, we will not accommodate late arrivals. If we have spaces available on any of our later departures we may allow you to transfer your booking. We are NOT required to do this and it will be done on case by case basis. 
What are the ages for children?
  • Child tickets are for anyone aged 3 – 15 years (inclusive)
  • Infants under 3 years old are welcome to join us on the tours, however, you MUST contact us before making your booking. Infants still take up a seat on our shuttle and we have a limit of 1 infant per tour. To book your infant please contact us by calling: 027 900 0335 or 0800 782 742 or emailing: hello@silverriver.co.nz to check availability. 
What tours are suitable for the family?
  • Content wise, all of our stargazing tours are suitable for the family, all our stargazing tours run at night and we recommend that the earlier start departure times are more suitable for young children.
  • Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult that is at least 16 years old. 
Do you supply warm jackets?
  • We sure do! We have a limited supply of jackets available in many sizes for use during the tours. As we can not guarantee your size, we suggest you dress warmly / to the conditions and if your size is available, you can make use of our warm full length down jackets.
  • We do NOT have jackets in child sizes, so please ensure that children are dressed up nice and warmly. 
Where can I access the photos from my tour?
  • Photos that are taken during your tour are uploaded to our public Flickr account where you can access and download from your desktop. If you are accessing Flickr from your mobile, you will need to download the free Flickr app. Each person who booked a tour will be emailed after the tour with a link to Flickr to access photos. Please keep in mind this may take 24-48 hours. Photos taken during your tour will occasionally be used on our social media platforms and on our website to showcase the tour experience. Participation in tour photos is voluntary.
Are you located in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve?
  • We sure are! We have over 50,000 acres of land all located underneath some of the darkest skies in the world. Meaning our stargazing sites are not just dark, they are really really dark! We even support the IDA the International Dark Association too and their efforts they provide to assist dark sky reserves around the world.
I heard your business is a Living Wage provider, what does this mean?
  • You heard correct! Silver River™ Stargazing is very proud to be the very first tourism and hospitality operator to offer our staff a Living Wage within the Mackenzie Region. Being a Living Wage provider means we pay staff a higher fairer wage. In turn, this shows we care about our staff, the tourism industry and our community. Learn more about the Living Wage at www.livingwage.org.nz
What happens if there is an emergency?
  • Our staff are trained to deal with incidents and in case of an emergency, you should listen to their instructions. We always have a staff member on duty who is a qualified first aider and all staff are trained in our safety procedures.