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.
Are you located in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve?
  • We sure are! We have over 25,000 acres of 100% pure darkness to choose from when conducting stargazing tours! 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.
What does your tour involve?

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

  • Our 1.5-hour stargazing tour has been designed for people who do not have much time, are budget conscious and what to have a great experience under the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve looking at our amazing night sky. This tour includes transport to/from Silver River’s check-in point. Warm full-length jackets, a group photo under the stars and a 60 minute guided tour under the stars including the use of our amazing modern computerised 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 11 people per tour, so you will have more time on telescopes and more time with your knowledgeable guide without the giant price tag!
  • Our 3.5-hour tour is for the more serious stargazers or for the beginners who want to extend their knowledge with astrophotography. Let us guide you through the night with an amazing Astrophotography and Stargazing 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!
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.
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! At the time of cancelling our staff will look at weather conditions and may put on additional tours to ensure capacity for all / some guests, if a front of weather is looking like it is slow moving, you will be offered to transfer to a different departure time/date that is available and if you are not able to transfer to another time, we will offer you a Full Refund. If the sky is partially cloudy, your guide will make the choice to whether the tour is to go ahead or not. All decisions made are always with you – the guest – in mind.
  • If the tour has been cancelled in advance due to adverse weather or events beyond our control, we will advise you via email that you have provided. If your agent has not provided your email or phone number to us, we will inform your travel agent.
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
Does your business hold a Passenger Service License (PSL)?
  • We sure do! In fact, it is the law in New Zealand that we ensure your safety, our business holds a Passenger Service License (PSL) and all of our drivers are full ‘P’ endorsed to safely drive you around.
What time do the tours start?
  • Due to seasonality and Daylight Savings, our tour times change regularly with the season. Check out our Book Now page and select a date and the times will show up with availability.
Why are some tours cheaper than others?
  • We like to reward our night owls, the later you book your tour, the cheaper the tours become. Example: If you book a 10 pm tour, this may be $85 where a tour at 1 am might be $65. (Prices and times in this example do not apply as actual information).
I need to cancel my tour, what is your refund policy?
  • Flexibility is the key to our tours. Have a look at our Cancellation Policy Matrix below:
    From the time of booking till 3 hours before departure: 3-hours – till tour departure:
    100% Refund (0% loss) 0% Refund (100% loss)

    If you move your booking to another tour departure time/date within the 3 hours before departure, then your booking in no-longer refundable.

What are the ages for children?
  • Anyone from age 5 till 12 (inclusive) are classified as a child. Age 13 and beyond are classified as an adult. Infants are welcome to join us on the tours, however, you will need to book them in as they take a seat upon the transport. We limit 1 infant per tour departure. Caregivers will need to supply a car seat for the infant. To book your infant you will need to call (03) 680 6866 or 0800 STARGAZE.
What tours are suitable for the family?
  • Whilst all tours are suitable for the family, we suggest the earlier tours are more suitable for the young ones. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. In the name of safety, if the weather is very cold, windy or we are experiencing extreme weather conditions (freezing cold), an infant with caregiver maybe turned away with a full refund issued.
What if I am late for the tour?
  • If you are running late and the tour has already departed, you will not be permitted to join the tour. Check-in time is 20 minutes before tour departure time. If guests NO SHOW for your scheduled departure, Silver River™ Stargazing has the right to put other guests in your spot. Tours have to run to a strict timetable. You may not be eligible for a refund. Where possible our staff will try and accommodate your reservation for another departure time.
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.