July 10, 2019
Ngāi Tahu has eyes on the stars
Ngāi Tahu Tourism has opened the doors of its new astro tourism joint venture at Takapō on the shores of Lake Tekapō.
The Dark Sky Project centre includes the Dark Sky Diner offering spectacular lake and mountain views, and a range of day and night dining options.
It will be the departure point for the astro-tourism business’s outdoor, evening stargazing experiences.
The centre includes an observatory dome housing the 125-year-old Brashear Telescope.
Joint venture partners Graeme Murray and Hide Ozawa say they had the dream of developing an astronomy centre in the dark sky sanctuary while standing on the summit of Otehiwai (Mt John) looking up at the night sky 15 years ago.
The Aoraki Mackenzie region now has a reputation as one of the best night sky destinations in the world.
Ngāi Tahu Rūnanga kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai says the $11 million development got a much needed kick start in 2016 with $3 million from the government’s Tourism Growth Partnership fund.
She says the Dark Sky Project is a world-class tourism experience that exhibits Ngāi Tahu values and allows the iwi to share its stories.
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