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Heritage Stargazing From the Observatory Tower

Ticket Information

  • Adults: $10.00 each
  • Children (5-17 years): $5.00 each
  • Buy Tickets – 033660989
  • Additional fees may apply


  • Fri 31 May 2024, 7:30pm–9:30pm
  • Fri 7 Jun 2024, 7:30pm–9:30pm
  • Fri 21 Jun 2024, 7:30pm–9:30pm
  • Fri 28 Jun 2024, 7:30pm–9:30pm
  • Fri 5 Jul 2024, 7:30pm–9:30pm

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All Ages

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Join us for a 30 minute tour of the Observatory Tower and stargazing through the historic Townsend Teece Telescope every Friday evening during winter.

The Townsend Teece Telescope was restored and re-installed in 2023, and stargazing from the Observatory Tower has resumed.

Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre and the University of Canterbury welcome you and your whānau and friends to join us on a short stargazing experience in the heart of the city.

Join a small group tour, and climb up to the top of the tower to the observatory dome like generations of students past.

View the southern sky through the Victorian-era Townsend Teece Telescope, under the guidance of Townsend Observer astronomers from the University of Canterbury. You’ll be able to view the moon, planets, and star clusters, including the stunningly colourful Jewel Box star cluster.

Become part of the long history of astronomy at The Arts Centre
Every Friday night during winter (weather dependent*).
- Bookings essential: $10 adults / $5 childen (5-17).
- Tours last 30 minutes, between 7.30 - 9.30pm.
- You must be able to climb 75 steep stairs and be comfortable in confined spaces. There is no lift available as this historic Observatory Tower.
- Please wear sensible shoes and a warm coat.
- Please arrive 10 minutes early for your session in order to be checked in. Parking can be tricky so leave plenty of time.
- One accompanying adult present per two children.

Book now for this unique and memorable experience, numbers are strictly limited. If you have a large organised group, please contact UC to arrange a private tour.

Note that the dome cannot be opened if it starts to rain during your session, or if the weather is windy, as the telescope is an antique. If the dome has to be closed during your session, you can still see the tower, dome and telescope, and the Townsend Observers will lead an interactive illustrated talk about astronomy in the exhibition room.

This event is offered jointly by Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre and the University of Canterbury.

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