Just west of Tekapo is Mt. John and located on top is the University of Canterbury's astronomical observatory. Located here due to the large number of clear night skies the region enjoys. As well as offering tours of the Observatory during the day you can also enjoy an evening tour to view the night skies.A detour from the main road to take the steep windy road to the top is well worth the effort with incredible 360 degree views of Lakes Tekapo, Alexandrina and McGregor as well as the vast Mackenzie high country and the Tekapo basin. The Astro Cafe is a great place to enjoy coffee and the best views in the region. If you have the time then the Mt John walkway is a enjoyable short hike starting in Tekapo.