Billion Star Dining
We created the Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory to share the beauty of the Dark Sky Reserve with our guests through small, private gatherings in a comfortable, intimate setting. Billion Star Dining starts with a seasonal 4 course tasting menu at Moraine Lodge followed by a stargazing experience at Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory for groups of 4 – 12 guests.

Date

By Arrangement

Time

7:30pm - 10:30pm

Location

Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory

Cost*

$270 per person

*All prices are shown in New Zealand dollars and include GST.

EVENT DETAILS

We created the Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory to share the beauty of the Dark Sky Reserve with our guests through small, private gatherings in a comfortable, intimate setting. Billion Star Dining starts with a 4 course, seasonal tasting menu at Moraine Lodge followed by a stargazing experience at Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory for groups of 2 – 12 guests.

MORAINE LODGE DINING. This unique experience, begins with a trust the chef style dinner at Moraine Lodge, a special event for people who love fresh and innovative cuisine. Dinner is followed by a fun and informative stargazing experience in the Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory.

PUKAKI WINE CELLAR AND OBSERVATORY. The purpose-built wine cellar and observatory began from the concept of an underground space. Its thick concrete walls maintain the cool temperature needed to cellar our wines, and the sitting area allows us to share drinks and nibbles with guests while we introduce the Southern sky and the spectacular stargazing experience to come.

The observatory itself features a retractable roof and 6-inch refractor telescope. When the roof recedes, the observatory walls frame a breathtaking window to the stars. Our telescope is capable of sighting the rings of Saturn and bands of Jupiter, as well as sparkling star clusters, nebula and planets. The telescope can also be used for astrophotography, for guests with an interest in night sky photography.

The Retreat’s setting in the heart of the Dark Sky Reserve makes it an ideal location for astrophotography.  Set up your camera under some of the clearest, darkest skies in the world, and be mesmerized by stars like many have never seen. On special nights you may also get a glimpse of the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis.

As part of our guided stargazing experience, we are able to help you learn basic techniques for how to take your own night sky images. Or, if you prefer, simply relax and enjoy stargazing, and we will take a photograph for you. This one-of-a-kind image of your party under the beautiful New Zealand night sky is the perfect keepsake to remember your journey.

We also offer deep space astrophotography using our observatory telescope. From the very first image we shot through the telescope of the Orion Nebula, we were in awe of the beauty of this colourful object sitting quietly in the Orion Constellation 1,344 light years away. Deep space astrophotography is a unique experience, a rare opportunity to venture into the past using a simple DSLR camera. Join us in the observatory and we will show you how to photograph nebula, star clusters and planets.

THE NITTY GRITTY.

Transport to the Retreat can be arranged upon request.

Minimum charge – 2 people. Stargazing is weather dependent, if the conditions aren’t suitable there is an alternative option for a reduced rate that can be offered if you would still like to experience the Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory and learn about the dark sky.  Alternatively, the night will proceed with dinner at $145.

Onsite accommodation is available in conjunction with this event – contact us for more details. Cash/eftpos bar available.

More Upcoming Events

Our upcoming events are featured below. Purchase your tickets to reserve your place, and feel free to contact us with any questions. And check back for more new events to be released throughout the year.

Gift Voucher

Gift Voucher

Date:By Arrangement

Time:By Arrangement

Location:Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat, 86 Mt Cook Road, Lake Pukaki

Celebrate any occasion with a gift voucher, whether you'd like to treat someone to stay in one of our luxury villas, fine dine in our Moraine Lodge, or spend a night under the stars in our Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory it's up to you.

Kiwi Christmas Dinner

Kiwi Christmas Dinner

Date:Monday 25 December

Time:4:00pm - 6:00pm

Location:Moraine Lodge

Celebrate Christmas Day with us and enjoy good food and company. Join us in our luxury Moraine Lodge and indulge in a 4-course Christmas dinner and complimentary glass of bubbles. 

Seasonal Photography

Seasonal Photography

Date:By Arrangement

Time:By Arrangement

Location:Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory, 86 Mt Cook Road, Lake Pukaki

An experienced photography guide will take you to the Retreat's most iconic spots and let you capture all of its beauty. Whether you have experience or are new to photography we would love to show you or teach you how to capture the beauty of the ever-changing Mackenzie landscape.

Billion Star Dining

Billion Star Dining

Date:By Arrangement

Time:7:30pm - 10:30pm

Location:Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory

We created the Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory to share the beauty of the Dark Sky Reserve with our guests through small, private gatherings in a comfortable, intimate setting. Billion Star Dining starts with a seasonal 4 course tasting menu at Moraine Lodge followed by a stargazing experience at Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory for groups of 4 – 12 guests.

Astrophotography

Astrophotography

Date:By Arrangement

Time:8pm in Winter | 9pm in Summer

Location:Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory, 86 Mt Cook Road, Lake Pukaki

Join us for a unique dark sky experience in our Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory. Not only will you witness and experience the Aoraki International Dark Sky Reserve, you will also be able to capture it with astrophotography. Enjoy several hours with an experienced astrophotograher who will help you take amazing photos of the dark sky.

Fine Dining at Moraine Lodge

Fine Dining at Moraine Lodge

Date:Bookings Essential

Time:7:30pm

Location:Moraine Lodge, 86 Mt Cook Road, Ben Ohau

We extend a warm welcome to day guests wishing to join us for a 4-course Fine Dining culinary experience at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat. This is a culinary journey inspired by the breath-taking beauty of the Mackenzie Region, Te Manahuna. Our multi-course, seasonal tasting menu is designed to showcase local produce and delicious flavours.

Tastes of Nature Cooking Demonstration and Lunch

Tastes of Nature Cooking Demonstration and Lunch

Date:By Arrangement

Time:By Arrangement

Location:Moraine Lodge

To dine at Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is to savour the tastes of nature. Let our private chefs show you how to select, prepare and present a seasonal menu with lots of versatility to add your own elements.

Stargazing at Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory

Stargazing at Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory

Date:Multiple

Time:Summer 9.30pm | Winter 8.30pm

Location:Pukaki Wine Cellar Observatory

Join us for a unique dark sky experience in the Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory. This is a fun, informative and unique experience where you will explore the universe in a small group setting with opportunities to take incredible photos of deep space objects.

Plan Your Celebration

If you’re searching for the perfect setting for your own celebration or special event, Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat will exceed your expectations in every way. To make your experience even more special, stay at the Retreat in our private luxury villas.

Your Event at the Retreat

Weddings at the Retreat

Stay in our Villas

Your Event

At the Retreat  →

Weddings

At The Retreat  →

Stay

In Our Villas  →

There are not enough superlatives in the dictionary to describe this experience….This gem is tucked away off the beaten track, but within close proximity to all of the highlights of the region. Sunsets and sunrise on the patio or from your room are stunning. Pair this magnificent location with the most beautiful of accommodation….The Retreat is impeccably decorated yet is inviting and comfortable. Third, add a dash of the most amazing hosts you could imagine. Such kind and lovely people. You are welcomed as an old friend would be. Fourth, in the evening take a look up to the sky and just try to turn away. Highly likely you have never seen a night sky like this before. The constellations and enormity of the cosmos are on full display at this dark sky sanctuary. Make sure to book the observatory viewing…beyond spectacular.

Chris S. Dallas, Texas
Chris S.