One of the highlights of going to Lake Tekapo in New Zealand is soaking in the hot pools at Tekapo Springs There's plenty of other activities there as well, including the ice skating rink and day spa. I recently paid a visit to Tekapo Springs and shot this photo overlooking the pools with the Milky Way rising in the starry sky above. It's quite amazing to sit there in the 36 degree celsius pool and look up at the night sky. If you ever get to Tekapo, I highly recommend it. For those who are interested, this image is a combination of 2 exposures - one for the foreground and the other for the night sky.

Tekapo Springs is launching star gazing at the clear sky location in new Zealand’s Mackenzie country.

The multi-award-winning South Island tourist attraction, renowned for its innovation and ongoing business investment, will take viewing the Southern night sky to whole new levels with the introduction of Tekapo Star Gazing.

Starting in March, the tours benefit from the fact that the tiny township of Tekapo sits within the world’s largest international dark sky reserve, only the fourth such reserve in the world. It incorporates a 40-minute guided night sky tour with trained astronomy and astrological guides followed by a 40-minute soak in the hot pools where guides will continue to give information.

“We’re thrilled to be opening after sourcing and putting our new telescopes in place as well as employing guides and training staff about our unique night skies,” said owner Karl Burtscher. “We’re always being asked about extending our night time operations, so this is the perfect way to do it.”