About Earth & Sky

Our company mission statement is this:

"To better understand the nature of the universe we live in by experiencing the earth and sky through research, education and environmental appreciation."

The breathtaking night sky over Tekapo is unique and utterly unforgettable, so we urge you to experience it for yourself. Earth & Sky's uniquely gifted and talented Guides present the mind-boggling astronomical facts in an entertaining and informative way, giving you the knowledge to interpret what you are seeing, taking this unique experience to a whole new level of awe and wonder.

Meet some of our Staff

Margaret Munro — General Manager
marg_bio
I started with Earth & Sky in 2008 and I have seen the company rapidly flourish. It's a delight to lead a company that is so unique and to have a team of staff that is international, amazingly up-beat and intellectual. We are very fortunate with what nature has provided us to work with — from the most dramatic daytime scenery which delights our visitors at the Astro Café on the summit of Mt. John to the most pristine clear and dark skies during the evenings. I invite all those who have an interest in 'anything' astronomy-related to come along and join one of our night tours and get in touch with the wonders of our universe. Earth & Sky has an exciting future ahead of it and with the passion of the team we are determined to see the company grow into a tourism activity that will be a must-do for every person who comes to the Mackenzie area.

Chris Monson — Astronomy Guide & Assistant Manager
chris_bio2
I'm a native of Phoenix, Arizona, USA though in the last decade I've called such varied locations as Honduras, Japan, and New Zealand home. I graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy before going on to earn a biology degree and anthropology minor from Kenyon College. Passionate about science, education, Asian studies, backpacking, international travel, and the bagpipes, I ventured off to serene Lake Tekapo to join the Earth & Sky team as an astronomy manager/guide in 2008. I fell in love with astronomy at the tender age of eight when the Celestron 4" refractor I received for Christmas dwarfed me in size and the concepts of astrophysics were nearly as baffling as girls. Lake Tekapo's brilliant skies, but most importantly Earth & Sky's warmth and vision provided me the perfect opportunity to share this enthusiasm with the general public. Some past acquaintances (undoubtedly my high school calculus teacher) probably see astronomy education as "light years" removed from what they imagined me pursuing, but as I often say, "There's an astronomer in each and every one of us just dying to get out." My greatest joy would be to help you find that astronomer within.

Andrew Davies — Astronomy Guide & Specialist Equipment Manager
andrew_bio
I grew up in Christchurch and studied Biochemistry at the University of Canterbury, although my scientific interests have always been broad. Perhaps that's why I took the opportunity to study an astronomy course as a student, and why (with biochemistry jobs for new graduates then rather scarce) I applied to work at Earth & Sky for a summer job. That summer job has so far stretched out to over two years, and I'm still finding there's plenty I want to do here. I love fixing things, playing around with telescopes and other cool technology, and most of all lying back and staring at a clear moonless sky.

Kristian Wilson — Astronomy Guide & Marketing Manager
kristian_bio
I have always loved looking at the stars and will always have a fascination with the unknown. Combining an interest in space with a degree in Physics, I never thought I could become an Astronomer in such a place like New Zealand. Yet Mount John Observatory, I believe, is the best place in the world to look up and admire our collective place in the Universe. I am overjoyed to share my understanding of what is above us, with those from around the world. I am thrilled to keep coming back to stargaze, as no two nights are the same. Mount John is such a picturesque place in all seasons; I enjoy returning every day and every night to see what has changed. I pinch myself when people tell me that not only is this the most beautiful place they have visited in New Zealand, but also that I have a dream job. The things I enjoy the most about my work are the green laser pointers that we use to illustrate the night sky, seeing stars and planets in the daytime with the help of our telescopes, and the warmth and friendliness of my co-workers. You can follow Kristian's philosophical musings on space-related topics in his Blog.

Matt Hall — Operations Manager, Project Manager and Health & Safety Officer
matt_hall_bio
Earth & Sky is a great company to work for, the team here in Tekapo has kept me coming back to work here on and off for the last six years. Being able to share the southern night sky with everyone from around the world is a great experience. I've been lucky to have known the night sky that we have here in Lake Tekapo my entire life, so having the opportunity to share it with other people is fantastic. The best thing about working for Earth & Sky is getting kids excited about the stars, they have no fear in asking a question, and most of the time they ask the question everyone is thinking but is too afraid to ask! And not to mention it's a fantastic conversation starter on a long ride up to the top of a ski lift when people ask me what I do in Tekapo.

Maki Yanagimachi — Astronomy Guide & Astrophotographer
Maki_bio
Having grown up in Tokyo, I'm still overwhelmed by the beauty and warmth of my new home away from home — Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. Without a doubt I'm one of the lucky few who can additionally call Mt. John Observatory and all the exciting possibilities it has to offer, my professional "playground." I vividly recall my first night in Tekapo just simply marvelling at the beautiful night sky, and through my work as an astrophotographer and guide over the last two years I have endeavored to get visitors from all over the world, to at some level, to also experience the profound nature and beauty of all that is above... My sincere hope is that more and more visitors will be inspired to explore and learn about astronomy through our Earth & Sky Tours. As my expertise is photography, I always want to remind folks of this other "way" in which to capture and expose the wonders of the universe. For anyone with a suitably equipped camera, I eagerly await the opportunity to welcome you along with my friendly colleagues to Mt. John Observatory and assist you in unlocking the numerous mysteries revealed through a lens.

Earth & Sky Ltd., P.O. Box 112, Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand.
E-mail:

Phone: +64 (0)3 6806960   Fax: +64 (0)3 6806950


Return to Top of Page