Some facts about BPO Benmore Peak Observatory is sited between 1,800m and 1,932m asl on the summit plateau of the Benmore Range in New Zealand's Mackenzie Basin. Winters in the Mackenzie Basin are generally considered to be ideal for astronomical activities, when the nights are very long (up to 14 hours or more in June), and the weather is usually settled for long periods. Summer brings short nights and, usually, a brief "rainy season", typically from December through January. The remainder of the summer season is generally warm, dry and clear. Depending upon prevailing atmospheric conditions, the BPO site regularly and often experiences a sky darkness equalling those described by Bortle's scale as being of Class 1. To date, the darkest reading obtained from the BPO site with a Unihedron SQM-LE is 22.02 magnitudes/arcsecond▓. The nearest significant city, Dunedin, population 120,000, is 165 kilometres SSE, while Timaru, a large town with a population of 27,000 people, is 90 kilometres due east of the observatory, and the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch, with a population of approximately 250,000, is 225 kilometres ENE. There are numerous mountain ranges between BPO and these localities. Aside from scattered farms and dwellings, there are four small settlements within the Mackenzie Basin. (Omarama, Twizel, Mount Cook, and Lake Tekapo villages.) Total permanent Mackenzie Basin inhabitants usually number fewer than 2,000. The prevailing wind in the area of Benmore Peak is from the west. It commonly occurs in the months of spring, and occasionally sometimes during autumn. A warm and dry f÷hn wind from the norwest clears residual snow from the mountain during the spring, but neither wind usually exceeds 50-60 kph. Seasonal temperatures extremes on the mountain can range between -20 °C and +20 °C. The diurnal variation tends to be minor. It is not uncommon for the relative humidity levels to fall below 10% for extended periods. Although snow can and does fall at any time throughout the year, most occurs in the early winter period. Typically, the accumulated snowbase rarely exceeds a depth of one metre and is generally absent from late October to early May. Rain is relatively uncommon at the observatory site, with precipitation usually occurring only in the form of snow, or moisture condensing directly from summit cloud, usually during high summer (December to February). Cloud cover tends to be greatest during the brief summer wet season, and is below the level of the observatory for much of the rest of the year, usually as a result of inversions which commonly extend over the Mackenzie basin. Fog, low cloud, dust, pollen and most other types of pollutants are generally kept at a level below the BPO site as a result. Physical access to the site is often difficult. The track is long, rough, and steep, and not suited to the faint-of-heart. Unfortunately it does attract wannabe action heroes, so restrictions are in force. As well as from BPO staff, permission to access the track must be gained from two other private landowners, or legal consequences will result. The Benmore Range is classified as being both an Outstanding Landscape Area and an Area of National Significance. The apparent desolation of the summit plateau belies the delicate and fragile nature of the site. Protecting it and preventing damage is a high priority. Drivers must keep to the defined track and designated parking areas at all times, with no exceptions. Smoking, and the consumption of alcohol, is not permitted under any circumstances. BPO is a very long way from assistance should fire or medical emergencies occur. Would-be visitors who suffer from serious medical conditions are strongly advised to seek alternative venues, such as Mount John University Observatory. Visitors must accept these rules, and that the observatory cannot be held responsible for any misadventure, in any way. Failure to comply by any visitor will result in their immediate removal from the site.