Quasar Publishing

Places of Astronomical Interest

Following is a list of places of astronomical interest. These facilities cater to the public with tours and/or displays.

State Area Facility
New South Wales & ACT    Bathurst    Bathurst Observatory Research Facility
  Canberra    Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (Tidbinbilla)
  Blue Mountains    Crago Observatory
  Parkes    CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope
  Cowra    Darby Falls Observatory
  Dubbo    Dubbo Observatory
  Sydney    Green Point Observatory
  Sydney    Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory
  Sydney    Macquarie University Planetarium
  Coonabarabran    Milroy Observatory
  Mudgee    Mudgee Observatory
  Port Macquarie    Port Macquarie Observatory
  Coonabarabran    Siding Spring Observatory
  Sydney    Sydney Observatory
  Narrabri    The Australia Telescope Compact Array - Narrabri
  Coonabarabran    Warrumbungle Observatory
  West Sydney    Western Sydney University Penrith Observatory
  Wollongong    Science Space
Queensland    Bundaberg    Alloway Observatory
  Charleville    Charleville Cosmos Centre And Observatory
  Brisbane    The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
  Springbrook    Springbrook Mountain Observatory
South Australia    Flinders Ranges    Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort
  Stockport    Stockport Observatory
  south of Adelaide    The Backyard Universe
  Adelaide    The Heights Observatory
  Adelaide    University of South Australia, Adelaide Planetarium
Tasmania    Launceston    Launceston Planetarium
Victoria    Melbourne    AstroTours Swinburne
  Ballarat    Ballarat Municipal Observatory
  Bendigo    Bendigo Planetarium @ Discovery
  Melbourne    Melbourne Planetarium
  Melbourne    Mount Burnett Observatory
Western Australia    Broome    Astro Tours of the Kimberley
  Yeal    GDC Observatory
  Perth    Perth Observatory




Bathurst Observatory Research Facility


They operate their 'Open Nights' public observatory tours on a regular basis, catering for school groups and the general public. The facility is also dedicated to meteorite research and the meteorite collection is open by request. Information on tour dates and times can be found on the web site. They also have a Facebook page.


Contact: For email, see web site.
Web: Bathurst Obs



Back to Contents


Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (Tidbinbilla)


The complex is located 35 km southwest of Canberra and is a major link in NASA's Deep Space Network. Tidbinbilla sends and receives radio signals from distant spacecraft in our Solar System. The centrepiece is the 70-metre antenna, the largest in Australia. The Visitor Centre incorporates audio/visual presentations, exhibits, models and images from the spacecraft including an actual Moon rock. The Cafe and gift shop sells meals and souvenirs.


Address: Discovery Drive (off Paddy's River Rd), Tidbinbilla
Contact: Contact Korinne McDonnell (02) 6201 7809, (02) 6201 7838, for email, see web site.
Web: www.cdscc.nasa.gov/




Back to Contents


Crago Observatory


This observatory is operated by the Astronomical Society of NSW. It is located on Bowen Mountain near North Richmond (northwest of Sydney). It houses a 40 cm telescope. The observatory enjoys the darkest sky in the Sydney region and is open on Saturday nights nearest to Last Quarter Moon. Visitors most welcome. Status updates for weather will be posted on the Facebook page around 4 pm on observing nights.


Address: Burralow Fire Trail, Bowen Mountain
Contact: Contact Paul Hatchman 0413 047 782, for email, see web site.
Web: www.asnsw.com/crago/index.html




Back to Contents


CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope


The Parkes Observatory is located 20 km north of Parkes (just off the Newell Highway). This landmark radio telescope is over 50 years old, but still considered one of the best single dish radio telescopes in the world. As well as a great view of the telescope, the visitors centre has displays and a 3D Theatre. There is also the Dish Cafe and a picnic area with free gas barbecues. Souvenirs and educational material are available.


Address: CSIRO Parkes radio telescope, Newell Hwy (PO Box 276), Parkes NSW 2870
Contact: Contact (02) 6861 1777, for email, see web site.
Web: www.csiro.au/parkes



Back to Contents


Darby Falls Observatory


The observatory is located on Observatory Road (off the road to Mt. McDonald) Darby Falls, Cowra, Bookings are essential.


Address: 23 Observatory Road, Darbys Falls, NSW 2793
Contact: Contact Mark Monk (02) 6345 1900.



Back to Contents


Dubbo Observatory


Dubbo's 'Star Attraction' is located next to the Western Plains Zoo. Sky presentations are projected in their theatrette, followed by viewing through their telescopes including a large 17". Bring your SLR camera to take astrophotos through this scope or over the internet with their CCD camera.


Address: 17L Camp Rd, Dubbo NSW 2830
Contact: Contact 0488 425 940.
Web: www.tenbyobservatory.com/dubbo_observatory



Back to Contents


Green Point Observatory


The observatory is operated by the Sutherland Astronomical Society (SAS) in Sydney. The building houses 41 cm and 35 cm telescopes. Visitors are welcome any Thursday night, with guest speakers on the 1st Thursday of the month. The society also runs regular open nights for the general public.


Address: Cnr Green Point & Caravan Head Roads, Oyster Bay (PO Box 31, Sutherland NSW 1499)
Contact: Contact secretary by email, for email, see web site.
Web: www.sasi.net.au



Back to Contents


Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory


Located on the Macquarie University campus at North Ryde, this observatory is open to the public on various nights (unless raining) for several months during the year, see website for dates and status. Astronomy students will guide you with a range of telescopes.


Address: Macquarie University via Culloden Rd
Web: goto.mq/observatory



Back to Contents


Macquarie University Planetarium


The Digitarium Epsilon planetarium projector system and portable GoDome (see also entry under Mobile Planetariums, page xx) also run public sessions during some schoool holidays, see website for details. Bookings are essential.


Address: Dept of Physics, Macquarie Uni NSW 2109
Web: goto.mq/planetarium



Back to Contents


Milroy Observatory


Milroy Observatory at Coonabarabran has the largest publicly available telescope as well as a number of others for their evening stargazing sessions. They cater for the public, amateurs and professionals. Please call to make a booking.


Address: Morrisseys Rd (off Baradine Rd), Coonabarabran NSW
Contact: Contact 0428 288 244, for email, see web site.
Web: www.milroyobservatory.com.au




Back to Contents


Mudgee Observatory


Mudgee Observatory caters for school groups, organised tours and the general public. The observatory is situated 15 mins west of Mudgee. The theatre and flat screen planetarium runs features on the night sky and the Sun. A variety of telescopes and binoculars are available for visitors as well as conducted tours of the night sky. Bookings are essential.


Address: 961 Old Grattai Rd Mudgee NSW 2850
Contact: Contact (02) 6373 3431, 0428 560 039, for email, see web site.
Web: www.mudgeeobservatory.com.au



Back to Contents


Port Macquarie Observatory


This observatory is operated by the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association Inc. It is open to the public on Wednesday and Sunday nights for viewing through the telescope (weather permitting) and a presentation. See their website for opening hours and events and follow them on Facebook for current news and updates.


Address: 1A Steward Street, Port Macquarie NSW 2444
Contact: For email, see web site.
Web: www.pmobs.org.au



Back to Contents


Siding Spring Observatory


Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) is Australia's premier optical astronomy research facility and is home to telescopes from many organisations within Australia and around the world. These include Australia's two largest optical telescopes, the Australian National University's 3.9 metre Anglo Australian Telescope and the 2.3 metre Advanced Technology Telescope. Examples of international organisations include: the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, iTelescope.Net (the public global online network), the robotic telescopes of HAT-South, Project Solaris (searching for exoplanets), PROMPT (SKYNET) looking for Gamma Ray Bursts and the Korean Microlensing Telescope.
Siding Spring nestles into the Warrumbungle mountains at the entrance to the Warrumbungle National Park, 30 minutes west of Coonabarabran. The Visitor Centre includes a cafe serving light meals, souvenir shop and an astronomy exhibit. From the Visitor Centre there is access to the viewing gallery of the 3.9 m AAT and special tours can be organised on request for groups, information can be found on their website. StarFest is a celebration of astronomy at SSO every October long weekend, more information on the web.


Address: 418 Observatory Rd, Coonabarabran NSW 2357
Contact: Contact Amanda Wherrett (Public enquiries and tour information, Outreach Officer) (02) 6842 6363, for email, see web site.
Web: www.sidingspring.com.au




Back to Contents


Sydney Observatory


This historic observatory is situated near The Rocks on Observatory Hill, overlooking Sydney Harbour. It offers a variety of tours and displays. See website for details. Sydney Observatory is part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.


Address: 1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point NSW 2000
Web: www.maas.museum/Sydney-observatory



Back to Contents


The Australia Telescope Compact Array - Narrabri


The Australia Telescope operates in the radio region of the spectrum. It uses high technology to combine the signals from a number of dishes, to obtain the performance of a single theoretical dish a number of kilometres in diameter. The Compact Array is located at CSIRO's Paul Wild Observatory near Narrabri. It consists of six 22 m dishes, five spaced along a 3 km track with a sixth 3 km to the west. From the visitor's centre there are great views of the dishes, displays and video presentations.


Address: 1828 Yarrie Lake Road, Narrabri NSW 2390
Web: www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au



Back to Contents


Warrumbungle Observatory


The observatory is located at Coonabarabran and is open to the public for night viewing through a number of telescopes. Visitors are encouraged to bring DSLR cameras for astrophotography. The observatory can be hired by amateurs to take advantage of the 51 cm telescope and CCD for imaging and photometry. Piers are available for Meade and Celestron telescopes. The site also hosts remote controlled telescopes for Northern Hemisphere observers and is part of the Sierra Stars Observatory Network.


Address: 841 Timor Rd, Coonabarabran NSW 2357
Contact: Contact Peter Starr 0488 425 112, for email, see web site.
Web: www.tenbyobservatory.com



Back to Contents


Western Sydney University Penrith Observatory


The Western Sydney University Penrith Observatory runs public astronomy nights, public hands-on workshops, private school and group programs. A visit can include listening to lectures on various aspects of astronomy, a 3D astronomy movie and viewing through a variety of telescopes.


Address: Building AO, Western Sydney University Werrington North Campus, Great Western Highway, Werrington 2747
Web: www.westernsydney.edu.au/observatory



Back to Contents


Science Space


Operated by the University of Wollongong, this public science centre includes the full dome planetarium, an observatory, exhibits and a gift and resource shop. The planetarium has the latest immersive full-dome technology. The observatory houses a telescope used to observe the Sun and stars. The Science Shop has a range of educational materials and telescopes.


Address: Science Space, Innovation Campus, 60 Squires Way, North Wollongong 2500
Contact: Contact (02) 4286 5000 (option 2), Fax (02) 4283 6665, for email, see web site.
Web: www.sciencespace.com.au



Back to Contents


Alloway Observatory


The observatory, situated approximately 6 km south of Bundaberg, is operated by the Bundaberg Astronomical Society. The 6 metre dome houses a 480 mm Newtonian telescope and a 12 inch Meade telescope with CCD imaging. The observatory opens to the public on the 1st Friday of the month weather permitting and other nights can also be arranged for large groups. XX Mark Sugars 0409 697 734, email Mac Jonson on macsen2@yahoo.com or ph 07 4153 6469 XX


Address: PO Box 4221, South Bundaberg Qld 4670
Contact: Contact Mark Sugars 0409 697 734, for email, see web site.
Web: alloway-observatory-bundaberg.webs.com



Back to Contents


Charleville Cosmos Centre And Observatory


The Charleville Cosmos Centre and public observatory is located on the airport precinct off the Cunnamulla Rd. They offer general night-time observing sessions and longer personalised observing sessions. During the day the centre is open and conducts several activities including Sun Viewing through a solar telescope, and Astronomy by Day which includes interactive displays and presentations in the Outback Stargazing Theatre. Guides also give presentations on meteorites from their Cosmos Centre collection several times per day. The planetarium is a new product on offer and available for sessions throughout the day and also offers a night sky option on a cloudy night. Special programmes can be arranged for groups and schools ((07) 4654 2787).


Address: 1 Milky Way (Off Qantas Drive) Charleville 4470
Contact: Contact (07) 4654 7771, for email, see web site.
Web: www.cosmoscentre.com




Back to Contents


The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium


This world class planetarium is located at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha, at Toowong in Brisbane. Programs are presented in their Cosmic Skydome. All shows include a current night sky tour recreated in the dome. The Planetarium upgraded its digital projection system in 2019 and can now recreate the observable universe at 7K resolution with many more astronomical features available. The display areas contain astronomical and space items including a large display concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander astronomy. The shop has educational products and souvenirs. Telescope sessions must be pre-booked. School shows are also available during weekdays and are available to the public on a space-available basis. Open Tuesday to Sunday (open on Monday during Qld school holidays).


Address: Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Rd, Toowong Qld 4066
Contact: Contact (07) 3403 2578, for email, see web site.
Web: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planetarium/




Back to Contents


Springbrook Mountain Observatory


Springbrook National Park is high in the McPherson Range, and the observatory is located 700m above sea level away from light pollution. The drive from Surfers Paradise is only 45 minutes. Holiday accommodation is available on the mountain for up to 10, or a single or couple on site.
They are open to the general public, astronomical groups, schools, and researchers by appointment. This facility houses a number of telescopes for night time viewing. See website or contact them on Facebook for details.


Address: 2337 Springbrook Road, Springbrook Qld 4213
Web: www.springbrookobservatory.com.au



Back to Contents


Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort


Located in the heart of the northern Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola has a total of eleven Advanced Ecotourism accredited products including Ridgetop, Astronomy and Waterholes tours. There are also many guided and unguided bushwalks. They have observatories offering two Celestron and three Meade computer assisted telescopes. There are also spare piers and wedges suitable for BYO telescopes.


Address: Private Bag 106, Port Augusta SA 5710
Contact: Contact (08) 8648 4848, Fax (08) 8648 4846, for email, see web site.
Web: www.arkaroola.com.au



Back to Contents


Stockport Observatory


Owned and operated by the Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA), the observatory is located in the small town of Stockport, approximately 80 km north of Adelaide. Public star parties are held at Stockport in February, May, August and November. See web site for details.


Address: Observatory Road, Stockport SA 5410
Contact: Contact ASSA Info Line (08) 8261 3354, for email, see web site.
Web: www.assa.org.au/facilities/stockport/



Back to Contents


The Backyard Universe


The Backyard Universe does a fun and educational multicultural tour of the night sky with a laser pointer, together with views through our telescopes of many objects in our wonderful southern skies. Scheduled 90 minute public tours operate at venues south of Adelaide, see website for details. Also available for school and private group tours. Bookings are essential.


Contact: For email, see web site.
Web: www.thebackyarduniverse.com.au



Back to Contents


The Heights Observatory


The Heights School Observatory is located at the Heights School, Modbury Heights, Adelaide. There are two main telescopes, a 14" and a research quality 12.5" plus two Coronado solar scopes. Private bookings are accepted. Ph (08) 8263 6244.


Address: Brunel Drive, Modbury Heights
Contact: Contact Andrew Cool, for email, see web site.
Web: www.theheights.sa.edu.au/observatory.html




Back to Contents


University of South Australia, Adelaide Planetarium


The Adelaide Planetarium is open seven days a week by appointment for group and private bookings. Adult education courses are held throughout the year along with school holiday programs. See website for session times and other information. Bookings essential.


Address: University of South Australia, Building P, Mawson Lakes Campus
Contact: Contact (08) 8302 3138, for email, see web site.
Web: www.unisa.edu.au/planetarium/



Back to Contents


Launceston Planetarium


The Launceston Planetarium is at the Queen Victoria Museum's Inveresk site. See their web site for details of shows.


Address: Queen Victoria Museum, 2 Invermay Road Launceston Tas 7250
Contact: Contact (03) 6323 3777.
Web: www.qvmag.tas.gov.au



Back to Contents


AstroTours Swinburne


The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology is offering public 3D tours through the Universe in the Virtual Reality theatre during school holidays. AstroTour sessions can also be booked for school groups (Years 3 - 12) throughout the year.


Address: The Virtual Reality theatre is located on the ground floor of the AR building in room AR104, Hawthorn campus, Swinburne University of Technology.
Contact: Contact Dr Rebecca Allen, for email, see web site.
Web: astronomy.swin.edu.au/astrotour/



Back to Contents


Ballarat Municipal Observatory


The observatory has several historic telescopes including the Jelbart (125 mm refractor), the Oddie (220 mm Newtonian), the Baker Great Equatorial Telescope (650 mm Newtonian) and a 300 mm Newtonian. The Adcock-Federation telescope (406 mm) has disabled-access. Observatory open Tuesday to Saturday. Bookings essential. See website for open times and calendar of events


Address: 439 Cobden Street, Mount Pleasant, Vic 3352
PO Box 284 Ballarat 3353
Contact: Contact open hours (03) 5332 7526 or after hours for bookings 0429 199 312, for email, see web site.
Web: observatory.ballarat.net



Back to Contents


Bendigo Planetarium @ Discovery


Part of the Discovery Science and Technology Centre, see web site for details.


Address: Discovery Science and Technology Centre
7 Railway Place Bendigo
Contact: Contact (03) 5444 4400, for email, see web site.
Web: www.discovery.asn.au



Back to Contents


Melbourne Planetarium


This is Australia's first digital planetarium and is at Scienceworks in Spotswood. The theatre seats 150 and produces shows for all ages. The planetarium is open seven days a week from 10 am, see website for details.


Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood Vic 3015
Web: museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/



Back to Contents


Mount Burnett Observatory


New members are most welcome. Individuals and families wanting to look through their telescopes can join in one of their Public Viewing Nights. These run approximately once a month subject to the weather. They are very popular and must be pre-booked. Email or phone for further details. In addition to weekly members nights they have regular Young Observers, Deep Sky, Radio Astronomy and Astrophotography sessions. Also a new AstroArts group!


Address: 420 Paternoster Road, Mt Burnett, VIC 3781
Contact: Contact Mount Burnett Observatory hotline 0490 665 004, for email, see web site.
Web: mbo.org.au


Web:Also on twitter @mbobservatory


Back to Contents


Astro Tours of the Kimberley


Broome's Astronomy Experience is a two hour live performance educational and entertaining experience using big telescopes under dark skies. It operates in Broome from April to October a number of times a week according to the schedule and booking facility found on the website. Bookings essential. Greg Quicke, aka #spacegandalf, is a BBC and ABC TV presenter for Stargazing Live with Professor Brian Cox and other astronomy related programs.


Address: PO Box 2537 Broome WA 6725
Contact: Contact Greg Quicke 0417 949 958, for email, see web site.
Web: www.astrotours.net



Back to Contents


GDC Observatory


The Gravity Discovery Centre Observatory is part of the Gravity Precinct and shares its bushland with the AIGO research centre and the Zadko Telescope and the USAFA Falcon Telescope Network. The observatory boasts professional staff and five telescopes including the largest for public viewing in WA. Events include their Monster Telescope, Indigenous Astronomy and specialised astronomy sessions. Located under dark skies, it is an hours drive north of Perth.


Address: 1098 Military Road, Yeal 6503
Contact: Contact (08) 9575 7577 (Office).
Web: www.gravitycentre.com.au/observatory



Back to Contents


Perth Observatory


Perth Observatory is situated in the stunning Perth Hills, an easy 40 minutes drive (35km) east of Perth. It is Western Australia's oldest astronomical institution, possessing a long tradition of research and public outreach. Now solely operated by the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group, the Observatory provides a wide range of night and daytime (including school) tours and activities. It also offers a star adoption program and conducts offsite events throughout the state. Visit their website for tour bookings and further information or contact by phone or email.


Address: 337 Walnut Road, Bickley WA 6076
End of Walnut Road in Bickley, WA, 15 minutes east of Kalamunda.
Contact: Contact (08) 9293 8255, for email, see web site.
Web: www.perthobservatory.com.au



Back to Contents