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
  Blue Mountains    Linden Observatory
  Sydney    Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory
  Sydney    Macquarie University Planetarium
  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    Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium
Queensland    Bundaberg    Alloway Observatory
  Charleville    Cosmos Centre and Observatory Charleville
  Kingaroy    Kingaroy Observatory
  Brisbane    The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
South Australia    Flinders Ranges    Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort
  Stockport    Stockport Observatory
  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
  Tooday    The Space Place Observatory & “Travelling Telescopes” (formerly Gingin Observatory)
  Perth    Perth Observatory




Bathurst Observatory Research Facility


They operate their 'Open Nights' public observatory tours on a regular basis. School groups and general public tours a speciality. They are 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.


Address: 624 Limekilns Road, Bathurst NSW 2795
Contact: Contact (02) 6337 3988, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.bathurstobservatory.com.au



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Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (Tidbinbilla)


The complex is located 35 km southwest of Canberra (Tourist Drive 5) and is a major link in NASA's Deep Space Network. Tidbinbilla sends and receives radio signals from distant spacecraft as they explore our Solar System and beyond. 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. A highlight is an actual Moon rock. The MoonRock Cafe and gift shop is available for 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: http://www.cdscc.nasa.gov/




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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 Dobsonian telescope. Due to a lack of local light pollution, the observatory enjoys the darkest sky in the Sydney region and is open on Saturday nights nearest to Last Quarter Moon. Visitors most welcome.


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



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CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope


The famous Parkes Observatory, 'The Dish', is located 20 km north of Parkes (just off the Newell Highway). This landmark radio telescope is over 50 years old, but still considered to be 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: http://www.csiro.au/parkes



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Darby Falls Observatory


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


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



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Dubbo Observatory


Dubbo's 'Star Attraction' is located next to the world renowned Western Plains Zoo. An entertaining presentation with live images of the Moon and planets are projected in our theatrette, followed by viewing of the planets, stars, and galaxies through up to six telescopes including our large 17" planewave telescope. Bring your SLR camera to take astrophotos through the 17" scope. There is a gift shop full of astronomy books and an 18 hole themed mini golf course including Stonehenge and Dr Who's Tardis. Astronomy for beginners course are also conducted.


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



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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 run 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 (voicemail) 0408 832 408, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.sasi.net.au



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Linden Observatory


WSAAG (Western Sydney Amateur Astronomy Group) holds observing Nights at Linden Observatory. These are usually held on Saturdays closest to the New Moon. Visits by members of the public are welcome but strictly by appointment only.


Address: 105 Glossop Road, Linden NSW 2778
Contact: For email, see web site.
Web: http://wsaag.org



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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, check web site for dates and status. Astronomy students will guide you with a range of telescopes.


Address: Macquarie University via Culloden Rd
Web: http://physics.mq.edu.au/community/observatory/



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Macquarie University Planetarium


Their Digitarium Epsilon planetarium projector system and portable 7m GoDome (see also entry under Mobile Planetariums, page xx) also run public sessions during the month, in the early evening, see website for details. Bookings are essential.


Address: Dept of Physics, Macquarie Uni NSW 2109
Web: http://physics.mq.edu.au/community/planetarium/



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Mudgee Observatory


Mudgee Observatory is located just outside the town of Mudgee NSW. A private observatory for the past ten years, it is now open to the general public, catering for school groups, organised tours and any member of the general public who wishes to attend. The observatory is situated 15 minutes drive to the west of Mudgee in a location of extremely dark skies away from the town lights and the lights of Ulan mines. The theatre and flat screen planetarium runs several features on the night sky and the Sun as well. A variety of telescopes and binoculars are available for visitors to use 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: http://www.mudgeeobservatory.com.au



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Port Macquarie Observatory


This facility, operated by the Port Macquarie Astronomical Association Inc, is situated in Rotary Park (opposite Town Beach) Port Macquarie.


Address: PO Box 1453, Port Macquarie NSW 2444
Contact: Contact Kevin Gallagher, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.pmobs.org.au



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Siding Spring Observatory


Siding Spring Observatory 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 3.9 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope and the 2.3 metre Advanced Technology Telescope. Organisations currently operating telescopes at Siding Spring include the Australian National University, the Australian Astronomical Observatory, the University of New South Wales, the University of North Carolina, Polish Academy of Sciences, Princeton University, iTelescope.Net, Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network. LCOGTN now have five telescopes operating at Siding Spring, a 2 metre, two advanced 1 metre telescopes and two 0.4 m telescopes, all of which are available for web based education and research work. iTelescope.Net have 20 telescopes housed at Siding Spring, and they operate a global network of telescopes available online to the public. The Australian National University's robotic survey telescope SkyMapper sits on the top of the Mountain, surveying the Southern Sky, while the remotely operated and robotic telescopes of the HAT-South network and Project Solaris search for planets around other stars. PROMPT, operated by UNC as part of SKYNET, searches the sky for Gamma Ray Bursts, the most powerful explosions in the universe, while the Korean Microlensing Telescope observes the faint flicker of objects moving between us and a faraway star, and there are still more telescopes to come over the next 12 months, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are to arrive in 2017.
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 café serving light meals, morning and afternoon teas, souvenir shop and an astronomy exhibit with displays, 3D movies and much more. From the Visitor Centre, there is access to the viewing gallery of the 3.9 m Anglo-Australian Telescope and special tours of the site can be organised on request for school and other groups.
StarFest, a celebration of astronomy and the observatory is held on the long weekend in October in conjunction with the Warrumbungle Festival of the Stars. More information can be found at www.starfest.org.au.


Address: 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: http://www.sidingspring.com.au



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Sydney Observatory


This historic observatory is situated near The Rocks on Observatory Hill, overlooking Sydney Harbour. It offers a Space Theatre, Digital planetarium, daytime telescope tours, fascinating historic and interactive displays and night telescope tours (which include stargazing through the observatory's telescopes). The planetarium is also used during wet weather at night. Reconstruction of the astrographic East dome with fully accessible DFM telescope was completed and opened in March 2015. Day tours are either the Space theatre or a planetarium show with a dome tour and solar viewing (weather permitting). Sydney Observatory is part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.


Address: 1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point NSW 2000
Contact: Contact (02) 9217 0111, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.maas.museum/Sydney-observatory



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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 of which are spaced along a 3 km track with the sixth a further 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: http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au



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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 (Canon, Nikon, Pentax) to take astrophotographs of star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. The observatory can be hired by the more serious amateur astronomer to take advantage of the 51 cm telescope and CCD for astrophotography and photometry. There are piers available for Meade and Celestron telescopes if amateurs wish to bring them along. The site also hosts remote observatories utilised by our Northern Hemisphere cousins and is part of the Sierra Stars Observatory Network providing quality data for customers around the world.


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



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Western Sydney University Penrith Observatory


The Western Sydney University Penrith Observatory is open to the public and runs public astronomy evenings, school and group programs. A visit can include listening to fascinating lectures on various aspects of astronomy, a 3D astronomy movie and viewing through a variety of telescopes. You can also come and listen to special lectures given by some of Australia's eminent and internationally recognised astronomers, physicists and engineers.


Address: Western Sydney University, Great Western Highway, Werrington North (Building AO)
Web: http://www.westernsydney.edu.au/observatorypenrith/penrith_observatory



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Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium


Operated by the University of Wollongong, this public science centre includes the BlueScope Steel Planetarium, observatory, laser light shows, extensive interactive exhibits, demonstration theatre (South32 Science Theatre), and a gift and resource shop. The Planetarium has a Zeiss ZKP3 star projector, laser projector and a full-dome projection system. The observatory houses a high quality computer controlled telescope which is used to observe the Sun and stars. The Science Shop has one of the most extensive ranges of science educational materials in Australia, including telescopes.


Address: Science Centre & Planetarium, 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: http://www.sciencecentre.com.au



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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 ACF telescope with CCD imaging using various astronomical cameras. The observatory opens to the public on Friday nights. Midweek opening also arranged for large groups.


Address: PO Box 4221, South Bundaberg Qld 4670
Contact: Contact Lonnie Smilas 0418 868 695, for email, see web site.
Web: http://alloway-observatory-bundaberg.webs.com



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Cosmos Centre and Observatory Charleville


The public observatory is located on Cunnamulla Rd, near the Charleville airport. The Centre includes an observatory for night viewing of the stars and planets. There is a general observatory session available, Introduction to the Night Sky, Aboriginal Night Sky Stories or a 1.5hr small and personalised session. Minimum numbers apply to all sessions
During the day the Sun Viewing sessions operate, using a solar telescope, Astronomy by Day includes a theatre presentation, seven interactive displays and two mini-talks - an update on dwarf planets and a meteorite talk where the collection is taken out of the cabinet for you to hold. Special programmes arranged for groups and schools. Bookings are essential for the Observatory, Small and Personal and Sun Viewing Sessions.


Address: PO Box 63 Charleville 4470
Contact: Contact (07) 4654 7771, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.cosmoscentre.com



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Kingaroy Observatory


Kingaroy Observatory (formerly known as the Maidenwell Observatory) is now located in Geoff Raph Drive at the Kingaroy airport — five minute drive from the town's CBD. Theirs night shows consist of a planetarium presentation of the skies in the 77 seat Star Theatre before stargazing session outside, under the dark, Mv6.3 night skies. Once seated on the 45 seat Observation Deck, owner/operator/astronomer James Barclay, points out various constellations and stars with his registered green laser pointer, whilst giving an ongoing commentray of what you're lookimg at.
Night shows begin at 7pm in the Autumn/Winter period and 7:30 pm during Spring and Summer. All shows run for two hours. They have three Meade LX200 GPS 14 inch telescopes on the observation deck. Minimum number for a night show is four adults or six pensioners.
They also conduct Day Shows where the Sun is projected from a Solar telescope and its colour video camera, onto a cinema screen in the air conditioned Star Theatre. You also get to see the latest Astro videos of the Space. Night show dates and prices are listed on their website, bookings are essential.


Address: 45 Geoff Raph Drive, Taabinga, (Kingaroy airport) Qld 4610
Contact: Contact (07) 4164 6194 or 0427 961 391, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.kingaroyobservatory.com



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The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium


This world class planetarium is located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha, at Toowong in Brisbane. Programs presented in the Cosmic Skydome have various themes and are projected onto the interior of a 12.5m dome. All shows include a current night sky tour recreated in the Skydome. The Planetarium is one of the most advanced and versatile planetariums in the Southern Hemisphere equipped with both a digital fulldome system and an optical star projector. The display areas contain astronomical and space items, while short videos and space news updates run in two small theatres. The shop has a wide range of astronomical and educational products, as well as souvenirs. The Planetarium observatory has a variety of telescopes and sessions must be pre-booked. School shows are also available during weekdays and are available to the public on a space-available basis.


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: http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planetarium/




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Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and Resort


Located in the heart of the northern Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola have a total of eleven Advanced Ecotourism accredited products including Ridgetop, Astronomy and Waterholes tours. There are also many guided and unguided bushwalks. They have three astronomical observatories offering two Celestron 360mm and three Meade Maksutov-Cassegrain computer assisted telescopes. There are also spare piers and wedges suitable for BYO telescopes and astrophotography/CCD equipment.


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



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Stockport Observatory


Owned and operated by the Astronomical Society of South Australia (ASSA), the observatory is located in the small town of Stockport (6km north-east of Hamley Bridge) approximately 80km north of Adelaide. It provides a convenient astronomical facility away from the light pollution which surrounds 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) 8338 1231, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.assa.org.au/facilities/stockport/



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The Heights Observatory


The Heights School Observatory is located at the Heights School, Modbury Heights, Adelaide. There are two main telescopes, 14" LX200ACF and research quality 12.5" RC OGS plus 60 mm and 40 mm Coronado solar scopes. Private bookings are accepted. Ph 8263 6244.


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




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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. General public sessions are held on the first and third Saturday of the month at 1 pm that combines a full dome movie with a condensed Night Sky session and a 2.45 pm one hour Night Sky Presentation session. Bookings essential.


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



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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: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au



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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 Christopher Fluke (school group enquiries) (03) 9214 5828 or Elizabeth Thackray (bookings) (03) 9214 5569, for email, see web site.
Web: http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/astrotour/



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Ballarat Municipal Observatory


The observatory has several historic telescopes including the Jelbart (a 125mm refractor), the Oddie (a 220 mm Newtonian), the Baker Great Equatorial Telescope (a 650mm Newtonian, commissioned in 1886) and a 300mm Newtonian. The Adcock-Federation telescope (406mm Cassegrain-Springfield) has disabled-access. Observatory open Tuesday to Saturday. Bookings essential. See website for open times and calendar of events. Astrotour 3D Movies are available in conjunction with Swinburne University of Technology.


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: http://observatory.ballarat.net



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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: http://www.discovery.asn.au



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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: http://museumvictoria.com.au/planetarium/



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Mount Burnett Observatory


Visitors are most welcome at MBO, individuals and families wanting to look through our 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. To enquire about the next available date or to book please email or phone.


Address: 420 Paternoster Road, Mt Burnett, VIC 3781
Contact: Contact Mount Burnett Observatory hotline 0490 130 153, for email, see web site.
Web: http://mtburnettobservatory.org/index.php/visit




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Astro Tours of the Kimberley


Broome's Astronomy Experience is a 2-hour educational and entertaining mind bender using big telescopes and lasers at an open bush site under dark skies. They operate in Broome from April to November running shows for the general public, schools, community and corporate groups six nights a week. Greg Quicke's Astro Tours is also a Facebook Page.


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



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GDC Observatory


The GDC Observatory is part of the Gravity Precinct and shares this special piece of pristine bushland with the Gravity Discovery Centre, AIGO research centre and the famous Zadko Telescope enabling visitors to experience science in an extraordinary number of ways. The observatory boasts professional staff, a fully retractable roof, four state of the art telescopes plus the largest telescope for public viewing in WA. Add to this the amazing WA dark skies giving visitors a world class astronomy experience. Special events such as our Monster Telescope Nights, Indigenous Astronomy Nights and our Specialised Astronomy Sessions, will keep you coming back. Located about an hours drive north of Perth, its well away from any light pollution.


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



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The Space Place Observatory & “Travelling Telescopes” (formerly Gingin Observatory)


The observatory moved from Gingin late 2015. See their web site for information.


Address: 163 Howard Rd, Julimar WA 6567
PO Box 1216, Toodyay WA 6566
Contact: Contact (08) 9574 2295, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.thespaceplace.com.au



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Perth Observatory


The Perth Observatory is situated in the Darling Ranges about 25 km east of Perth CBD and 15 minutes from the town of Kalamunda. The observatory is WA's oldest and has a long tradition of public outreach. This provides opportunities for a wide variety of night and daytime tours. The public outreach program is managed by the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group Inc on behalf of the Department of Parks and Wildlife. Tours can be booked online through their web site.


Address: 337 Walnut Road, Bickley WA 6076
End of Walnut Road in Bickley, WA, 15 minutes east of Kalamunda.
Contact: Contact (08) 9293 8255, Fax (08) 9293 8138, for email, see web site.
Web: http://www.perthobservatory.com.au



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