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

Note: The places listed here may be affected by pandemic restrictions. See their websites or contact for details.

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
  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 Astronomical Observatory
  Wollongong    Science Space
  Coonabarabran    Siding Spring Observatory
  Sydney    Sydney Observatory
  Narrabri    The Australia Telescope Compact Array – Narrabri
  Tamworth    Astronomy and Science Centre (Tamworth)
  West Sydney    Western Sydney University Penrith Observatory
 
Queensland    Bundaberg    Alloway Observatory
  Charleville    Charleville Cosmos Centre And Observatory
  Springbrook    Springbrook Mountain Observatory
  Brisbane    The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
 
South Australia    Stockport    Stockport Observatory
  south of Adelaide    The Backyard Universe
  Adelaide    The Heights Observatory
      The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve
  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. Regular updates are also on their facebook page.

Contact:

Web: www.bathurstobservatory.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathurstObservatory

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Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (Tidbinbilla)

The Complex, located 35 km southwest of Canberra, is a major link in NASA’s Deep Space Network and is managed on their behalf by CSIRO. The facility provides two-way radio communication with distant robotic spacecraft exploring the Solar System and beyond. The centrepiece is the 70-metre antenna dish, the largest in Australia. The Visitor Centre incorporates audio/visual presentations, exhibits, models and images from spacecraft and includes a real Moon rock. Enjoy a meal at the Deep Space Cafe. The gift shop is open for space themed items and souvenirs.

Address: Discovery Drive (off Paddy’s River Rd), Tidbinbilla
Contact: Korinne McDonnell (02) 6201 7809, (02) 6201 7838

Web: www.cdscc.nasa.gov/
Facebook: facebook.com/CanberraDSN

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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 55 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: Paul Hatchman 0413 047 782

Web: www.asnsw.com/crago/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CragoObs/

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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: (02) 6861 1777

Web: www.csiro.au/parkes

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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: 0488 425 940

Web: www.dubboobservatory.com

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Green Point Observatory

The observatory is operated by the Sutherland Astronomical Society Inc (SASI) 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. Please contact the secretary by email before your visit. The society also runs regular open nights for the general public.

Address: Cnr Green Point & Caravan Head Roads, Oyster Bay
Contact: secretary by email

Web: www.sasi.net.au

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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, see website for dates and status. Astronomy students will guide you with a range of telescopes.

Address: Macquarie University via Culloden Rd
Contact: , see website
Web: goto.mq/observatory

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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 school holidays, see website for details. Bookings are essential.

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

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Milroy Observatory

Milroy Observatory at Coonabarabran operates nightly stargazing sessions with Donna the Astronomer on most clear nights. They cater for the general public, groups of amateur astronomers or school groups. Please call to make a booking.

Address: 20 Morrisseys Rd (off Baradine Rd), Coonabarabran NSW
Contact: 0428 288 244
or message on Facebook
Web: www.donnatheastronomer.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/milroyCoonabarabran

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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: (02) 6373 3431, 0428 560 039

Web: www.mudgeeobservatory.com.au

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Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory

The Port Macquarie Astronomical Association is open to the public Friday and Sunday nights and also on Wednesday nights during school holidays. For further information visit their website. Bookings are under the Open Nights tab through trybooking.

Address: 1A Steward Street, Port Macquarie NSW 2444
Contact:

Web: portastronomy.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/portobservatory

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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: (02) 4286 5000 (option 2)

Web: www.sciencespace.com.au

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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. 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
Web: www.sidingspring.com.au
Web: www.starfest.org.au

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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
Contact:

Web: 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 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
Contact: , see website
Web: www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au

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Astronomy and Science Centre (Tamworth)

The Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club Inc runs the Astronomy and Science Centre, open to the general public on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm to view the range of scientific displays, equipment and large telescopes. It is adjacent to the Botanical Gardens, Piper St, Tamworth.

Address: Piper St, Tamworth.
Contact: Please phone 0458 772 747 for confirmation and details.
Web: www.tamworthastronomy.com.au

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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
Contact: , see website
Web: www.westernsydney.edu.au/observatory

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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 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.

Address: PO Box 4221, South Bundaberg Qld 4670
Contact: Mac Jonson 07 4153 6469
or Mark Sugars 0409 697 734
Web: alloway-observatory-bundaberg.webs.com

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Charleville Cosmos Centre And Observatory

The Charleville Cosmos Centre is located off the Mitchell Highway within the airport precinct. The centre offers a range of activities for all ages to enjoy, including evening sessions in The Big Sky Observatory, stories of astrology from cultures across the globe in the Universal Dreaming tour and even a Small & Personal Observatory session using an enormous 30 inch telescope! There’s plenty to see during the day too, starting with Astronomy by Day, the free walk-through exhibition with interactive displays, the Astrodome Planetarium, and the Sun Viewing, which allows you to observe sunspots and solar flares using a 10 inch Hydrogen-Alpha telescope. No need to pack a lunch, the Milky Way Cafe has you covered with an extensive menu and daily lunch specials. If you love the night sky and learning about astronomy, this is the place for you. Phone: (07) 4654 7771 | Group/educational packages available on request: (07) 4656 8360

Address: 1 Milky Way (Off Qantas Drive) Charleville 4470
Web: www.cosmoscentre.com
Web: www.experiencecharleville.com.au

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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

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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. 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: (07) 3403 2578

Web: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planetarium/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrisbanePlanetarium

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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, approximately 80 km north of Adelaide. Public star parties are held in February, May, August and November. See web site for details.

Address: Observatory Road, Stockport SA 5410
Contact: ASSA Info Line 0401 702 772

Web: www.assa.org.au/facilities/stockport/

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The Backyard Universe

Multicultural guided tours of South Australia’s night sky with laser pointer and large telescope. Enjoy an evening of traditional stargazing and modern astronomy in a small group tour with an experienced local guide. Experience a night sky that’s practically as dark as the Outback but much closer to Adelaide. Also available for schools, events & private group tours at our venue or yours. Bookings are essential, see website for details.

Contact:

Web: www.thebackyarduniverse.com.au

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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, 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: Andrew Cool

Web: www.theheights.sa.edu.au/observatory.html
Web: www.adelaideobservatory.org

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The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve

The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve consists of over 3000 kmxx2 of rural land within the Mid Murray Council area in South Australia, situated between the eastern slopes of the Adelaide Hills and the River Murray. It is Australia’s first Dark Sky Reserve. The Reserve’s core is in the Swan Reach Conservation Park, whilst its public Education centre is at Meldanda, a 100 acre property just outside the hamlet of Cambrai, where camping is available for a small fee per head. A well equipped Hall is also available, and two large (300 m x 600 m) car-accessible flat astro paddocks, well away from any road, are available with very low horizons, along with a portable loo. A number of concrete telescope pads are provided throughout the Reserve.

Address: 106 Bundilla Road, Cambrai
Contact: Mid Murray Landcare SA (08) 8564 6044
Web: www.rivermurraydarkskyreserve.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RiverMurrayDarkSkyReserve/

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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. See website for session times and other information. Bookings essential.

Address: University of South Australia, Building P, Level 2, Mawson Lakes Campus
Contact: (08) 8302 3138

Web: www.unisa.edu.au/planetarium/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AdelaidePlanetarium

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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: (03) 6323 3777
Web: 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: Dr Rebecca Allen

Web: astronomy.swin.edu.au/astrotour/

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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: open hours (03) 5332 7526 or after hours for bookings 0429 199 312

Web: ballaratobservatory.org.au

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Bendigo Planetarium @ Discovery

This small planetarium inside The Discovery Science and Technology Centre, is interactive and engaging. A visit to this planetarium will take you for a trip through our solar system and give you a chance to see tonight’s sky today.

Address: Discovery Science and Technology Centre
7 Railway Place Bendigo
Contact: (03) 5444 4400

Web: www.discovery.asn.au

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Melbourne Planetarium

This is Australia’s first digital planetarium and is at Scienceworks in Spotswood. It regularly screens full-dome films for adults and families, as well as presenter-led tours through the night sky. See website for details.

Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood Vic 3015
Web: museumsvictoria.com.au/scienceworks/visiting/melbourne-planetarium/

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Mount Burnett Observatory

Community Observatory and Science Organisation. New members are most welcome. Individuals and families wanting to look through their telescopes can join in one of their Public Events. All sessions must be pre-booked. Email or phone for further details. In addition to weekly online members nights they have regular Young Observers, AstroArts, Deep Sky, Radio Astronomy and Astrophotography events.

Address: 420 Paternoster Road, Mt Burnett, VIC 3781
Contact: Mount Burnett Observatory hotline 0490 665 004

Web: mbo.org.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MtBurnettObservatory
Instagram: www.instagram.com/mtburnettobservatory/
Twitter: @mbobservatory

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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: Greg Quicke 0417 949 958

Web: www.astrotours.net

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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: (08) 9575 7577 (Office) or
Web: www.gravitycentre.com.au/observatory

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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: (08) 9293 8255

Web: www.perthobservatory.com.au
Facebook: facebook.com/PerthObservatory
Instagram: instagram.com/perthobservatory
Twitter: twitter.com/perthobs

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