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Sydney Observatory

Address: Watson Rd, Observatory Hill The Rocks NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9921 3485
Email: observatory@phm.gov.au

Tags: museum, astronomy, education

Built in 1858, Sydney Observatory is Australia's oldest observatory, and one of the most significant sites in the nation's scientific history. It is recognised as an item of 'state significance' by the New South Wales Government and is heritage listed. It is located near Sydney's historic Rocks district and the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, and is easily accessed by bus, train, ferry or car.

The Observatory comprises a historic 29cm lens telescope built in 1874, a 42cm computer-controlled telescope and hydrogen-alpha solar telescope, a virtual reality 3-D space theatre, exhibitions about astronomy, meteorology and the history of Sydney Observatory, a lecture theatre, souvenir shop, beautiful gardens and the beanbag planetarium.

A visit to Sydney Observatory can include fascinating lectures, daily or nightly viewing through telescopes, a virtual reality 3-D space theatre show or launching a rocket at a school holiday workshop. At night time visitors can get fine views of the Moon, the planets and some of the best-loved features of the southern sky.

During the New South Wales school terms, education programs for schools are run daily.

Historically the Observatory was essential to shipping, navigation, meteorology and timekeeping as well as to the study of the stars seen from the Southern Hemisphere. Astronomers worked and lived in the building until 1982 when Sydney Observatory became part of the Powerhouse Museum. Today the Observatory is a museum and public observatory with an important role in astronomy education and public telescope viewing.

Night tours (booking essential) include a talk and tour, 3D Space Theatre session and viewing through a 40cm (16in) reflecting telescope. You can also explore Sydney Observatory on a self-guided day visit or daytime staff-guided telescope and 3D Space Theatre session. CityRail/ferry Circular Quay. Admission Museum & gardens free. Day tours $7; $5 reductions; $20 family. Night tours $15; $10-$12 reductions; $45 family.

See also

Objects in Australia Objects in Australia

20797 objects in Australia
from 98 AUD per night