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CATERING

FAQ'S FOR YOU!

Q: WHERE IS SIDING SPRING? 

Siding Spring Observatory is located 28 kms west of Coonabarabran or 14 kms east of Warrumbungle National Park on Observatory Road. It takes about 5.5 hours to get there from Sydney, or under two hours from Dubbo, Tamworth or Narrabri. 

 

Please note that no caravans are allowed on the mountain road and can be stowed at the bottom of Siding Spring Range in the designated area. Caravans are not permitted on the mountain and are requested to use the car park at the bottom. Motorhomes and busses can access the site with caution. 

 

Q: CAN I STARGAZE THERE?

No, sorry. The site is reserved for YOU during the day, and professional astronomers during the night. Siding Spring Observatory is not open to the public at night, but Milroy Observatory is. Book your stargazing tours there. 

Q: WHAT IS THE WEATHER AND ALTITUDE?

Siding Spring Observatory is much higher than the surrounding towns, at 1100m high. For this reason, the weather on the mountain can be extreme - both in heat and cold.

  • In winter we recommend taking a good cold weather jacket, beanie, gloves and scarf. It has been known to snow! 

  • In summer, make sure to bring some water, a sun hat and sunscreen too. 

Q: IS IT FREE TO ENTER?
Yes! You can visit Siding Spring Observatory during visiting hours for free. The Exploratory offers basic information about the site history, and the Anglo Australian Telescope Visitor's Gallery allows you to see the Big Telescope. You may walk around the site, ensuring you remain in the designated areas for visitors. 
Q: CAN I GO INSIDE THE ANGLO AUSTRALIAN TELESCOPE?

Yes you can! This is a paid guided tour program offered by Dark SkyTraveller and very popular with our guests. Things to know about this tour. 

  1. This is not recommended for people with heart conditions or poor physical condition. There are approximately 30 stairs and a steep roadway to start the tour.

  2. The building is chilled down to the evening temperature, so will be colder than the outside temperature

  3. Whilste inside the AAT you will be required to wear enclosed footwear and a facemask. 

  4. Children 4 years and under must be carried at all times during the tour. 

Q: CAN I WALK ALONG THE RIDGETOP?

Yes you can! This is a paid guided tour program offered by Dark SkyTraveller and very popular with our guests. Things to know about this tour. 

  1. This tour is not recommended for people with heart conditions or poor physical condition. There is an even walking path with steep patches throughout the tour.

  2. This is an outdoor experience and subject to extreme weather conditions. Please dress appropriately.

  3. Children 4 years are free but must be supervised at all times by parents or guardians.

 
GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Bookings must be received online prior to tour start. Late bookings, or bookings on-site, are subject to availability and confirmation of the terms and conditions. 

Any guest unable to adhere to these conditions will be asked to leave the tour program. 

In the event of site closure for reasons other than extreme weather or bush fire danger, general access to the site may not be possible. Guests who have prebooked will be contacted to make alternative arrangements. This may include offering alternative dates, or access to the site by prearranged coach. 

Safety requirements include:​

  1. Remaining with the group at all times, not climbing or jumping on equipment.

  2. All children must be supervised by parents or guardians at all times. Inability to adhere to these requests will result in cancellation of your participation with nil refund.

Booking Fees:

A credit card fee of 1.25% applie to all bookings. The costs per person are discounted for online bookings. Onsite bookings incur a 10% surcharge.

Q: WHAT ABOUT CANCELLATIONS?

Due to the remoteness of the site, the tour may be cancelled or amended at any time. This may be due to severe or extreme weather conditions or for scientific, enginnering or maintenance. You will be notified by 5pm the day prior to your tour with the options of a full refund, transfer to another date or credit to be used for the same product. In the event of site closure for reasons other than extreme weather or fire danger, DST will coordinate a bus tour for passengers who have pre-booked. 

If you chose to cancel or no-show after purchase, there is no refund, but your tour may be held in credit for up to 12 months, or transferred to another guest.

Q: ... AND COVID SAFETY?

In line with Anglo Australian Telescope safety requirements, all guests must:

Dark Sky Traveller is a third-party supplier. We have permission to operate tours of the site, but do not control the operating hours. The final decision for the opening of the facility is made by the Australian National University.

We ask you to respect our staff and to appreciate your consideration.