Siding Spring Observatory
FOR PREBOOKED TOURS
*We are currently taking bookings for pre-booked, outdoor walking tours.
* All guests must be double vaccinated (over 16 yrs), and wear face masks when indoors
CAFE OPENS 4 NOVEMBER
Siding Spring Observatory
Prebooked tours only until 1 DECEMBER
The Observatory is open to the public between
10am and 2pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Additional hours and times during school holidays.
There is no access to the public outside these times without prior arrangement.
Siding Spring Observatory (SSO), on the edge of the Warrumbungle National Park and within the Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park - Australia's First Dark Sky Place. Situated 30kms west of Coonabarabran Australia's premier optical and infrared astronomical observatory, sit high on the ridge-top of Mount Woorut.
The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) houses the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) which is the largest optical telescope in Australia. The AAT is an impressive four storeys high and holds a 3.9m, 16 tonne ceramic glass mirror. Inside this massive dome is a visitor viewing gallery open to the public and free of charge. From the Visitiors' Gallery you can see the telescope and read about its history and the discoveries it has made.
Bring the family and mooch around the Exploratory, an astronomy exhibition with hands-on activities, enjoy a great coffee, lunch or a snack in the Siding Spring Cafe or get behind the scenes on a guided day tour.
Why isn't Siding Spring Open at night?
Siding Spring Observatory is the National Institute for Astronomy and is participating in cutting edge science. Nights of observation are often associated with International collaborations and cost tens of thousands of dollars per night.
To observe from here at night you need to apply for 'time' on the telescope and be a wild and woolly, night-owl with a Phd to prove it.
We recommend booking a night tour at Milroy Observatory, where you can access the night sky with a guide and a whole lot of stars!
Please note that caravans are not permitted on Observatory Road. You can leave this safely at the bottom, in the carpark just prior to the turn off onto Observatory Road (Coonabarabran side)
Reasons to book ahead
Avoid disappointment - our tours are subject to demand, often sell out, and strictly limited to certain access times and numbers of participants.
Service - Siding Spring Observatory is subject to closure for fire safety, poor weather, or covid health considerations. We can advise you of these changes.
Safety - help us keep you covid safe
Enjoyment - avoid the crush! By planning your arrival time you can get the most out of your visit, talk to our guides and ask the questions you want.
Discounts- Pre-booking your tour gives you a discount of at least 10% as bookings on site incur a booking fee.
Weather on Siding Spring Mountain can be very variable and can be considerably different from the surrounding towns.
In summer it can be blistering hot, and in winter sideways rain and fog can roll in at any time. There is little protection from the elements. Please make sure to wear appropriate clothing and prepare for extreme weather and bring water on hot days.
Facemasks & Double Vaccinations
Required for all visitors over 16 years
We thank you for your assistance with this.