The Sydney Observatory Reviews
Starry Night: The Sydney Observatory May 27, 2011
If you are looking for something different to do, I definitely recommend visiting the Sydney Observatory. Better yet, I recommend visiting the Observatory at night.
You have to book your spot ahead of time on the official website. It's a 90 minute tour and the cost is $17(Aus) per adult.
Basics of the tour : There is a small museum of Astronomy at the observatory, but the tour focus is on a few short films as an introduction to astronomy, the universe and it's galaxies. After that, your guide will take your small group outside for some naked-eye viewing and point out highlights of the southern sky. This is followed up with two different telescope viewings.
The guides were very knowledgeable, friendly and passionate about astronomy. The telescope viewing was well worth the admission fee. There wasn't much time spent in the museum itself. I was able to spend about 15 mins before the tour started wandering around. As the night tour is by appointment only, the museum only opens during the tours. The Observatory is open during the daytime, but I would definitely recommend going at night for the two different telescope viewings.
On the night that I visited, we were able to view Saturn through the telescope and it was amazing. This was definitely one of the highlights of the tour as well as my time in Sydney.
Because the Observatory is in The Rocks area, it would be easy to make and evening out of it as there are several restaurants and bars in that area to visit afterwards!
My tip is to hold off booking until the day you want to go. There's no sense in booking way in advance only to have a cloudy day and not be able to view the night sky through the telescopes. Be flexible. So if you see it's going to be a clear night, go ahead and book.
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