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Sydney Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
Observatories & planetariums, Museums
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Address: 1003 Upper Fort Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number: +61 2 9921 3485
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description: Built in 1858 Sydney Observatory is a fascinating heritage site and public...
Built in 1858 Sydney Observatory is a fascinating heritage site and public observatory. The quintessential visit is a night tour of 90 minute duration which includes telescope viewing and a 3D Space Theatre experience with a planetarium experience in cloudy weather. Day tours are designed for tourists and include a Planetarium 'virtual sky' experience, solar viewing (weather permitting) and a 3D Space Theatre in 30-40 minute tours. Entry to the Observatory is free during the day, tours are a small extra charge ($10 adult or you can use the iventure Sydney card) but well worth it to experience modern astronomy and solar viewing with an astronomer. Night tours ($18 adult) must be booked and prepaid.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 189 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 77
    Excellent
  • 71
    Very good
  • 29
    Average
  • 11
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Most recent review
Modest astronomical museum

Entrance is free, but you can buy into various programming that involves the telescopes. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER. If it is cloudy, you will not get your money's worth from... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed March 3, 2015
Erik S
,
Bellevue, Washington
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189 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Bellevue, Washington
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015 NEW

Entrance is free, but you can buy into various programming that involves the telescopes. PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER. If it is cloudy, you will not get your money's worth from the telescopes and that is what you are paying for!! Otherwise, the old building and grounds are very charming. The museum itself is a little run down, a bit... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Haslemere
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
78 attraction reviews
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015

The observatory is free to enter, although offers tours and star viewing at night for a small charge. We took the free option and spent a good hour learning from the helpful staff and interesting exhibits & pictures. The location is a gem, offering great views down to the harbour and across to the bridge. Worth the walk to visit... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

Apologies that this has taken so long but we wanted to thank you for a fantastic night. Well organised and enjoyable. We loved being able to enter the observatory and it made the evening pass really quickly. Congratulations to you and your team for such a wonderful evening.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015

Being on the east coast, it is not easy to find good places to watch the sunset but this place is one of them if you are outside on the hill. Inside is free to have a wonder around doesn't take that long.

Was this review helpful? Yes
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

Best New Years event in Sydney to enjoy the fireworks with friends. I have been before and the tours are fantastic. The Pizza nights are particularly fun.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
99 attraction reviews
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

The observatory is free to look around or you can pay for a tour; I just had a look around. There is information to read and items to look at, you can also look through a large telescope. There is a lovely view of the Harbour Bridge from up here. It's a 15 minute or so walk from the Rocks.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Douglas, Isle Of Man
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015

We were disappointed with this as our 7 year old loves space but there was just too much reading for him to get much from it at all. The tour is free, but the film is $26 for a family which includes a telescope viewing. The film was only fifteen minutes and the telescope was unavailable due to the drizzle... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
58 attraction reviews
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

Set at the back of the Rocks with a good view of the harbour bridge. This is a free attraction unless you want to join a tour. The exhibts are well laid out over three levels, lots of reading to do. Its informative if you have a particular interest in this then visit but if time is tight wouldn't put... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Renton, Washington
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
68 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

As Australia's first observatory, there is a lot of history here in a small area. The displays do not rival the Smithsonian, but yet are unique and directly related to Australia and Sydney. It does not take to long to see everything in the buildings, and at 1:00 each day the ball on top of the observatory rises and then... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

I couldn't say it better than a past reviewer sashkello - he is spot on! The tour is crap, the telescope is crap and as an architecture enthusiast what you have done to the internals of this beautiful building is a travesty - definitely would love to see this building restored to its former glory and honouring its past. Sashkellos... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sydney O, Manager at Sydney Observatory, responded to this review

Hi, Thanks for your review, it was disappointing to hear you did not enjoy or gain from your Sydney Observatory experience. It is true that some people do not find the 40cm MEADE telescope we are currently using for night tours impressive, especially if you are one of the few who have a similar sized telescope at home and live... More 

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