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“Enthusiastic staff and free admission!”
Review of Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory
Book In Advance
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$8.07*
and up
Sydney Observatory Astronomy Daytime Tour
More Info
$149.33*
and up
Australia Multi-City Attractions Pass
Ranked #20 of 480 things to do in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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 Space Theatre experience with a planetarium experience in cloudy weather. Night tours ($18/22 adult) must be booked and prepaid. Day tours are designed for tourists and include a Planetarium 'virtual sky' experience, solar viewing (weather permitting) and a 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 astronomy and solar viewing with an astronomer.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
England
Level 6 Contributor
308 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
“Enthusiastic staff and free admission!”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

..and these alone make this an exceptional place in the high cost and often grumpy environment of Sydney. The staff are real scientists who know their stuff and the museum is a lovely building with good and authentic displays if a little dated and tired. There are usually (particularly in school holidays) pay on arrival tours which although intended for children are good for adults. They are short (typically 20 - 40 minutes) though, and overseas vistors will consider them expensive. Negligible refreshment facilites, instead go to the nearby national Trust cafe gallery which is excellent,

Visited October 2012
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1 Thank exbiztraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Newcastle, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Can't wait to do a night tour also!”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Visited during school holidays, and not too crowded! All the staff we encountered were friendly, enthusiastic and added to the experience. Small, but beautiful site - historic building, lovely grounds and fantastic views. Did the guided tour, 3D show and viewed the sun through the telescope... Day visits are drop in, but need to book for any of the evening tours. Entry is free, but you do pay extra for the 3D shows etc. (unless you are a member with the Powerhouse Museum, then during the day - these "extras" are included). At the moment, also a photographic exhibition on, (& Lego room for kids) so something for everyone.

Visited October 2012
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Thank Jofish66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Evening Tour”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was my fourth evening tour over many years and the guide can make a real difference to the evening. These are busy and you must book this in advance. Due to the weather conditions we tried viewing through two of the telescopes first although this was rather time consuming (this is only a personal perspective in comparison to previous tours and naturally this may be very difficult to manage with changing weather conditions). It was great to see objects through the older telescope and then the more modern one. It was finished with a number of short 3D films. Disappointingly no time was spent in the planetarium but again there's a lot to pack into 90 minutes and this approach is made clear on the website.

Visited September 2012
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1 Thank travel-bug-delight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Excellent team, fabulous building, a real gem”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

The building is beautiful, the grounds are gorgeous and the team working at the Observatory were terrifically generous with their time and expertise.

We arrived at around two in the afternoon (they show various 3d space exploration films at about 3pm and 4pm (I think but it's worth checking), booked ourselves onto the shows and then wandered around the museum. The enthusiasm and energy of the guys on duty was infectious - they went out of their way to ensure that we understood what we were looking at and were all too keen to listen to questions, respond with knowledge and patience and encourage my daughter's interest in astronomy.

The Museum is slightly "old school" and all the better for that as it really gives a sense of history and serious endeavour. I loved it and was enthralled by the exhibits and their descriptions.

I am only sorry that we just fitted this in on our last day in Sydney, had I known more about it I would have planned to spend more time there and would definitely have booked a night viewing.

A real gem.

Visited August 2012
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2 Thank AnneFrannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Get lost in the Rocks then lost in space...”
Reviewed September 12, 2012 via mobile

The Sydney Observatory is amazing. Everytime I am in the city I cannot help but take another tour of the building. The walk there is wonderful, all through the old as well as beautiful buildings at The Rocks. As you walk up Observatory Hill you get lost surrounded by the most amazing, enormous, ancient looking trees as you find the best view of the harbour and Sydney Harbour bridge right at the top. The walk is worth the view, even. There are normal tours which are for free, detailing Australia's involvement with discovering space. Some of the most awe-inspiring devices and photographs on display. There are telescopes to look through, including the biggest one in the southern hemisphere! What could get more entertaining than that! There are also nights where you can get the best view of seasonal eclipses and meteor showers, etcetera. My favourite attraction in Sydney, hands down.

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1 Thank Stackhat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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