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“If you are in Narrabri - worth a visit.”

The Australia Telescope Compact Array
Ranked #3 of 8 things to do in Narrabri
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 7, 2013

In the middle of nowhere you suddenly come upon 6 enormous dishes 22 metres in diameter - 5 of which are on a 3 kms straight railway track. As we stood there we could see them rotating. There was a visitors centre where the workings are well documented although fairly complex for the average person.
However we were just fascinated to see them.

Thank 2BISCUITS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 - 70 of 77 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2013

Unfortunately we were still running on Queensland time when we went to visit the site so the information centre was closed, however the boards outside were very informative and it was a beautiful evening so I was able to get some great shots of 5 of the 6 radio telescopes. Well worth a quick visit but watch for the local Roos as you drive up

Thank Dee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

The 2nd September 2013 was the 25th anniversary of the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Costing $50 million in the 1980’s it was built as one of the major projects celebrating the Australian 200 year Bicentennial in 1988, built on-time in 5 years & within budget. This radio telescope amongst other things is used by scientists & managed by the CSIRO to study black holes, super nova & magnetic fields in space, making a job here pretty cool for the average bloke.

This scientific research station was considered the jewel of the Australian scientific community in 1988, the team there created the world’s most advanced microchip, truly a technological feat & was the first place in Australia to use fibre optic cables. To put things into perspective today’s National Broadband Network (NBN) costing over $30 billion is using fibre-optic cables to transmit data & this is 25 years later!

5 of the large radio dishes sit on rail tracks to help them move around & therefore change the resolution of their images. The 5 separate radio beams are combined to form one signal to create a more complete picture, this scientific study is called interferometry & so this telescope facility is known in the scientific community as a interferometer telescope. The Australia Telescope Compact Array site is very visitor friendly with a viewing station where you can get a great view of the 6 radio dishes at a safe distance & learn about astronomy from an information centre. If you are lucky, you will be able to hear the mechanical pieces as the gears spring to life to reposition of the dishes, something every sci-fi nerd will get a kick out of.

Narrabri is pretty much in the middle of nowheresville which is perfect for radio astronomy & is surrounded by some interesting natural attractions. Sawn Rocks lies just outside Narrabri which is a very unusual cliff-face of pentagonal rock formations formed from the area’s volcanic past. Mt Kaputar National Park is nearby within 30kms with some great lookouts & an excellent campsite near the summit managed by the National Parks & Wildlife Service. Moree is an hour away about 100kms north & has free public thermal hot spring baths with water from the Great Artesian Basin, the world’s largest underground reserve of fresh water. Warrumbungle National Park is 150kms south with excellent bushwalking & camping options & Tamworth, Australia’s country music capital is 170kms south-east. From Narrabri, 500kms south-east will lead you to Sydney while in the opposite direction 500kms west will lead you to Bourke, the beginning of the NSW outback.

1  Thank The_Pale_Ridah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013 via mobile

If you are looking for something to do near Narrabri a trip to the telescopes is definitely worth it.

Entry is free and you can do a self guided tour. There are even some hands on 'stations' where you can learn about the telescope.

Thank Earthfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2013

This place is worth the detour from Narrabri. It is quite amazing to see the 6 compact arrays, a pity that the information centre was being renovated when we visited. But it was quite fun to see the telescope.

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

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