Mount Stromlo Observatory

Overview

Mount Stromlo Observatory is the headquarters of the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, a world-respected community of researchers exploring the heavens.

Members of the public and school groups are welcome to come and explore the Visitor Centre and Heritage trail, and join in with activities such as stargazing or talks - check out the calendar.

You are also invited for a relaxing coffee or lunch taking in the wonderful views from the café.  Contact the café on (02) 6125 3634.

Activities

The Visitor Centre has something for everyone with science exhibits, a kids zone and info about Mount Stromlo’s rich history of tragedies and triumphs.

There’s also a heritage trail with augmented reality to transport you to a different time as you stroll past kangaroos while taking in the sweeping views across Canberra and the surrounding mountains.

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre exhibits feature not only Astronomy but world-class research from across ANU. It is unstaffed, but you may find a volunteer at the Ask a Scientist desk. It is open 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM on weekdays and 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM on weekends. Entry is free. 

Augmented Reality App

Download the free augmented reality app ANU Space to enrich your visit with holograms of scientists, trips back in time and tours of the telescopes around the world.

Science Talks

Join us for talks from ANU scientists at 11:30 AM, then stay for lunch in the Café. Everything from Astronomy to climate change, aliens to string theory. Every day through September and the school holidays, $5. Program is here.

School holiday activities

We'll be trialling school holiday activities for the kids in September and October. Details here.

Public astronomy nights

Mount Stromlo Observatory, in conjunction with the Canberra Astronomical Society, invite the Canberra community to attend our free, public stargazing night and lectures. Warm clothing is recommended and observations on the night are weather dependent. Please see the Mount Stromlo calendar for more info and dates.

Make sure you check out the sky conditions at Mount Stromlo so you will know what to expect when you arrive.

Private stargazing & history tours

Experience Mount Stromlo through the unique opportunity of a private stargazing night or behind-the-scenes tour of the facility. Find out how (PDF, 143KB).

Heritage trail

Guide yourself along the Mount Stromlo Heritage Trail. The Heritage Trail includes 12 interpretive signs which together provide a comprehensive history of Mount Stromlo Observatory, including the Director's Residence.

Director's Residence

The original 1928 Mount Stromlo Director's Residence, once known as Observatory House, was stabilised and partially restored in 2015 after its damage in the 2003 fires.

The building is open daily from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and features innovative audiovisual displays about Mount Stromlo's history, scientific achievements and the impacts of the fire events on site. For more information, click here.

Mount Stromlo Observatory site tours

Take a guided walking tour of Mount Stromlo Observatory and learn about its history, science, and future. The cost is $5 per person. Please check the Mount Stromlo calendar for dates.

Alternatively, guide yourself along the Mount Stromlo Heritage Trail. The Heritage Trail includes 12 interpretive signs which together provide a comprehensive history of Mt Stromlo Observatory. Download the ANU Space app to enrich your walk. 

Night school visits

School visits begin with a 3D astronomy movie as an introduction. The main part of the evening is a stargazing session using Mount Stromlo's outreach telescopes. To complete the evening there will be a Question & Answer session with professional astronomers.

We currently run programs suitable for primary school students as well as Year 10, 11 and 12 physics students with group sizes between 15 and 40 students.

For more information or to arrange a date for your school to participate, please contact us by email.

Email: outreach@mso.anu.edu.au

Please note that the actual objects observed will depend on the scheduled date and that in the event of cloudy weather, either an alternative program (including a tour of the observatory) can be run or the session rescheduled.

 

Information for visitors

The Visitor Centre is open from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM on weekdays and 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM on weekends.

The Stromlo café is now open and under new management. Contact number: (02) 6125 3634. 

Mount Stromlo is 18 kilometres southwest of Canberra centre, on Cotter Road, Weston Creek.

The Mount Stromlo Observatory site is open to the public daily from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM.

Please note that all academic buildings are not open to the public unless otherwise noted. The use of drones at Mount Stromlo Observatory is not permitted without ANU RSAA Operational approval and users must supply copies of the commercial licences to operate the drones. Please contact RSAA on (02) 6125 0230 for enquires, or to book a flight over Mt Stromlo, click here.

Contacts

 Café (02) 6125 3634
 (02) 6125 0230

Where to find us

Directions to this observatory can be found on our Find us page.

Updated:  20 February 2018/Responsible Officer:  RSAA Director/Page Contact:  Webmaster