Activities at Siding Spring Observatory
Learn about the importance of this area to astronomical research and the natural environment. Enjoy a walk with breathtaking views of the Warrumbungle National Park. Learn more about the various telescopes and international organisations that reside on site and what it is they observe.
There is a range of activities for visitors to the observatory, including:
- A visitor centre with informative and educational displays about telescopes and astronomy.
- Access to the viewing gallery of the Australian Astronomical Observatory's (AAO) Anglo-Australian Telescope.
- Spectacular views of the Warrumbungle National Park
- A café and shop at the visitor centre that is stocked with great food and gift ideas. Morning and afternoon teas and light lunches are available - contact us for group pricing.
- Our annual StarFest celebration is held over the October long weekend. You can meet our astronomers and discover more about the observatory and the science that we do.
- School holiday activities, including guided walking tours of the observatory and talks by astronomers and scientists.
- Tours for groups of all ages can be organised on request. Please contact the visitor centre in advance for pricing and availability.
Please note: Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) is a working research facility and as such we are not open at night for public viewing. Siding Spring Observatory is closed to the general public after 4:00 PM.
For more information on things to see and do at Siding Spring Observatory, including upcoming events, please visit the Siding Spring Observatory web page.
Information for visitors
The Siding Spring Exploratory houses an astronomy exhibition area with hands-on activities for the whole family. Enjoy a great coffee, lunch or a snack at the Exploratory café and browse the wonderful variety of souvenirs and gifts available.
The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) houses the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) which is the largest optical telescope in Australia. The AAT is an impressive four storeys high and holds a 3.9m, 16 tonne ceramic glass mirror. Inside this massive dome is a visitor viewing gallery open to the public and free of charge. From the gallery you can see the telescope and read about its history and the discoveries it has made.
Behind the AAO building is a lookout which overlooks the iconic Warrumbungle National Park. Take a moment to view the natural beauty of the landscape surrounding Siding Spring Observatory.
Open 7 Days except Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sundays: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
During times of Severe Fire Danger (or higher) and extreme weather events, the observatory will be closed to visitors.
Please visit the Siding Spring Observatory webpage for more information.
Please note: Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) is a working research facility and as such we are not open at night for public viewing. Siding Spring Observatory is closed to the general public after 4pm. The use of drones at Siding Spring Observatory is not permitted without prior approval. Please contact us for more information.