The Reseach School of Astronomy and Astrophysics is located at Mount Stromlo, approximately 20 minutes drive from the Acton ANU campus in Canberra, ACT.
Driving from Sydney to Mount Stromlo is generally the cheapest way to get here. It takes 3.5 - 4 hours for the journey. Once you are out of Sydney the journey is straightforward on good quality roads. If you are hiring a car at Sydney airport, make sure it has a map of Sydney and the staff at the car hire company should be able to provide you with directions.
A return flight Sydney/Canberra costs approximately A$300 if bought in Sydney, but may be cheaper if booked as part of any travel package if you are coming from overseas. The flight takes 50 minutes. If you fly, you will need to take a taxi from the airport to Mount Stromlo unless you have arranged to collect a hire car at the airport. The drive from Canberra Airport to Mount Stromlo takes about 30 minutes.
By bus or train
There are very regular bus and train services between central Sydney and Canberra. These services take about 3-4 hours and cost approximately A$25-50 (return). Contact Countrylink (132232) for trains and Murrays (132251) or Greyhound (1300GREYHOUND or 1300473946) for buses.
From Siding Spring Observatory
All Mount Stromlo staff and students travel by car between MSO and SSO. Let the SSO Lodge staff know that you need to travel to MSO and they should be able to help you find a car and driver going to MSO. The journey takes about seven hours and you might be asked to share the driving.
If you have your own hire car, ask the staff at the Lodge for advice on directions to MSO.
It is worth reminding people who travel to or from Coonabarabran by road of the main risks, which are:
- The standard of even the main highways in NSW varies from excellent to potentially dangerous and the journey from MSO to SSO involves mainly secondary roads. There are several places where road conditions change rather suddenly and can catch drivers unaware, especially if they are travelling fast.
- Some stretches of road pass through countryside frequented by kangaroos which constitute a serious traffic hazard, especially in twilight and at night. Try to ensure that you start your journey early enough to avoid driving at dusk.
- The road journey between MSO and SSO is quite long (around 7 hours). Drivers should be well rested before they embark on it, and should also stop for short rest breaks along the way.
There are no air services between Canberra and Coonabarabran.