Information for visitors & activities

The Visitor Centre has something for everyone with science exhibits, a kids zone and information 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.

Opening hours

The Café and Visitor Centre are open 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Friday - Sunday. 

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. Users must also supply copies of the commercial licences to operate the drones. Please contact RSAA on (02) 6125 0230 for enquiries, or book a flight over Mt Stromlo.

 

Activities

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre exhibits feature not only Astronomy but world-class research from across ANU. It is unstaffed and is open 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Friday - Sunday. 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 telescopes around the world.

Public astronomy nights

Mount Stromlo Observatory, in conjunction with the Canberra Astronomical Society, invite the Canberra community to attend our free, public stargazing nights 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.