Sydney Observatory

Sydney Observatory information

Sydney , Australia
1003 Upper Fort St
+61 2 2 9921 348502 9921 3485
Getting there
Train: Circular Quay
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Built in the 1850s, Sydney’s copper-domed, Italianate observatory squats atop pretty Observatory Hill , overlooking the harbour. Inside is a collection of vintage apparatus, including Australia’s oldest working telescope (1874). Also on offer are audiovisual displays, including Aboriginal sky stories and a virtual reality 3D Theatre . Bookings are essential for night-time stargazing sessions (adult/child $18/12).

If you’re feeling more earthly, Observatory Hill is great for a picnic. Studded with huge Moreton Bay fig trees, the grassy hilltop buzzes with sweaty hill-climbing joggers, lunchtime CBD escapees and travellers taking time out from The Rocks below. The hill was the site of the colony’s first windmill (1796), which ground wheat until someone stole its canvas sails and the structure collapsed.