Siding Spring Observatory

Observatory in Coonabarabran

Coonabarabran's skies are so clear, the Australian National University chose to set up this research facility some 27km west of the town, on the edge of Warrumbungle National Park. The site is home to telescopes belonging to national and international institutions and includes the 3.9m-diameter Anglo-Australian Telescope, the largest optical (visible light) telescope in Australia. There are no public stargazing facilities here, but tours can be booked with prior booking (adult/child $17/15).

There's also a visitor centre where you can boggle your mind with celestial facts and figures and experience the relative weight of a litre of milk on the different planets of our solar system, great views over the Warrumbungles, and a cafe.