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Observatory Hill, Sydney

(4.6/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
Offering panoramic views of the city’s main harbor, Observatory Hill is home to a working museum providing evening visitors with a chance to observe the stars and planets through a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The site also includes a historic refractor telescope, built in 1874, which is the oldest telescope in Australia still in regular use. The observatory is a sandstone building in the Italianate style, with two telescope domes on octagonal bases. Designed in 1858 by architect Alexander Dawson, the observatory took some of the first astronomical photographs of the southern sky, and continually provides accurate time through its time-ball tower. Every day at 1 p.m. the ball drops using the original mechanism, signaling the correct time to the city and the harbor below. Arrange your visit to Observatory Hill and discover more family-friendly attractions in Sydney using our Sydney trip itinerary builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • An interesting and pleasant place for a break or a picnic. Enjoy beautiful views over the Bay. Recommend!
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  • Lovely spot and great views across the other side of the harbour bridge looking back out. We went mid morning and it quiet, which was nice so we could sit on the hill and take in the views and atmosph...  more »
  • Great spot in Sydney for city skyline, harbourside, sydney bridge!!!!! The observatory building itself is a beautiful historical property worth shooting as well! Just 5-10 mins walk from Langham Sydne...  more »
Google
  • Love this place and all the circular Quay has to offer!!! Seeing the harbour this way is awesome. Could spend the entire day here easily. The Rocks is beautiful, so well preserved, I can't believe they were going to demolish all the historical buildings, which the convicts and soldiers built. A haunting place, every Australian should visit, on foot, to appreciate it, also at night!
  • I like this place. The last time I was here was when we had our wedding video taken. Every time you go there is a wedding or something going on. It has a great view of the harbour and is a wonderful place. The kids had a great time hiding in the trunks of the large trees.
  • Got to be the best view close to the city. Once the highest point in Sydney, it offers a view right from the South West, right to the north east. Fantastic place for a picnic under the giant fig trees, or on the gazebo, or even at night watching the city lights. While you're there check out the observatory! It's free during the day!
  • Lovely park that should be rated higher, but let down by the noisy groups of exercisers that really should be restricted. No chance of quiet contemplation of the view. Disappointing.
  • Hill is close to the business district and the Rocks. There are many beautiful views across Sydney, here is the historical building of the Observatory Sydney. Overall worth a visit.