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Observatory Hill, Sydney

4.5
#4 of 16 in Childrens Museums in New South Wales
Observatory Lookout
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
143 reviews
  • Just a short walk thru The Rock, you will be on the hilltop overlooking Sydney habour in panoramic view. A little away from CBD, breathe the fresh air here. The best time to visit is around 5pm until ...  more »
  • I love this place. As the name suggests, it's on a hill with a magic view of the Bridge, Luna Park and the Sydney Harbour. It's a favourite spot for photographers. Bring some lunch, sit on a park benc...  more »
  • I really enjoyed my visit. Natalie was a brilliant guide. I looked through the telescope and saw Venus, which was awesome. Then, she showed me the sun as the telescope has a special solar lens. Wow! N...  more »

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