Observatory Hill, Sydney

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. Plan your visit to Observatory Hill and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Sydney trip website .
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  • The Hill affords beautiful views of a part of Sydney. From here, you can see but not the Opera! From here you can walk to the rocks, the Harbour and the Opera.
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  • This little observatory offers a great view of the harbor. It also has a nice little park which is nice to sit on whilst looking out at the harbor  more »
  • Beautiful and of course high piece of Sydney. Multiple Wedding couples were making their photos here. Nice view of oa Sydney bridge.
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Sydney offers visitors hundreds of lodging options in its central area, with choices suitable for most budgets. As expected in a major tourist destination, harbor views play a major role in determining room prices. Expect to pay more for ocean-view suites, especially if you visit at the peak of the tourist season or around big city events. If you don't need to stay in the center of Sydney, consider budget-friendly hotels near the airport, or look for smaller roadside motels in the city's South West neighborhood.
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