Observatory Hill, Sydney

4.5
#5 of 17 in Childrens Museums in New South Wales
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
148 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 10, 2017
    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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  • August 9, 2017
    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 »
  • July 17, 2017
    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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