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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  • Although I work right across this hill, this was the first time I've been there. Yes it was for the fireworks, but I feel like this would be a nice area to go to on a relaxing day out. Regarding the f...  more »
  • I was staying close to here in The Rocks region of Sydney. Went up the hill to do some night photography of the bridge. Some very good views.  more »
  • Even with the good just sitting there on the Hill ... You can afford to occur. .. The scenery is beautiful photos pics look good.
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  • Magical spot at any time of the day but particularly spectacular at dusk. It’s all free access (beauty of Sydney) and the views unforgrttable
  • Had our wedding here in 2006, easy to book!

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Where to stay in Sydney

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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