The family-friendly Sydney Observatory is popular with both science enthusiasts and kids. Visit to learn about astronomy, admire the mid-19th-century stone building, and enjoy views of Sydney Harbour from the well-tended gardens. For the most hands-on experience, book a day, evening, or night tour, each of which gives you the opportunity to look through some of the observatory’s telescopes. The observatory also runs educational programs for both kids and adults.
Things to Know Before You Go
General entry is free during the day, but tours are ticketed.
You must pre-book tickets to join one of the tours, which run on set schedules. Tour start times vary seasonally.
Some parts of the observatory are wheelchair accessible, and there is an accessible toilet.
Visitors are not allowed to consume food in the observatory, but there is a vending machine offering drinks.
How to Get There
The Sydney Observatory is conveniently located at 1003 Upper Fort Street in Millers Point, just west of Circular Quay and The Rocks and south of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The site is within walking distance of many other local attractions. To reach the observatory via public transportation, take a ferry, the T1, T2, T3, or T8 train lines, or the L2 light rail line to Circular Quay (which is about a 12-minute walk away), or the 311 bus to Argyle Street and Kent Street.
When to Get There
The observatory is open seven days a week, except for on major public holidays, and general entry is from mid-morning until early evening. To visit in the evening or at night, you must book a tour. Avoid cloudy or rainy weather if you want to look through the observatory’s telescopes (though the site does offer a variety of activities in any weather).
Visit the Powerhouse Museum
For more family-friendly science fun, visit the Powerhouse Museum, which is also part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The museum—which is housed in the old Ultimo Power Station building, near Darling Harbour—offers exhibits that cover a variety of topics ranging from health and medicine to contemporary design and virtual reality.