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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Observatory Hill Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
199 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The views from Observatory Hill are lovely, with Harbour Bridge, North Sydney, and Harbour west of the bridge particularly prominant. Around sunset is a great time to visit.  more »
  • It is a hill with the Sydney Observatory. It is a park with a lawn and a wonderful view of the Harbour Bridge.
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  • The night tour offered by Sydney Observatory is amazing. We went to the 9pm session and was not disappointed. This is suitable for family and couples with great educational value and many romantic interludes. The guide I had was funny and very knowledgeable. Would love to experience more what the Sydney Observatory has to offer. Really fun night out!
  • Peaceful, magnificent views, generally cooler than city. Also offers late night star gazing shows. Nice cafes within 200 metres. Access to harbour bridge..
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