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
204 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • Good spot to watch the sunset, take some food and so a picnic while you are there and enjoy the view of the north side  more »
  • We passed through here on an I'm Free Walking Tours tour of The Rocks (see my reviews "Where it all began" and "A bit rocky, but we made it!"). No time to tour the observatory, but we did get great...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful views, lots of events happen here. See many wedding photos being taken
  • Really nice! Not the best place for the sunset but great to capture the whole bridge shape! Nice to go sit and reflect on life , lol!

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