Sydney Observatory, Sydney

Sydney Observatory, Sydney

This 140 year old observatory is the oldest in Australia. The Sydney Observatory was designed to preserve the history of the science of astronomy. It is surrounded by serene gardens where visitors can sit and enjoy the view.

The Sydney observatory was first the site of a windmill. Later a fort was built to defend the city from attacks by the French and rebellious convicts. In 1825, the eastern wall of the tower was used to send signals to passing ships. In 1856, government astronomer, William Scott was commissioned to design an observatory adjacent to the signal tower. The sandstone building has an Italianate style designed by architect, Alexander Dawson. At first the main task of the observatory was to tell the time through the Time Ball Tower. At 1.00 pm, the ball at the top of the tower would drop to signal the time to the harbour and the city.

The museum has many old telescopes, sextants and other astronomical objects on display. There is a 3-D space theatre and sky viewing sessions overseen by a professional astronomer. The sessions are held at night and visitors can observe the planets through a state of the art 40cm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope or an ancient 29 cm refractor telescope built in 1874 which is the oldest functioning telescope in Australia.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Sydney, Australia within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sydney Observatory on Map

Sight Name: Sydney Observatory
Sight Location: Sydney, Australia
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walking Tour II Walking Tour: Museums and Art Galleries in Sydney Sydney for Kids

Walking Tours in Sydney, Australia

Create Your Own Walk in Sydney

Create Your Own Walk in Sydney

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sydney is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walking Tour II

City Orientation Walking Tour II

Sydney is the largest city in Australia, and is the state capital of New South Wales. It is one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural cities in the world, and each of its localities possesses its own unique character. Sydney is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it won't take long for you to discover this for yourself. Take the following tour to explore the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Places of Worship in Sydney

Places of Worship in Sydney

Churches in Sydney are vivid examples of buildings with both historical and architectural value. Some of them, like St Mary’s Cathedral, have become iconic symbols of Sydney. So if you are interested in places of spirituality from either an architectural or historical standpoint, this self-guided tour will take you to the most important of Sydney’s places of worship.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
City Orientation Walking Tour I

City Orientation Walking Tour I

Australia's largest metropolis and capital of New South Wales, Sydney is deservedly reputed as one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural destinations on Earth. The unique character of Sydney adds much to its appeal, as you will certainly discover yourself while taking this self-guided walk around the most popular and prominent attractions of Sydney.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Best Shopping Spots in Sydney

Best Shopping Spots in Sydney

Sydney is not only the capital of New South Wales but is also the continent’s most attractive shopping center. The city features a wide variety of stores, markets, and specialty shops. This is a list of shopping spots and areas that are popular among tourists as well as Sydneysiders.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Sydney without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Sydney, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Sydney for Kids

Sydney for Kids

Sydney is the most beautiful city of the undiscovered continent of Australia. Its flora and fauna is of great interest for adults and kids, as well as its history. You'll find here a lot of attractions meant for children. Check out the most interesting destinations for your entire family in this self-guided tour of Sydney.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Top 15 Aussie Souvenirs to Bring Home from Sydney

Top 15 Aussie Souvenirs to Bring Home from Sydney

"You haven't been anywhere if you haven't been to Australia," they say, and you'd definitely want something tangible in hand to remind you of the g'days spent Down Under. In Sydney, you will find tonnes of distinctly Oz products that would serve this purpose...