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Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum

  • Things to do
  • Ballarat
A brick cylindrical observatory in Ballarat.
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

See the stars and get a taste of history at this observatory that has called Ballarat home for more than a century

With the financial support of pioneer James Oddie, who is often referred to as the father of Ballarat, this observatory opened its doors to the public in 1886. At the time, it was the first municipal observatory in Australia, and nearly 75 years later, it would become home to the Ballarat Astronomical Society. 

In the observatory, you can look through both modern and historical telescopes to see the planets and the stars. The site also features a 3D movie theatre, cafe, science shop and one of the most comprehensive collections of astronomical instruments in regional Australia. The collection has devices spanning from the 18th to the 21st century, as well as the first disability access telescope. Out front, you'll find 'Pipehenge', a steel apparatus that works similarly to a sundial. 

Bookings are essential for the observatory and can be made through the website, but walk-ins are welcome for the science shop. 

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier


439 Cobden St
Mount Pleasant
Opening hours:
Private bookings
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