The Blue Mountains Observatory, apart from offering rental accommodation for visitors to the Blue Mountains, will also provide viewing of the night sky through our visual astronomical telescope. The astronomer will show highlights of objects that can be seen clearly at any particular time of the month. A brief explanation of what is visible and answering questions to the inquisitive visitors. At an elevation of 947 meters, BMO boasts pristine and transparent skies that closely resemble the conditions found in the Australian outback. During clear moonless nights and certain time of the year, you can see our Milky Way galaxy and the two satellite galaxies, the Magellanic clouds.
This is true even though the local township of Leura is only a 5 minutes drive away.
Highlights of the tour
- Viewing tour and lecture goes from 2-3 hours depending on size of the group.
- An informative guided tour of the research facility and all of the instruments in the observatory.
What to expect
The astronomer will knock on the cottage door to welcome you, just after sunset. He will then open up the dome, accessed via stairs in the master bedroom, to enable the telescope’s optics to “temperature settle”.
The actual tour starts at the end of astronomical twilight - meaning the time it becomes fully dark in Leura or 30 minutes earlier to view brighter objects like the moon. To find the exact time, you can use a variety of free smart phone apps.
The astronomer will then provide a full orientation prior to full darkness, after he prepares the dome.
The tour will commend soon after the orientation and it will run for approximately 2 hours.The tour is unique. There is no time limit for the tour. No waiting cues, no fixed format - a very personal experience offered by no other facility, entirely tailored to your group's interests and enjoyment!
This is not an observatory where you are with 40 other people for 2 hours and only see a few objects. Instead, we have structured our tours in such a way that there will be no rush during observing time and you will receive the maximum opportunity for everyone in your group to enjoy the experience.
The tours will continue down stairs when the astronomer will demonstrate the way our research telescopes were used. They are not used visually but instead a dedicated astronomical camera chilled to -50C below ambient to capture very faint detail of astronomical objects. You will be able to select targets of your own choosing, capture long exposure images with them and those images will be yours to take home for souvenirs.
During day time he will also provide a tour of the research observatory and all of our telescopes.
Accomodation pricing starts from $300 per night minimum of 2 nights subject to number and seasons.
Astro tour cost is $350 (Now included in your accomodation booking) up to 7 persons.
We will be notified automatically once the accomodation booking is complete and your astro-tours is automatically booked. You will not receive any further notification but if you wish to request for confirmation, please send us an email.
Please read the fine print for full description of the Tours.