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ASNSW Observing Facilities

Observing Facilities | Next Observing Sessions | Wiruna | Crago Observatory | Accreditation | Light Pollution

The Astronomical Society of New South Wales has two very well equipped observing sites. They both appear on the ASA list of Designated Observatories. These facilities are available for use by all members, and regular observing sessions are scheduled each month for those members wishing to use these facilities.

We also have a wide range of Telescopes available for use by members of the ASNSW.

The Astronomical Society of New South Wales has two main observing sites at which we hold regular observing sessions for our members and visitors alike.

Crago Observatory

Sky Panorama with Crago Observatory

Crago Observatory is an observatory with a high class 16” ƒ/7 Dobsonian Telescope, enclosed in a large rotating dome. The Observatory is located on Bowen Mountain, in the Blue Mountains National Park, near North Richmond, about an hour's drive west of Sydney. The above image, courtesy Peter Stuart, is a sky panorama showing Crago Observatory at the right of the image. 

Wiruna - The ASNSW's Premier Dark Sky Site

Main Observing Field, SPSP2019

Wiruna (Aboriginal for "Sunset") is a 43 hectare (107 acre) dark sky observing site which has The Dob Kennel housing a 17½” ƒ/4.5 Dobsonian  which is available for use by accredited members. The above panorama shot of telescopes on the Main Observing Field at Wiruna was taken by Peter Stuart at the 2019 South Pacific Star Party (4th May 2019).

Wiruna Star Party

Above is a daytime image from the 2019 South Pacific Star Party - photo courtesy Sunny Choi. 

Other Telescopes And Equipment

Other Astronomical Telescopes owned by the ASNSW, and available to ASNSW Members, include:
10” ƒ/6 Dobsonian - Nicknamed "The Ashtray" after being burnt in a fire, is used regularly at Wiruna;
The Mike Kerr Observatory, also at Wiruna, which houses a 25” ƒ/5 Obsession Telescope fitted with Argo Navis and a Servocat drive.

As always, the observing weekends at both observatories should be regarded as being designed for beginners and novices, as well as for more experienced observers. There are many members willing to take a newcomer under their wing and show them the ropes.

A special note concerning Wiruna: It is a user-pays facility, and fees do apply (see below). Anyone wishing to use the facility at times other than the organised observing weekends should contact the Vice-President Wiruna before going to Wiruna. Members who wish to use the facility outside the organised times, must be accredited to use the facility. Contact the Vice-President Wiruna to get the keys and code for the locks, and to pay your fees. NO PETS (dogs, cats, rabbits) are allowed, under any circumstances.

If transport is a problem, email the Secretary and we may be able to organise something for you.

Camping fees for Wiruna


During non star party times, the following fees will apply on a per person, per night basis:

Camping $5 $7 $10
Bunk House $7 $9 N/A
House $10 $12 N/A

* "Guests" include GUESTS OF MEMBERS and MEMBERS OF OTHER ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETIES (who may book by arrangement). Please note that a member may bring up to a maximum of six (6) guests and must be in attendance and responsible for those guests during their visit.

** Visitors not affiliated with the ASNSW or other societies may camp but are not permitted to use the House or Bunk House facilities. The ASNSW welcomes bona fide visiting astronomers.

Fees should be paid on site. Only Cash or cheques are accepted for payment. Please ensure you have sufficient funds to pay your fees before leaving the site.

Accreditation For Use of the Society's Facilities

As some damage has occurred to equipment in the past, a system of accreditation has been implemented for the use of some facilities outside of normal scheduled observing sessions. Eligible members may apply for accreditation to use these facilities at times other than normal scheduled observing session.

Members wishing to gain accreditation for the use of any of these facilities are invited to Email Us for further details and to book a time and date for an accreditation session. There is a separate accreditation process involved for each of the Society's facilities, including the Wiruna Property, the 17½” ƒ/4.5 and the 16” ƒ/7 Telescope and dome at Crago Observatory.


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