Crago Observatory is the ASNSW's "local" dark sky observing site at Bowen Mountain, near North Richmond, about an hour's drive North-West of Sydney. Set on 4 acres (1.6 hectares) of Crown Land surrounded by National Park, Crago Observatory provides ASNSW members with a surprisingly dark sky observing site, only a short distance from Sydney and at a location easily accessible to most members.
Visitors are always welcome. There is no charge, but a gold coin donation is appreciated. Sky tours using the observatory telescope start around 1 hour after sunset and usually continue until midnight or later. We show visitors any visible planets as well as many deep-sky objects such as galaxies, nebulae and star clusters. When you arrive (see directions below), park in the cul-de-sac at the end of Lieutenant Bowen Drive. Walk past the gate at the entrance to the fire trail and the observatory is located about 100m down the dirt road. Observing dates are here.
Crago Observatory consists of a large rotating dome housing a high class 16” ƒ/7 Dobsonian Telescope, fitted with Argo Navis and ServoCAT as well as a wide range of eyepieces and star charts available for use with the telescope. The ground floor of the observatory contains basic cooking facilities and limited seating. Around the base of the observatory, a large cleared area provides ample space for members and visitors to set up their own telescopes.
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, and only accredited members may use these facilities at these times, unless accompanied by an accredited member.
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" Telescope at Wiruna, and the 16" Telescope and dome at Crago Observatory.
|Latitude :||33° 33' 50" S|
|Longitude:||150° 37' 15" E|
|Altitude :||469m (1560')|
Crago Observatory is located about 100m past the fire trail at the northern end of Lt Bowen Rd, Bowen Mountain, near North Richmond. All current Sydney Street directories now include this portion and are not too difficult to follow. A map is shown below. However, anyone unsure can contact Paul Hatchman on 0413 047 782 for further directions.
If the barrier gate is locked, visitors to the observatory can park in the area around the gate. From the parking area, a one minute walk will bring you to the observatory site, and telescopes can be set up on the cleared area to the east of the observatory.