Alloway Observatory Bundaberg
Alloway Observatory Bundaberg
Last night we took our Wide Bay Kids to the Alloway Observatory Bundaberg. For the most part it was a great night and something that could only have been improved if it wasn’t for the full moon……note to self next time avoid a full moon. The hardest part was getting there in the dark!
What’s at the Alloway Observatory Bundaberg
The observatory is located on Goodwood Road and consists of the club house and the observation dome where the large telescope is located. The clubhouse has a great drawing on the ceiling of the sun and the planets which highlights just how large the sun is in relation to them. There are chairs set up for movie information sessions which we did not partake in. You will also find access to some reading materials which our kids loved looking through.
Dome and Telescopes
The dome is located at the back of the club house and is a circular building with a revolving roof. A section of the roof opens to reveal the night sky. For viewings the opening is positioned into place and the large telescope moved right up to it. You then climb the ladder and look through the telescope. Last night we viewed the Moon, Jupiter and a few different sets of star constellations. Our view of the moon was not the best as it was very bright. It was suggested the best time to view the moon is at half moon.
A second smaller telescope was also located just outside the dome and we found ourselves walking between each of these areas as the point of interest was changed. Our Wide Bay Kids ranged in age from 4 to 11. Our 4 and 6 year olds were pretty much over the whole experience within 15 minutes, but the older kids were hooked.
The younger kids found the climb down of the telescope ladder a little challenging and found it hard not to hold onto the telescope when looking through it. This meant that they were knocking the telescopes off course each time they had a turn. Unless your Wide Bay Kids have a particular interest in the planets from our experience it might be best to wait until they’re 8 or 9 before you try this out.
Information and Volunteers
The observatory is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. We found the volunteers at the club very helpful and able to answer not only our questions but could converse with the kids on their level.
Opening Times and Entry Costs
The Observatory is open on the first Friday of each month from dusk (around 6:45pm) to the public subject to cloud cover. They do not open on cloudy nights. Entry is $8 for adults | $5 for children | $20 for a family | $50 yearly family membership.
How to get there
The observatory is located on Goodwood Road between a cluster of houses on the right hand side heading out of town. We found the turn off tricky to find as there is no lighting and it’s hard to see the Observatory sign at night. Ideally if you get a chance take a drive out there during the day so you can see exactly where you are going.
Head out along Goodwood Road past Douglas Road on the left and then Thomassens Road on the right. Just after Thomassens Road on the right you will see a cane siding turn off. The entry to the Observatory is just past this. If you pass Alloway Country Club you have gone too far.
This was a great night out once we actually found the place! The night could have been improved had the moon not of been full but we still got to see some great sights. The land the observatory is situated on is not fully fenced, so when out the back in the dome area we found our younger kids wanting to wander off, something to keep in mind if you have littlies with you.
Name: Alloway Observatory Bundaberg
Address: Goodwood Road between a cluster of houses on the right hand side heading out of town. The turn off is tricky to find in the dark. Head out along Goodwood Road past Douglas Road on the left and then Thomassens Road on the right. Slow down. Just after Thomassens Road on the right you will see a cane siding turn off. The entry to the Observatory is just past here. If you pass Alloway Country Club you have gone too far.
Open: Every Friday evening at dusk – about 6:45pm | closed cloudy nights
Cost: $8 for adults | $5 for children | $20 for a family | $50 yearly family membership