Parkes radio telescope and visitors centre.

Parkes radio telescope and visitors centre.

Parkes Radio Telescope group bookings

The Parkes Radio Telescope Visitors Discovery Centre is a must for all groups travelling through the Central West NSW region. Our group programs are tailored to primary and secondary students, seniors and special interest groups.

  • 8 June 2005 | Updated 21 January 2014

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Opening hours

  • Opens seven days a week (including public holidays) 8.30 am to 4.15 pm
  • Extended hours during some school holidays
  • Closed Christams Day and Boxing Day.


Download the Parkes Observatory group booking form [PDF 282 KB] for the latest group rates. Teachers and coach drivers are free of charge.

A typical group visit

Exploring the Astronomy and Space Science exhibition (Free)

This modern exhibition takes you on a journey exploring the highlights of the telescope's rich history. Starting as an idea in the 1950s, see how the Parkes radio telescope has matured into a world leading research facility.

This exhibition is designed to answer your questions about the telescope and its operation, but leave you pondering some of the big questions like; how big is the Universe and what is the Universe made of?

High definition 3D theatre

Produced by Swinburne University's Centre for Astrophysics and Super Computing, these animated features offer a glimpse into the vast complexity of our Universe.

AstroKids Scavenger Hunt

This fun activity leads students around the Parkes Observatory Visitors Discovery Centre seeking clues to solve a puzzle. The activity is suitable for students aged 7-14 years of age and takes about 30 minute to complete.

Introductory talk and Q&A session

All groups booking the 3D theatre and/or the AstroKids scavenger hunt receive an introductory talk on the Parkes telescope as well as a short Q & A session. This usually run for about 10–15 minutes.

How to get there

The Parkes Radio Telescope is 20 kilometres north of Parkes on the Newell Highway, the main highway between Brisbane and Melbourne. The road to the telescope is clearly marked.

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The award winning Dish Café is happy to prepare a catering package to suit your needs.

Contact the Dish Café on (02) 6862 1566.

Find out more about Visiting the Parkes radio telescope.