Dark Sky Nightscapes - 21-24 August, 2020 Exclusive to Australian Geographic

From AUD $1,690.00
  • Duration: 4 Days
  • Location: Coonabarabran
  • Product code: AG2020

DAY 1 - Friday 21 August, 2020

Welcome to Siding Spring Observatory. Home to Australia's premier optical telescopes.

Please make your own way to Siding Spring Observatory, to meet the group at 3.30pm^. During a short meeting, you will learn some tips about residing alongside a working scientific facility how to remain safe and understand the significance of the research being done on the mountain. Bring your camera, jacket and good walking shoes, as we'll watch sunset and darkness rise over the horizon. We return to the lodge for a hearty dinner.

When you're ready, jump into bed meters away from our stargazing site. The Astronomers Lodge, where you'll be staying, is the residential base for astronomers working on Siding Spring mountain. Replaced in 2016 after the Wambalong Fires destroyed the original building, this new architect-designed building will provide a comfortable home for four nights. (D)

^A train and transfer package, travelling via Dubbo, is available if you prefer not to drive.

DAY 2  - Saturday 22 August, 2020

We start the day with a continental breakfast on site, before meeting your guide for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the telescopes at Siding Spring.  During this two-hour walking tour on the mountain, you'll visit at least 3 working telescopes and learn what amazing science is taking place on this site, every day.

After your tour we'll head to the other side of the Warrumbungle Ranges to two local attractions in the Pilliga Scrub - Pilliga Pottery and Dandry Gorge. We'll take an easy 5km walk through the valley and along the rim of the gorge. The significance of the area to the Gamilaroi people is demonstrated in some unique artworks dotted along the edge.  You'll understand why people are drawn to this area when you capture the surrounding vistas. 

Afterwards, we'll dine in the beautiful garden setting of Pilliga Pottery obtaining a sense of the passion behind this thriving pottery and restaurant business.  (B,L,D)

DAY 3 - Sunday 23 August, 2020

Enjoy a full breakfast this morning - gathering your energy for a good walk in the Warrumbungle National Park. Let by our National Parks and Wildlife Ranger for a 6km walk through some of the most scenic corners of the park. Getting up close and personal with the volcanic structures of the park, is sure to take your breath away. A picnic lunch will be included to share under the watchful gaze of a magpie.

Returning to the lodge, you'll have time to nap, in preparation for this evenings amusement. We'll dine in the Astronomers' Lodge, before finding the perfect spot for some stargazing with your Night Sky Ranger. As the sun goes down, and the stars come out one by one, we'll have a camp dinner, and truly understand the magnificence of the Australian outback at night. Don't forget to bring your camera (B,L,D)

DAY 4 – Monday 24 August, 2020

Thanks for visiting Siding Spring Observatory, and the Dark Sky Park. We look forward to having you stay again. Check out is at 10 am this morning, giving you time to pack your bags and enjoy a continental breakfast.  (FB) 


·          Host Fred Watson

·          Citizen Science project with the University of Melbourne - PhD Candidate Marty Lockett

·          3 nights accommodation Siding Spring Lodge double bed (with ensuite)

·          Dinner at Pilliga Pottery, Chinese restaurants

·          Behind the scenes tour of the Australian Astronomical Telescope

·          Stargazing and astrophotography under the stars

·          Welcome pack including maps and attractions

·          Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner as indicated (continental CB, Cooked - HB)

* The Stargazing dinner may be rescheduled prior to your arrival and subject to weather conditions. Should the conditions not be suitable for stargazing, this will be substituted by a talk in the conference room.)

Not Included:

·       Air transportation, taxes and fees -International and domestic 

·       Personal items such as emails, laundry, room service

·       Alcoholic beverages and drinks with meals

·       Health costs

·       Personal expenditure and shopping

·       Travel Insurance


The program is a self-driving tour and based from Siding Spring Observatory located 28kms west of Coonabarabran or 160kms/1.5 hours north of Dubbo. Driving time from Sydney is approximately 6.5 hours. 

Transport NSW operates regional trains daily from

·       Sydney Central Station at 7 am and arrive at 1.45pm

·       Dubbo Station at 2.15pm and arrive Central Station at 8.45pm.

- Translink operates coach services to Coonabarabran in conjunction with the XPT rail service.

- Car rental is available from Dubbo Airport, there are several parking spaces available on Siding Spring Mountain. Please drive carefully and be vigilant for kangaroos. 

- Flights are operated by Qantas and Rex Airlines.


One Twin rooms is available on request



If you wish to stay for an additional night or two after the group stay, you may do this at a cost of $300 per person twin share, per night or $400 per person per night single. The cost includes continental breakfast and dinner.


Terms and Conditions

A non-refundable deposit of $500 secures your booking. Bookings must be received online at www.travelogg.com.au. Bookings close 21 days prior to tour start. Late bookings are subject to availability and incur $150 per person late booking fee.

Full terms and conditions can be found at www.fredwatsontours.com.au/ts--cs.html