Things to see and do at the Compact Array Visitors Centre

Bring a picnic and enjoy the view when you visit our Australia Telescope Compact Array, one of the world's leading radio telescopes.

Whether you’re just passing through, or staying in the region for a while, our Australia Telescope Compact Array is a fascinating place to visit.

Enjoy the woodland setting when you visit our Australia Telescope Compact Array. © Emil Lenc

Take a look at the astronomy exhibition

The six white antennas that make up the Compact Array are an impressive sight. They’re connected by wide-gauge railway track so that their position can be changed to meet the needs of the science teams using the instrument.

You can see the antennas from a small visitors centre, which also features an exhibition and an audiovisual presentation. If you’re lucky, you might even see a change in the configuration of the antennas.

The visitors centre is usually unstaffed, however, group tours can be organised by contacting the visitors centre in advance.

Bring a picnic

Kangaroos and galahs are regular visitors to the observatory, and occasionally emus, echidnas and (very occasionally) koalas pay a visit too. Bring a picnic and stay a while to enjoy the woodland setting; a barbeque area is also available.

Other regional attractions

There’s a lot to see and do in the north-west region:

  • Yarrie Lake, a 1.5 km-diameter circular lake located about 10 km south-west of Paul Wild Observatory, is a beautiful spot for a picnic.
  • Mount Kaputar National Park is to the east of Narrabri. Camping areas and cabins are located at Dawsons Spring and Bark Hut.
  • Between Narrabri and Coonabarabran to the south-west lies Pilliga Forest. With 2000 km of public access trails, the area is a mass of wild flowers in spring and is home to emus, kangaroos and wallabies.
  • On the edge of Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran is Siding Spring Observatory, home to Australia’s premier optical and infrared telescopes. There is a visitors centre, viewing gallery of the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and spectacular views of the national park.


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