Our group programs are tailored to primary and secondary students, seniors and special interest groups.


In response to the COVID-19 situation our Parkes Observatory Visitors Centre is not currently accepting bookings for group visits. If you would like to register your interest to make a booking when restrictions ease please email parkes-vdc@csiro.au.

A typical group visit to Parkes Observatory includes:

Explore the Universe in high-definition 3D at Parkes Observatory.  ©Mark James Photography/Parkes Shire Council

  • Looking around the astronomy and space science exhibition
  • Catching a movie in the high-definition 3D theatre, and
  • Heading out on the AstroKids Scavenger Hunt.

All groups booked into the 3D theatre or the AstroKids Scavenger Hunt also receive an introductory talk on the Parkes telescope as well as a short Q&A session. This usually runs for about 10–15 minutes.

Options and costs for group visits

Visitors centre

  • Cost: Free
  • This option includes:
    • View the telescope up close
    • Explore the visitors centre's astronomy and space science exhibition.
  • Total visit time: 1-2 hours

Scavenger hunt

  • Cost: $4 per person
  • This option includes:
    • All visitors centre activities
    • AstroKids activity booklet (scavenger hunt map and clues, puzzles and quizzes, Dish information and activities to do at school or at home)
    • Souvenir Parkes radio telescope pen (per student).
  • Note: The scavenger hunt is designed to run unassisted. We provide the activity booklets and pens, and teachers supervise the activity. It is suitable for students aged 7-14.
  • Total visit time: 1-2 hours 

3D theatre

  • Cost: $6 per person
  • This option includes:
    • All visitors centre activities
    • Introduction by staff
    • 3D theatre admission (several short 3D films shown together, duration 30 minutes)
    • Q&A at the conclusion of the films.
  • Total visit time: 1-2 hours

Scavenger hunt & 3D theatre

  • Cost: $9 per person
  • This option includes: All of the activities listed as other options.
  • Total visit time: 1.5-2.5 hours

Accompanying teachers

Teachers and coach drivers are free of charge.

Catering at Parkes Observatory

Order in advance so the award-winning Dish Café can prepare a catering package to suit your group's needs. Contact the Dish Café directly on phone +61 2 6862 1566, or visit the Dish Cafe website .

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