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The OzSky Observing Site

With the growing popularity of the OzSky Star Safaris, we have recently expanded our offering to two separate events, at two different locations in NSW Australia. The first is our "classic" OzSky Star Safari, held annually near Coonabarabran in the Central West / North Western Slopes of NSW. The second is our newly revamped "Alumni" OzSky Star Safari, held every second year near Crookwell in the Southern Tablelands of NSW.

  • > The OzSky "Classic" Star Safari
  • > The OzSky "Alumni" Star Safari

    The OzSky "Classic" Star Safari (March 23 - 30, 2025)

    Warrumbungles Mountain Motel
    882 Timor Road, Coonabarabran NSW 2357
    -31° 16' 24" S, 149° 11' 22" E

    The Warrumbungles Mountain Motel and observing site are located adjacent to the Warrumbungles National Park between Coonabarabran and the Siding Spring Observatories (about a 6-7 hour drive west-north-west of Sydney).

    Our observing site is set on 25 acres with no highway noise, 10km (six miles) from Coonabarabran, and bordered by the Castlereagh River. A large football-sized field shielded from the road by the motel itself serves as the perfect observing field.

    If you register early enough to be allocated a place in one of the on-site motel rooms, you will be observing literally footsteps from your motel room which permits you to pop in and out of your room for refreshments or a quick nap, returning refreshed to the eyepiece. Mains electricity (240-volt/50Hz) is available on the fringes of the field for shielded laptop use.

    Accommodation Options

    There are only 15 on-site rooms, most of which are capable of accommodating up to seven guests. Two or three of these are usually designated for your volunteer hosts from 3RF Australia to enable them to be on hand for setting up, breaking down and maintaining the telescopes during the week, as well as guiding you through the Southern Night Skies, contingent upon guest viewing needs and desires.

    On-site housing assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, with first preference being given to those staying the full week and those willing to room-share with other observers. Most of the on-site rooms are capable of accommodating up to seven (7) people, however we typically only assign up to four (4) people per room to ensure greater levels of comfort.

    Individuals traveling alone or as a group will be assigned to shared (separate male and female) rooms of up to four (4) people per room. There are a limited number of couples rooms, however these often sell out very early, so be sure to register as soon as possible. Where individuals or couples are traveling as a group but registering separately, please let us know and we will try to assign you to the same room(s) where possible. Numerous private rooms are available off-site where we have pre-booked a block of rooms for OzSky guests.

    During the much smaller OzSky "Alumni" Star Safaris in September/October, private and twin-share rooms are often made available, depending on final numbers.

    All on-site rooms include private bathroom, linen and towels, TV and a kitchenette with cooking facilities and utensils. Amenities on site include a salt water pool, guest laundry, parking at your door, gas-fired BBQs and limited wifi internet.

    The entire motel is at our disposal for the full week and full dark-out provisions will be strictly implemented each night to promote a full no-light policy.

    For those observers registering after all on-site rooms have been allocated, we strongly recmmend booking your off-site accommodation as soon as possible as they have been known to fill to capacity sometimes several months in advance. Most of the off-site options are less than 10 minutes drive from the observing site, and we can provide you with a list of alternative accommodations in town. You can also ask to be wait-listed for a place in one of the on-site rooms if one becomes available.

    Please note that all housing choices are convenient to the observing site and an in-town location may be more suitable to the needs of those wanting fast or reliable internet, nearby shops or other conveniences of an in-town location.

    The OzSky "Alumni" Star Safari (September 30 - October 7, 2024)

    Markdale Homestead
    462 Mulgowrie Road, Binda NSW 2583
    -34° 13' 11" S, 149° 14' 27" E

    Markdale Homestead and our "Alumni" (Southern Spring) observing site are located in the Southern Tablelands of NSW, about 40km (25 miles) north-west of Crookwell (about a 3 hour drive south-west of Sydney).

    Our observing site is set on 6,300 acres of prime sheep and cattle country, with absolutely no highway noise, a fantastic southern horizon and of course the amazing night skies that Australia is known for.

    Our telescopes are set up on a flat, grass tennis court immediately adjacent to the accommodation, and just a few footsteps from your rooms making for very convenient observing comforts.

    All registered participants will be staying on-site at the observing site.

    Accommodation Options

    Accommodation at this event consists of three (3) separate houses including a 6-bedroom renovated Shearer’s Quarters, as well as two original 1850s 4-bedroom and 2-bedroom stone cottages.

    There are 3 twin rooms, 4 double rooms, 4 single rooms and one "Master Suite" on-site, allowing a total of 20 people including volunteers and couples. Two of these rooms will be designated for your volunteer hosts. As such, the OzSky "Alumni" Star Safari will be strictly limited to the first 12 - 16 registrations only, making for a very cosy and exclusive observing experience.

    All rooms include linen and towels, as well as shared bathrooms and kitchens with full cooking facilities and utensils, and a shared laundry. The "Master Suite" has a private ensuite bathroom. Amenities include a solar-heated pool, tennis court, limited wifi internet and gas-fired BBQs for classic, aussie-themed lunches or dinners as well as award-winning gardens which are usually in full bloom at this time of year.

    Due to the remoteness of the site, there are no alternative accommodations nearby, so all registered participants will conveniently be able to stay on-site.

    Register Now to secure your place at one of these unique OzSky Star Safaris.

    OzSky "Alumni" Star Safari (read more...)

    Can't make it to the "Classic" OzSky Star Safari in March/April? Or have you already been to several "Classic" OzSky Star Safaris and you are now looking for a different time of year to explore the other half of the Southern night skies?

    Why not consider an OzSky "Alumni" Star Safari instead, for your next observing trip!