Night Sky Tours
Night Sky tours are conducted at Perth Observatory from September through May each year. Perth Observatory is operated by the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group Incorporated (also known as POVG). Night tours are conducted by the volunteers of the Perth Observatory Volunteer Group. Bookings for Star Viewing night tours are made through the Perth Observatory website www.perthobservatory.com.au, where payment can be made by direct transfer of funds at the time of booking.
General Tour Terms & Conditions
Only valid paid ticket holders will be admitted to tours. Tickets should be purchased in advance using the booking form on the website www.perthobservatory.com.au. Perth Observatory requests that all ticket holders arrive at the Observatory at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to scheduled tour commencement. Please note that late arrivals are not always able to be accommodated.
There are a maximum number of places on each tour and this capacity is regularly reached. Perth Observatory reserves the right to refuse the sale of tickets to a tour.
Children must be supervised by an adult at all times. Children under 5 are free, but it’s recommended that children be at least 8 years of age to attend a telescope viewing event, as the ability to take instructions, understand the information given and patience for the duration of approximately 90 minutes viewings are necessary.
Please note the duration of the tour and the expected temperature for the time of your tour and dress accordingly. We also advise that the temperatures up at Bickley at night are often lower than down in metropolitan Perth.
For your safety and the safety of others on the tour, all persons present on a tour must abide by the instructions given by the tour staff and volunteers and must remain with the tour group at all times or with a staff member or volunteer.
Perth Observatory is situated in state forest and smoking is not permitted on the grounds of Perth Observatory at any time (day or night).
Tours are Alcohol-Free. Assistance can be provided to apply for a temporary liquor license prior to an Exclusive Night Tour.
Pets and other domestic animals are not permitted to be on the grounds of Perth Observatory at any time.
While Perth Observatory staff and volunteers place heavy emphasis on safety, patrons are reminded that there is an element of risk in night tours and that patrons are responsible for behaving in a safe, cautious manner appropriate to the conditions.
Night Sky Tours and Inclement Weather (Sept-May)
Perth Observatory tours are designed to operate in clear, cloudy and wet conditions. Our tours contain a rich combination of star viewing, equipment tours, astrophotography, history and education delivered by a trained, enthusiastic group of staff and volunteers. The exact content of a tour will vary based on the weather conditions at the time to optimise the participant experience. Tickets booked for a tour will not be refunded when cloudy conditions are forecast in the lead up to a tour. It is extremely common that forecasted cloudy conditions will not eventuate to the extent that viewing is not possible. Exceptions:
- If a ticket holder previously attended a tour and that last attended tour was deemed by the observatory to be a cloudy tour, that ticket may be transferred to an alternate date.
- If the Bureau of Meteorology has in place a Severe Weather Warning for the Perth Metropolitan region, including Perth Hills/Bickley area, for the time of the tour, or within 6 hours of the tour start time (12 hour window around the tour), tours during the hours defined by the Severe Weather Warning will be cancelled.
In the event of a severe weather warning, the decision to cancel the tour will be made on the day of the tour and all ticket holders will be contacted using details provided during the booking process.
You will then be given the option to receive a refund or transfer the booking to an alternative tour date/time. (Please ensure that these contact details are correct).
If at the conclusion of a tour, Perth Observatory deems that the tour was considered cloudy, ticket holders of that tour will be emailed with a 50% discount code for a future tour during the following week. When attending that future tour the ticket holder may postpone to an alternative date if cloudy conditions are forecast. Perth Observatory will deem a night as being “cloudy” when:
- No more than three astronomical objects are able to be viewed by participants through telescopes, or
- At the discretion of Perth Observatory.
Perth Observatory will permit transfers with the following conditions:
- Up to 7 days prior to a scheduled tour: Tickets may be transferred to an alternative night with no additional cost incurred.
- Perth Observatory will permit transfers with the following conditions:
- Between 7 days and up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled tour for bookings with less this 5 people.
- Between 7 days and up to 3 days prior to the scheduled tour for bookings with 5 to 9 people.
- Up to 7 days prior to the scheduled tour for bookings with 10 and more people.
- 24 hours prior to the scheduled tour: Tickets are not able to be refunded or transferred.
- Tickets may be transferred to a different person at any time but notice must be provided to Perth Observatory.
The exception to this is where a person has already attended a cloudy tour and is re-booking on 50% discount for a clear night.
No refunds will be given, however, you may transfer tickets to an alternative date if arranged well enough in advance.
Cancellations will not receive a refund.
Perth Observatory reserves the right to refund the price of tickets under special circumstances when a participant is unable to attend. Refunds are given solely at the discretion of Perth Observatory. Please refer to our Inclement Weather terms & conditions above regarding cancellations relating to weather.
The following classifications of tickets are provided for tours:
- Seniors and Australian Health Care Card Holders who hold one of the following:
- Blue Government Card or White Senior Card
- Pension Card
- Repatriation Health Card (Gold)
- Health Care Card specifying the reason as “age”
- Veterans Affairs Card
- For overseas seniors, Proof of Age Cards or Passport showing age as +65 years old
- Any Australian student card with a valid sticker or date – student must be studying in Australia
- Seniors and Australian Health Care Card Holders who hold one of the following:
- If a child is between the ages of 5-17 years they require a child ticket
Exclusive Night Tours
Group Bookings refer to bookings for a whole exclusive tour by a group. Exclusive group bookings are possible but these will only be available on a non-standard Night Tour.
Group bookings have the following additional terms and conditions applied:
- An exclusive group booking will attract a charge of $1344.
- Exclusive tours are also subject to the availability of suitably qualified staff & volunteers. A minimum of two weeks’ lead time is required.
- In some circumstances, Perth Observatory provides the courtesy of allowing group individuals to pay individually when they arrive. Where payment will be made on the night by individuals of the group it is understood that the agreed minimum number of participants must purchase tickets or an invoice will be sent to the group organiser.
Winter Night Tours
Bookings are subject to availability of a trained host and telescope operators. Perth Observatory tours are designed to operate in clear, cloudy and wet conditions. Our tours contain a rich combination of star viewing, equipment tours, astrophotography, history and education delivered by a trained, enthusiastic group of staff and volunteers. The exact content of a tour will vary based on the weather conditions at the time to optimise the participant experience.
These tours depend on the availability of suitably trained volunteers and staff.
Day Tours – Schools
These tours depend on the availability of suitably trained volunteers and staff. See associated Terms and Conditions for School Groups.
Day Tours – Individual
An ad hoc tour of Perth Observatory grounds may be possible but depends on the availability of staff to supervise. A gold coin donation is requested.