What should I wear?
At any time of year, including warm months December, January, February and March, you must bring a jacket. We suggest you wear as a minimum:
- Full-length trousers
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Closed in shoes or boots, with socks
From April to November plan to wear three to six layers, including thermals. You can always peel off layers.
You should plan to wear multiple items, including vest, jackets, jumpers, coats, wind jacket, overcoat. Always pack a beanie, scarf and gloves for the outback after dark.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, please also bring for added warmth and comfort your own thick blanket or sleeping bag.
We use an audio system in most of our sky shows.
You should remember to bring your 3.5mm round plug earphones – or you can purchase some when making an online booking if they are required for your event.
The following earphone connectors are not suitable – flat Apple, USB, Bluetooth, WiFi.
Some events may not require ear phones, eg we may use a public address system. However, we suggest you pack ear phones in case your event is rescheduled to a later night when it may be necessary to have ear phones.
Outback Astronomy accepts vouchers under the NSW Dine & Discover programme.
We accept the “Discover” vouchers for sky show bookings and we accept the “Dine” vouchers if you are ordered sky show food with your booking.
We also accept the “Dine” voucher in the Sky Dome Cafe on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s.
Our process is: you book the sky show on our website and pay the full amount via credit card. Bring along your voucher details when you attend the sky show. We will scan your voucher details and arrange for a credit back to you.
You can not enter your Dine & Discover voucher numbers into our website booking system. We are not linked to the Dine & Discover system to know what your voucher number is.
To scan the vouchers they must be displayed on your phone after you have logged into the Service NSW app. The QR code will not scan if it is a screenshot you have taken earlier. The Service NSW system cycles the QR codes and 9-digit codes every 10 mins, and as such we can only scan a ‘live’ QR code from your phone.
If you have an ‘official’ PDF or printed copy from Service NSW, we are able to scan these codes successfully.
Please note that we can only provide a credit to the person (or credit card) that made the sky show booking. We can process multiple vouchers from different people against a single booking, and the total value of the vouchers will be refunded back to your credit card.
If you require the voucher credits to be refunded back to separate voucher holders, then they will need to book separate sky shows with their own credit card details.
We will arrange your voucher credit once the Dine & Discover programme has processed the voucher payment details back to us, which is usually within 2 to 4 business days of scanning your voucher. Once we process the credit/refund through our system, it can then take anywhere between 1 to 7 days to process back through your credit card financial institution – we have no control over the time the banks take to refund.
More information on the programme can be found here.
Phone networks in Australia are operated by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Telstra works in the Broken Hill built up areas and drops off quickly once outside the city. Optus works marginally better than Vodafone in the city.
Expect almost no coverage outside of city boundaries for Optus and Vodaphone. Telstra might pop in and out of range as you travel.
At Outback Astronomy we will be scanning QR codes outdoors in an area where the signal can be received.
If you attend Outback Astronomy and have a smart phone that uses the Optus or Vodafone network, you should be able to scan the QR code at our entrance. Expect to receive very poor signal or no signal at all as you move further inside our venue.
If no signal can be received at the entrance you will be required to write down the contact details and time of arrival for each guest in your group to comply with NSW government requirements.
When you view our calendar, two sky shows are hosted only on dark nights.
- Hang out with the Stars® from October to March.
- Milky Way Hangout from April to September.
From the home page, click on View Calendar and scroll month by month to reveal dates with the darkest skies.
When the Moon is in the sky but it is still dark enough for gazing, we typically host a sky show called The Sky Tonight. Check with us prior to your travel about the Moon brightness if it concerns you.
The Sky Tonight is an introductory event for gazers who want to know about celestial cycles. There may be a thin crescent or a gibbous Moon, but still dark enough for binocular and telescope viewing. Do not book this event if you want to view stars on a dark night!
We may also schedule outdoor dinner events under a brighter, full Moon. Do not expect a sky show close to full Moon as the sky is too bright.
We can tailor dinner events on moonlit nights to suit most requests, apart from making the Moon go away.
Food served on the sky dome is tasty, rustic and should be familiar to our guests. Food service is kept affordable for guests. Service must be practicable for the outdoor venue.
Our sky show snacks offered on dark sky nights include boards of cheeses, crackers, fruits and nuts and other tasty nibbles, a very popular Turkish bread and dukkah dip, and others.
Dinner events also feature foods appropriate for the occasion. BBQs and salads make sense in warm months while stews, curries and soups are popular in cool months.
We may wait for clouds to move or cancel.
If we cancel you will be given the opportunity to reschedule or if this is not possible, receive a full refund.
We ask all guests for a mobile phone contact so that we can text message you during the day if the weather is a concern that evening.
It is always best to have some flexibility during your stay in Broken Hill. Plan to attend a sky show early in your visit just in case you need to reschedule to the next night.
Lengthy cloudy periods out here are rare.
If you booked your event as an individual or as part of a group of family or friends, and we cancel an event because of cloud, your options are:
- Reschedule to another available night, or
- Seek a refund
On some occasions large quantities of food service are involved in our events and guests cannot reschedule. On such occasions we have invited our guests to enjoy their food and beverage service on the sky dome and refund the sky show portion of the booking if cloud has failed to move and the sky show cannot proceed.
We otherwise minimise event cancellations if bookings have been made. There may be occasions when we will cancel a sky show event due to low booking numbers, however, we try to avoid doing this. We emphasise to all guests to book in advance online so that we can maximise the opportunity to host the event.
If it is cloudy and your booking was made by a third party or a tourism industry representative, it is likely your schedule is set. It may not be easy to reschedule or refund, or it may be that making a refund is complicated due to the type of event or the cost of making the refund. In such situations we will provide an alternative event at our premises, as far as it is possible.
All sky show guests must arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the sky show. Please phone us on 0427 055 225 as soon as you know you will be late so that we can make arrangements to greet you when our property is blacked out and locked up for stargazing.
Any person curious about the sky, the stars and other celestial objects will enjoy these events. No prior knowledge of the sky is required. Our sky shows are suitable for all ages from 6 years and up.
Check the calendar of events to see what’s on at the time you plan to be in Broken Hill. Be sure to contact us to ensure the date has capacity for your group size. We may require a deposit to confirm your booking. Groups should always ensure the following evening is free to attend if the first date is cloudy. Groups are larger organised groups such as schools or tour groups.
We regret we cannot offer discounts in the foreseeable future. Due to the pandemic we have limited the number of guests at sky shows and also reduced the frequency of our sky shows.
There is one sky show we may list during school holidays for families, Flat Mat Gazing. It may also be scheduled any time upon request, with notice, for school groups or large family gatherings, although a minimum group size or a minimum fee will apply.
Our transport service has been stopped until further notice, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Outback Astronomy is located at 18817 Barrier Highway, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. This is a 10 minute drive from most parts of Broken Hill. Parking spaces are at the front of the building. Search for our venue online and follow directions. You must exercise caution if relying upon a factory-fitted GPS unit in a motor vehicle. Guests have advised these can be inaccurate.
From the Post Office in Argent Street, drive north.
This is the direction to Wilcannia and Cobar.
Argent Street becomes the Barrier Highway.
From the 80 kilometre per hour speed sign on the edge of town, proceed 5.2 kilometres.
We are on the right hand side of the highway. A small reflective sign marks our turn-off.
Our property is flat and accessible with walking aids and wheelchairs. Specialised transportation vehicles may access the sky dome directly however this must be arranged in advance of the sky show. There are three steps at the front entrance to the building (including our theatrette and internal café area). Bathroom facilities do not allow wheelchair access at this time. Please be patient with us as we progress these improvement works. The building was constructed in the 1930s and we value its heritage.
All information about the Sky Dome Café can be accessed at its own website www.skydomecafe.com.au.
Outback Astronomy offers a special outback night sky experience to guests and we welcome enquiries from the industry. We are happy to facilitate industry enquiries and provide arm’s-length or independent information about suitable accommodation options in Broken Hill and surrounding areas. Our approach is to assess the pandemic situation at the time of enquiries or event dates, and to be responsive and act appropriately, as government restrictions and policies change.
We look forward to welcoming domestic and international groups to our venue. We can supply our industry information to bona fide industry representatives. Please contact by email, firstname.lastname@example.org to outline your request.
Images used on this website are a combination of Outback Astronomy images, stock images and images from Destination NSW supplied as part of the “It’s Out There” Campaign.
Time Zone in Broken Hill, Australia
Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT) in Broken Hill is equal to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) +10.5 hours (October, November, December, January, February, March)
Daylight saving time begins at 2am on the first Sunday in October. Clocks are put forward one hour. It ends at 2am (3am Daylight Saving Time) on the first Sunday in April. Clocks are put back one hour.
Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) in Broken Hill is equal to UTC +9.5 hours (April, May, June, July, August, September)