A radio helioscope was established at Culgoora by the CSIRO in 1967. In the 1980s the Australia Telescope was built. Linked to the telescopes at Coonabarabran, Parkes and Tidbinbilla, it is the most powerful in the Southern Hemisphere, receiving radio waves from deep space by means of six gigantic dishes placed upon a rail track to allow for spatial readjustment. It is about 20 km south-east of Wee Waa. Access is via the Old Pilliga Rd and the route is sealed.
A friendly, relaxed environment is provided when you visit the Australia Telescope.
Open seven days a week, admission to the observatory is absolutely free. From interactive “hands on” displays to “Whispering Dishes”, where the merest whisper can be transmitted a hundred metres by focusing with two small telescope dishes, a stopover at the Telescopes is fascinating for all ages.
Outside there are free electric barbecues and picnic facilities in a bushland setting teeming with wildlife. The kangaroos that frequent this area in the late afternoon are reasonably quiet but definitely not tame.
The telescope is the only one in the southern hemisphere capable of receiving signals one thousand times higher in frequency than FM radio stations. Almost always at least one of the massive dishes is stationed close to the Visit area. The 'self guiding' new display's are open every day 8am to 4pm entry is free. Families and coach groups are most welcome. Group bookings are essential by phoning (02) 67904010 or contact the Visitor Information Centre in Narrabri.
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