Stockport Observatory


General Information

Stockport Observatory is located in the small town of Stockport (6kms north-east of Hamley Bridge) approximately 80kms north of Adelaide. It provides a convenient astronomical facility away from the light pollution which surrounds Adelaide (population 1.3 million). 

The Society owns two large permanent observatories in Stockport. The largest is the Charles Todd Observatory (centre) which houses the Society's largest telescope -- the 20-inch (0.5 metre) Jubilee Telescope. The smaller of the permanent observatories is the Jubilee Dome (not shown) which houses a 16-inch (40cm) telescope. The Grida Dome (left) houses a 12-inch (30cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

The Charles Todd Dome and the Grida Dome at Stockport Observatory. Image credit Steven Saffi.

Stockport Observatory houses a number of permanently-mounted and portable telescopes.

  • The Jubilee Telescope is a 20-inch (0.5 metre) Newtonian-Cassegrain reflecting telescope that was built with the assistance of the state's Jubilee 150 Board in 1986.
  • A 16-inch (40cm) telescope is housed in the Jubilee Dome built in 1986.
  • A computerised 12-inch (30cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is housed in the Grida Dome.
  • A 15-inch (38cm) Newtonian reflecting telescope is housed in a slide-off roof observatory. 

The telescopes are used for projects within the Society and to show visitors the beauty of astronomical objects in the southern skies.

In addition to the main observatory buildings, the Stockport site also contains four telescope pads (all with power), a large shed seating around 30 people for lectures and slide shows, and an off-site car park.

Public Viewing Nights

Star Parties for the public are usually held at Stockport Observatory in February (Summer), May (Autumn), August (Winter) and November (Spring). The dates for upcoming Star Parties are:

There are currently no scheduled upcoming events.


The current fees for Stockport public viewing/stargazing nights are: 

Adults: $15
Children aged 5 to 15:  $  5
Children under 5 years:  Free
ASSA Members*: Free


* Only pre-approved members with a current Working With Children certificate volunteer at public events. All members must sign-in and provide their membership number upon arrival.

For your safety and comfort, bookings are now required and attendee numbers are strictly limited. To avoid the disappointment of not being able to enter the observatory if we have reached capacity, attendees must pre-purchase tickets online by selecting one of the dates. Note that if you are unable to attend, you are able to cancel pre-purchased with the full amount refunded at any time before the event.

On public viewing nights, tea, coffee, biscuits, sausage sizzle and cold drinks can be purchased.

Viewing nights may be cancelled if the weather is unsuitable. If in doubt, confirm by visiting our website before travelling to any observing session. Should the event be cancelled, pre-purchased tickets will be refunded in full.

How to Get to Stockport Observatory

  1. Drive north towards Gawler, taking the bypass around the town and then follow the A32 towards Tarlee.
  2. To remain on a Sealed Road: On the A32, about 600m after the Templers 80 km/hour sign, turn left at the Hamley Bridge/Balaklava sign and drive towards Hamley Bridge. A white "street" sign within Hamley Bridge will direct you to Stockport. Follow the sealed road all the way into Stockport.
  3. Caution -- Unsealed Road: GPS navigation systems may direct you past the Hamley Bridge / Balaklava turn off on the A32, requiring you to turn off further ahead on the A32 and to then drive on an unsealed road to reach Stockport. Please decide your driving preference ahead of time.
  4. In Stockport, cross the bridge and turn left onto Observatory Road -- look out for the domes!

Unfortunately there is no public transport to Stockport.

A Google Earth map is below, alternatively you can download a printable map (PDF).


There is a small car park at the observatory and ample parking on Observatory Road if the car park is full.

What to Wear & Bring

It can get extremely cold at Stockport, both in winter and summer. This isn't helped by the fact that you will be relatively immobile during the night!

If you are travelling to Stockport, we recommend that you bring:

  • Jumper and a warm jacket. Wear more layers of clothes than you think you will need. If you get too warm, you can always take them off.
  • A pair of gloves.
  • A beanie.
  • Enclosed shoes -- for your safety & comfort
  • Insect repellent -- mosquitoes can make for a very unpleasant observing experience, particularly at dusk!

White light from torches is not permitted during viewing nights. White light affects the ability for your eyes (and everybody else's) to dark adapt. If you want to bring a torch, please ensure that it is covered with a red filter (such as red cellophane).

Private Bookings

Private evenings can be booked at Stockport Observatory for your school, club or group, or for special occasions. Booking fees vary depending on the number attending and the requirements of the group. Visits may be any day of the week by prior appointment.

The best time to plan your booking is usually around a first quarter moon. This will allow us to show you the moon through a telescope, and some of the other brighter objects in the night sky. If you prefer a dark sky to observe fainter objects (such as galaxies and faint nebulae), then new moon or last quarter moon are preferred. Observing near full moon is not recommended because the brightness of the moon makes it difficult to see many of the fainter objects in the night sky.

The following fees are charged for private bookings at Stockport Observatory:

  • For schools, Scout groups, or other educational organisations: 
    $250 booking fee, plus $12.50 per child over 10 children

  • For all other private bookings: 
    $500 booking fee, plus $25 per person over 10 people

For more information or to arrange bookings for observatory visits, please e-mail or telephone the Observatories Director on (08) 8391 5377.