The Arkaroola Astronomical Observatories

In the far-northern Flinders Ranges we are very fortunate indeed to have a world class atmospheric transparency index and sharpness due to our arid environment and Elevation. Our skies are exceptionally dark due to our distance from any towns with Arkaroola employing a “low light” policy in the evenings.

We run three fully equipped astronomical observatories, two located well above the Village area and one conveniently located virtually at our reception area. All of our Observatories are designed and operated to ensure an unforgettable “Stargazing” experience.

In addition to conducting Advanced Ecotourism Accredited Astronomy Tours, each of our observatories are available to professional and amateur astronomers, or to visiting astronomical societies and clubs ( conditions apply ).

Scroll down to see an overview of our Observatories and Sample Images.

Dodwell Observatory

Our original domed observatory, with adjacent briefing/store room, was built in 1986 and is fully equipped with a wide range of professional equipment – including a Celestron 14-inch (360mm) Schmidt-Cassegrain (SC) astronomical telescope.

The Dodwell Observatory is named in honour of George Frederick Dodwell (1879 – 1963), the Government Astronomer of South Australia from 1909 – 1952.

Sir Mark Oliphant Observatory

A 3.5 metre diameter fibreglass observatory dome (made by Sirius in Australia), is similarly equipped with a first-class computer-assisted 14-inch (360mm) Celestron SC telescope and other equipment;  this observatory was constructed, and officially opened, in 2003.

Arkaroola was proud to name this observatory in honour of Sir Marcus [Mark] Laurence Elwin Oliphant (1901 – 2000), a famous South Australian Physicist, and Governor of South Australia from 1971 – 1976;  Sir Mark was a long-time friend of the Sprigg Family.

Ningana Imaging Observatory

Our latest addition to an already impressive collection of Astronomical Venues, The Ningana Imaging Observatory allows the visitor a real time, state of the art, digital Astro Experience. Relax seated indoors and view the wonders of our solar system and beyond into deep space….all just a 100 metres from the Main Reception/Bar/Restaurant area.

Ningana Imaging Observatory Control Console and Display

Arkaroola Astronomy Images