Visit CSIRO Parkes radio telescope

Tune in to the universe at the dish and experience the awesome sight of this icon of Australian science, the achievements of the astronomers that use the Parkes telescope and the grandeur of the universe that they explore. Find out 363 days a year why the Parkes telescope is more than just a movie star.

A photograph of the Parkes radio telescope in operation during the day

visitors centre and dish cafe

Built virtually in the shadow of the 64 metre dish, the visitors centre primarily caters for public curiosity about the radio telescope and astronomy, through contact with over 100,000 visitors per year. Star of the movie "The Dish", the telescope is still a world class instrument used by Astronomers from around the world to explore the Universe.

For latest news and event visit our CSIRO webpage.

  • Open: 8.30 am to 4.15 pm every day except Christmas and Boxing Days
  • Free entry
  • Great view of the telescope
  • Displays and exhibits
  • 3D theatre (entry fee applies)
  • Licensed dish café
  • Shop with Souvenirs, books, posters and science toys, Online Shop
  • Free BBQ and Picnic facilities
  • Located 20km north of Parkes, 100km south of Dubbo on the Newell Highway, New South Wales
  • Visitor centre contact: +61 2 6861 1777,
  • Dish Café contact: +61 2 6862 1566,dish cafe website

More Information about visiting the telescope

What to see

The visitors centre has displays and interactive exhibits about the telescope. Best of all it is literally in the shadow of the dish so you can't beat the view. There is also a shop stocking a wide range of souvenirs and astronomy and science books and toys.

Getting there

The Parkes Radio Telescope is 20 km north of Parkes on the Newell Highway, the main highway between Brisbane and Melbourne. The road to the telescope is clearly marked. Being readily accessible from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, with attractions both here and on the way makes the telescope a popular attraction.

More directions and attractions...

3D Theatre


Produced by Swinburne University's Centre for Astrophysics and Super Computing, these animated features offer a glimpse into the vast complexity of our Universe. The 3D theatre shows a variety of short 3D film together and lasts for about half an hour. The movies change regularly, so please contact the Parkes radio telescope visitors centre for information on our latest shows.

Admission to 3D theatre- Adults $7.50, Concession $6.00, Family $25.00.

Online Shop

Our new Astronomy and Space Science online shop provides access to our most useful educational resources and top selling products. These products are hand selected by the staff of the Parkes radio telescope and are always excellent quality. Feel free to browse our online shop.


The dish café

What better way to enjoy a great view of the telescope than over great coffee or food? The Dish café serves a wide range of wholesome homemade style food and drink from light meals to large breakfasts. Open 8.30 to 4.15. Closed Christmas and Boxing Day. The cafe also caters for groups and functions: Telephone +61 2 6862 1566 or visit the dish cafe website.

Observatory open days

Open days are the only time for the general public to tour the Parkes radio telescope. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Parkes radio telescope we held an open weekend attracting approximately 5000 people. Details are available at the Open Days page.

View the Telescope Live!

View the latest webcam image of the Parkes radio telescope and download movies of it in action here.

More Information