This winter season we are introducing specifically designed Winter Night Tours for smaller groups of visitors, willing to try something different.

From Saturday 4th June, there will be a mix of activities designed to entertain come rain, cold, cloud or moonshine. In June, July and August a night tour may include an astronomy lecture, a demonstration of the antique Astrograph; a climb to the top of the Lowell Dome; a peep inside the Visitor Observing Facility (VOF) to see the Calver and robotic RCOP; and if the skies are clear, the views through the telescopes will be very impressive. To cope with chilly winter nights in the hills, we have umbrellas to use and beanies to buy, and lots of new treasures to take home from the bigger brighter Astroshop.

Over winter months many of our new ‘vollies’ will be on duty in the domes, lecture room, and shop, as they take on more responsibility in their chosen area – be it operating a telescope for Night Tours, demonstrating science concepts for Day Tours, documenting Heritage items, or helping out with Admin and Maintenance. We look forward to recruiting more trainees in August, then in February and August each following year to gradually grow our membership, diversity of skills and capacity to take on new challenges.

When not on duty we will be busy planning displays and activities for this year’s special 50th Anniversary of the move from Mt Eliza near the city to Walnut Road, Bickley. An action-packed Open Day is being organised for Saturday, 24th September to celebrate 120 years of technological innovation and scientific discovery at the Perth Observatory and 50 years on the hilltop.

Looking further ahead, there are exciting plans for upgrading and re-purposing the grounds, domes and the heritage-listed administration building. Many of these plans depend on a long-term agreement with Parks and Wildlife, currently under negotiation and diversified funding arrangements. Meanwhile, our growing community of volunteers continues to learn, communicate and inspire visitors of all ages through their passion for astronomy, space science and astrophotography.

This Winter Solstice issue of the POVG Newsletter is packed with articles written by our multi-skilled volunteers. I trust you’ll enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy writing them and if you would like to learn more about any topic or get involved in some of our work areas, please send an email to