Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium | Spend a day under the stars
It’s been just over 50 years since Neil Armstrong took ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,’ but each time we look up at the sky there’s something new to be discovered – much like what you'll find at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
Located within the grounds of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha and less than five kilometres from the Brisbane Central Business District, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium has exciting displays and shows that are both educational and entertaining — perfect for aspiring little astronauts and curious adults.
Be sure to explore the Display Zone and Gallery before you head in for the main event - the Cosmic Skydome. Bookings are required for all shows and attendance is for a fee.
The Planetarium’s Display Zone takes visitors on an astronomical journey from the present-day solar system to the time of the Big Bang. Along the way, you'll see fragments of asteroids, a replica of Neil Armstrong's Apollo spacesuit and even images from the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Gallery wraps around the perimeter of the Cosmic Skydome projection theatre, featuring interesting facts, figures, photographs and touchscreen displays of the universe and our solar system.
The Observatory contains telescopes used by the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium astronomers for research and demonstrations. On some Saturday evenings, the Planetarium holds demonstrations for the general public.
Tip: Follow the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium page on Facebook for frequent updates on when and where different space stations, stars and planets are easy to see in the night sky.
Planetarium shows in the Cosmic Skydome
The Planetarium screens a range of astronomy shows inside its Cosmic Skydome projection theatre. With the lights switched off, viewers are taken around the universe to explore deep space, while sitting in the comfort of plush, inclined theatre seats. The full stargazing experience is made even better with technology that displays one of the world's brightest, most detailed night skies that you'll see close to a city.
Fun fact: Sir Thomas Brisbane was a Scottish astronomer who established the first significant observatory in 1822 to map the southern skies.
There is a range of Planetarium general audience and children's shows to choose from. Most shows last about an hour, and screen on weekdays and weekends, with extra shows during school holidays. Each show finishes with a night sky tour, where Brisbane's evening sky is projected onto the dome to let you see the planets and constellations that fill our night sky. Check out the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium events calendar to find a show.
Getting to the Planetarium, parking and tickets
The Planetarium is open Tuesday to Sunday with free parking located close to the entrance. It is busiest on weekends, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays being less busy for shows. View the opening hours.
Important COVID-19 note: The Planetarium is currently operating under a COVID-19 Safety Plan with a limit of 60 patrons for public shows. Bookings are required and late admittance to shows is not permitted.
Nearby places to eat
Whether you're looking for breakfast or brunch near the Planetarium, there are several great cafes and restaurants close by. For excellent coffee, drive less than five minutes from Planetarium to the Corner Store Cafe, Toowong, where you'll find a menu fit for even the fussiest of kids and an outdoor area overlooking a beautiful garden. Just down the road is Pitch and Fork, which overlooks the local rugby field and has a great all-day brunch menu.
Alternatively, bring your own picnic to enjoy in the lush surrounds of the botanic gardens or venture to Mt Coot-tha Reserve's J. C. Slaughter Falls picnic ground. Stock up on picnic essentials at The Bardon Shed on Runic Street, Bardon. There is also the Botanic Gardens Cafe where you can eat and unwind without leaving the grounds.
More to see at Mt Coot-tha precinct
Once you've learnt about the stars and constellations, check out the rest of the Mt Coot-tha precinct.
A day out at the Planetarium is just one of many ways you can have a Brisbetter Day Out. There's so much to see and do in Brisbane. Check out our other Day Out articles, videos and itineraries for more fabulous ideas.
Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane and to buy local as part of the city's Economic Recovery Plan. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this video.
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