Funded entirely by NASA, the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex uses a mix of 70-metre and 34-metre dishes to track and provide two-way radio transmissions with dozens of spacecraft scouring the solar system and beyond. Inside the modest but fascinating Visitor Centre, learn about modern space travel, see a priceless piece of moon rock, a Mars Rover replica, and experience science fiction in reality. The largest steerable parabolic dish in the southern hemisphere is just a 45-minute drive from Canberra, so you don’t even have to go to the end of the universe.
Length of Trip : With the scenic drive and a visit to the nearby Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, make it a day trip.
Entry to the Visitor Centre is free.
Best time to go : Open 9am to 5pm every day except Christmas.
Wheelchair friendly : Yes
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat :
Grab a pie and coffee at the on-site and appropriately named Moon Rock Café, open 9:30am to 4pm daily. In Canberra, check out Agostini's for lunch and dinner and Muse for breakfast inside the East Hotel.
Official Site :
Where to Stay :
We recommend the fantastic East Hotel when staying in Canberra.
Getting There :
Travel to the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex takes about 40-45 minutes from the centre of Canberra city. It is located approximately 35 kilometres southwest of the city and can be easily accessed via the route known as Tourist Drive 5 (TD5). TD5 is a 73 kilometre loop taking you through the beautiful Tidbinbilla valley and you can't get lost on it, as it's a single road with only one or two turn-offs. Enter Discovery Drive, Paddys River District or coordinates: -35.39972,148.97086 in your nav system.
Note from Robin :
Bring your gaze down to earth at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, located just down the road from the Deep Space Centre. Spanning over fifty square kilometres, take a bushwalk on one of the reserve’s 22 marked trails in search of a who’s who of Australian wildlife. Fenced off to predators, don’t miss the stunning Sanctuary - an accessible pathway through a large wetland eco-system. Keep an eye out for birdlife, reptiles, and a creature so weird it must surely have come from outer space, the platypus.