Travel between Sydney and Coonabarabran
about 500 kilometres
north west of Sydney.
Most people travel to Coonabarabran either by air or car, though other
travel (train/bus) are possible for the adventurous or those with time
spare. For some helpful advice on places along the route to
Siding Spring, please go to our Librarian's information on the Road to
By air: via Dubbo Airport which is the closest main airport in the area.
If you require further assistance please contact AAT Admin
There are no longer commercial flights to Coonabarabran Airport. The next closest airport is Dubbo, which is currently serviced by Qantas (code sharing with Eastern Airlines. or Regional Express. Bookings can be done online at www.qantas.com.au or www.regionalexpress.com.au
to Siding Spring from Dubbo Airport:
You can arrange a hire car to be available at the airport and it would be wise to make a booking in advance. Hire car companies operating out of Dubbo airport include Avis, Budget, Europecar and Thrifty. The trip takes about two hours. You can also book a taxi from Dubbo Airport - the taxi fare is in excess of $AUD415 each way (April 2009 price) if pre-booked with Coonabarabran's Satellite taxis. Hailing a taxi in Dubbo for travel to the telescope will cost in excess of $AUD600.
Road travel notes are available - Travel Notes.
More detailed road directions can be found through online driving maps, such as Whereis or Google maps . Travellers to or from Coonabarabran by road should be aware that:
- The quality of the main highways in NSW varies and the journey from Sydney to Coonabarabran involves secondary roads. There are several places where road conditions change rather suddenly and can catch drivers unaware, especially if they are traveling fast. Drivers should heed road signs especially speed limits.
- Some stretches of road pass through countryside frequented by kangaroos which constitute a serious traffic hazard especially in twilight and at night. Try to ensure that you start your journey early enough to avoid them when approaching Coonabarabran.
- The road journey between Sydney and Coonabarabran is about 7 hours. Drivers should be well rested before they embark on the journey and should also stop for rest breaks along the way.
Hire cars in Sydney: Visiting
observers should make their own car hire bookings. The companies
AAO staff and visitors are:
Red Spot Car Rentals - http://www.redspotrentals.com.au
Avis Car Rentals - http://www.avis.com/AvisWeb/home/AvisHome
Both companies have locations at Sydney Airport and Sydney CBD. Delivery to observers' Sydney accommodation, and pick up of returned vehicle, can be arranged at no additional cost (within a 10Km radius of the nearest rental office).
Bayswater Car Rentals - http://www.bayswatercarrental.com.au/
Clients must pick up the vehicle in person at the Kings Cross office, and they are not open on Saturday afternoons or Sunday.
Other companies you may prefer are Budget, Hertz and Europcar
The CountryLink division of State Rail offers a linked train/bus service to and from Coonabarabran. The service operates as a train from Sydney to Lithgow, then bus from Lithgow to Coonabarabran, approximately 8 hours travel time. The train leg through the Blue Mountains is very picturesque. The service departs from Sydney Central Railway Station. Alternatively, leave from Strathfield. A combination train/coach ticket can be purchased as one ticket from the CountryLink office at Central Railway Station, or Strathfield Station, or online at www.countrylink.info
For international visitors, you may be able to book a CountryLink ticket through your local travel agent.For Australian observers, the bookings phone number within Australia is 13 22 32