Admission to the Discovery Centre is free. There is a small charge to view the 3D Theatre.
The CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, star of the movie ‘The Dish,’ (2000) is one of Australia’s most prominent landmarks and a must-see attraction on every driving holiday through inland NSW. As portrayed in the movie, the giant dish stands impressively over surrounding farmlands – a sophisticated piece of scientific equipment ironically in the middle of sheep paddocks! Located 20km north of Parkes, The Dish is a short 5km detour off the Newell Highway. You can walk almost right up to it and marvel at the 64 metre steel paraboloid, elegantly balanced atop a three storey concrete tower.
Built virtually in the shadow of The Dish, the Visitor Discovery Centre is where visitors are invited to explore the world of astronomy and discover what role The Dish plays in ‘listening to the stars’.
The Centre features many displays, as well as hands on exhibits. The Dish Shop features a range of astronomy and space science books, DVD’s, science toys and souvenirs. There is a 3D theatre that has recently been upgraded to high definition and runs every half hour.
The Dish can cater for your culinary needs or there are free BBQ and picnic facilities. Of course the biggest attraction is a great view of the Dish. The Cafe is open 7 days for breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon teas – or just a coffee.