Love to stargaze? Wonder what the depths of the night sky really hold? Head to Mt Coot-tha and check out the planetarium!

Located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium features entertaining and informative programs for children and adults alike.

The planetarium’s namesake, Sir Thomas Brisbane, was a Governor of New South Wales in the 1820s and established Australia’s first significant observatory. Responsible for the first extensive mapping of the southern sky, his observations led to a list of 7,385 stars – that’s a lot of time spent looking at the night sky! An original copy of the ‘Brisbane Catalogue of Stars’ can be viewed at the planetarium for a mixture of history and astronomy.

A recent refurbishment meant the installation of a new optical star projector (replacing the Zeiss Projector which was installed in 1978 when the planetarium was first opened) which creates a stunning and realistic night sky on the new 12.5 m diameter projection dome.

Two new shows, Perfect Little Planet and Dynamic Earth (see trailer below) have been added alongside the regular favourites (including Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown, Cosmic Collisions and The Search for Life).

The shows are held in the Cosmic Skydome and immerse audiences in educational and entertaining displays on the universe. Don’t feel like lying still for too long? Check out the Mini Theatre where short features are screened, or the Display Zone where you can see fragments of asteroids, spacecraft models and a life-size replica of Neil Armstrong’s lunar spacesuit.

Astronomy enthusiasts can book the Observatory to get an up-close and personal look at the night sky, and (weather-permitting) planetarium astronomers also hold demonstrations there on Saturday evenings.

So any starry-eyed space lovers should head out to Mt Coot-tha and check out what’s on offer! The planetarium is open Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 4pm, Saturdays 10.30am to 6.30pm and Sundays 10.30am until 4pm, so make a day of it and take the kids to something fun and educational these holidays!

Have you ever visited the Brisbane Planetarium? Will you be going these holidays? Let us know!