Located on the grounds of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in Toowong, the Sir Thomas Planetarium is a short 15 minutes from the city and there are regular busses running from various Brisbane suburbs.
Entry into the Planetarium is free however the main attraction is the shows, for which there are various deals for group bookings of 10 or more people and also families. All shows include a main feature and then a tour of the Brisbane night sky all from the comfort of your reclined seat in the Cosmic Sky dome.
The Planetarium’s resident astronomers present all shows and on Saturday evenings there is also the option of getting a glimpse of the sky first hand through the Planetarium’s own telescopes. This holiday there are two shows available, both worth a view: Black Holes: Journey Into the Unknown and Cosmic Collisions. Come to think of it, Grandma probably only fell asleep because she was lying back and in a dark room.
For my cousins, and myself however, reclining and learning about the universe was an exciting experience and definitely not one likely to put us to sleep. At times, the show was even frighteningly loud, especially when scenes such as the big bang were depicted.
We also took delight in posing for a pic with a replica life size astronaut, feasting our eyes on pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope and cautiously eyeing samples of asteroids.
My brother, never one to leave a place without first trying to convince Mum to buy him something, also managed to pick up a book on the evolution of the universe and a multifunctional compass gadget from the Planetarium Shop, which stocks all kinds of science-ey gear.
Whether you’re planning your career as an astronomer or simply fascinated by the mysteries of space, the Planetarium is definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Brisbane. It really is out of this world.
Another great place to see the stars is the Springfield Lakes playground. It’s great place to get a view under the stars and the equipment lights up at night.