Secure Site Accommodation

Currently we are staying at the Australian Telescope National Facility (ATNF) headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney.

They have six single and two double accommodation "huts" on the site for visiting scientists and students to the ATNF and the AAO (Anglo-Australian Observatory).  These are basic but adequate rooms, containing what I consider necessities – a bed, a shower and a toilet – not necessarily listed in order of importance!

There is a communal lounge and communal kitchen and I am having nasty flashbacks to student housing at Macquarie Uni!

The tv is in the lounge so everyone watches whatever the first person is watching. The fridge has large containers marked with the hut number in which to put your food/drink.  I am fairly convinced that someone is drinking my cranberry juice and absolutely certain that someone took my passionfruit yogurt!!
The huts are set among gum trees and native shrubs and the kookaburras start laughing at the first peep of the sun.  Then, the currawongs and magpies start their loud chattering and there is no hope of further sleep!  There are rabbits throughout the grounds and I am sure there are snakes – at least that is what I keep telling the astro-dweeb 🙂 When we arrived we were told that they are trying to eradicate the rabbits with a virus and that they go under the huts to die….   so far we have not smelt any rotting flesh – but there is still time!

This is a Government site so at night it is locked down and we need magnetic passes to get through the large gates into the compound – it is basically deserted and a little spooky. The ATNF supports research in radio astronomy. It is administered by the CSIRO, a national scientific research organisation and is funded by the Australian Government. There are two 4 metre radio telescopes on-site which are used to test instruments which will be sent to other ATNF telescopes.

 The ATNF operates the Australia Telescope which consists of the Compact Array at Narrabri and the Parkes and Mopra radio telescopes. These telescopes can be used together as a long baseline array for use in Very Long Baseline Interferometry.   More information on ATNF


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18 responses

  1. Killing rabbits. Why not eat them. Hmmm looks a little like an Army compound of sorts. I can understand the spooky part. Hope all is going well and you learn and get some enjoyment from the experience. Strange birds. Are Bob Whites and Doves are back. I love their songs. No flowers yet. Soon Soon.

  2. Interesting place! Your dispatch from ATNF was interesting. I've paid tourist (unfortunately) visits to Kitt Peak, Arizona and Green Bank, W.Va., in the states and have seen their accommodations for visiting scientists. Not as pretty, in some ways, but there are likely not so many snakes… or rabbits!

  3. Sounds interesting..I wouldn't mind staying in a place like this, especially with the giant telescope! Is the astro-dweeb having fun?Old tricks from communal days -label your food- 'we spit in this'. Gross, you say? But it works!

  4. Oh man, I remember those days of having to share space with little thieves. I agree with Park Girl about labeling your food though, that still doesn't mean they won't take it but they may be intimidated seeing your name on your food 😀
    Anyway, sounds like a cool place to be. I'd love to own a telescope someday. Kookaburras! Man, that's too cool. It looks like a really quaint little place.

  5. Do you have to wear tin foil hats around all the antenna? Sounds like more security that at our airports! Well you certainly are having a diversified holiday! Have you resorted to plastering yur name over all your food? We do that with the milk at work. "Touch it you die" also works

  6. I am having a great time! The temps are in the high 80's F so they feel a little bit warm to us coming out of 30 degrees Fahrenheit – but I'm sure we can acclimate!

  7. Oh yes – it is exactly like an army compound!! But no drill or early wakeups! We have fabulous birds here in Australia – but all of them seem to be very noisy.

  8. It is strange to think there are so many rabbits here as it really is a very suburban area outside the fence. Most scientists are so absorbed in their work that they are not aware of their accommodation – just make sure they have computer and internet access!! 😉 We are going out to Coonabarabran next week … another telescope!

  9. Ear plugs at night. lol Wouldn't like being woke up too early by loud birds. We have some noisy frogs and crickets. Some years locusts. Yuck I really don't like them. The doves I think are my favorite sound.

  10. LOL @ the label! I like Flamingo Dancer's "touch it you die" also!! These are actually very small radio telescopes – they can be up to 100 metres across for steerable radio telescopes.

  11. LOL!! I was a bit worried about that but there were no signs saying photography was prohibited and I found the information on the huts on a public website so…… fair game.

  12. Kookaburras are unbelievably noisy in the predawn hours! 🙂 I have put boring plain low fat yogurt in the fridge now – no-one will ever steal that …..

  13. Yes – I think you would really enjoy it and talking with the various people onsite here. Next week we are going to Coonabarabran to the Siding Spring Mountain observatory.

  14. LOL!!!! It would mess up my hair too much! I hate messed hair! I love your labeling tag – I don't think it would work in the middle of the night though – with the closest supermarket too far away to walk to quickly.

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