When I’ve been back to Australia on my own I’ve split my accommodation between my kids – sharing the spare room with the snakes at my elder son’s place and taking up the couch at my other son & daughter’s place.
When the manservant’s work schedule coincides with my trip we get to sleep in accommodation associated with the observatory. The Australian Astronomical Observatory headquarters is on the grounds of the CSIRO Radiophysics Laboratory- the Australia Telescope National Facility – which runs the lodge on the grounds.
The room is cleaned prior to arrival; you get clean towels every second day and clean sheets once a week. Practical, not salubrious, it is set amongst gum trees in which incredibly noisy kookaburras and cockatoos perch to act as alarm clocks at the first hint of dawn. No damn snooze button. ..
This is approaching the compound – about 25kms (15.5 miles) from the city of Sydney. I took this through the windscreen as I was driving into a roundabout – yes, I know that’s not the safest thing to do!
The entrance … the first gate is always open; the second gate is controlled with an access card after business hours …
That’s our little rental car on the left – gum trees have a habit of shedding boughs so I made sure to move the rental on the windy days. This carpark is full of worker’s cars during the day but very empty at night and weekends – not many of the lodge guests arrive in cars..
Our room was the one on the right with the door open – in there are 2 single beds, a small wardrobe, a desk and a visitor’s chair. I put my clothes in the wardrobe; the manservant put his on the chair. The smaller high window is the bathroom which is really, really small – right next door to the neighbouring room’s bathroom and contained with a very thin wall. At the far left is the laundry room.
That wooden walkway is super hollow! It sits about 3 feet over empty space and any footstep sounds like a drum beat.
No room service – just a shared kitchen – each room is allocated a couple of shelves in a fridge. At the left end is the lounge/TV room (no telly in the rooms!).
At night you need a security access card to get into the compound. It can feel a little intimidating arriving at the gate after a night out. I always half expect a zombie to step into the headlight glow or a vampire to fly in just as I get my arm out the window with the access card….
It’s basic but it’s more than adequate; it’s ideally located for visiting family & friends and the manservant can walk to work!