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AAO Travel and Accommodation

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Travel between Sydney and Coonabarabran

Coonabarabran is about 500 kilometres north west of Sydney. Most people travel to Coonabarabran either by air or car, though other modes of travel (train/bus) are possible for the adventurous or those with time to spare. For some helpful advice on places along the route to Coonabarabran and Siding Spring, please go to our Librarian's information on the Road to Coona

By air: via Dubbo Airport which is the closest main airport in the area.

If you require further assistance please contact AAT Admin

There are no longer commercial flights to Coonabarabran Airport. The next closest airport is Dubbo, which is currently serviced by Qantas (code sharing with Eastern Airlines. or Regional Express. Bookings can be done online at www.qantas.com.au or www.regionalexpress.com.au

Getting to Siding Spring from Dubbo Airport:
You can arrange a hire car to be available at the airport and it would be wise to make a booking in advance. Hire car companies operating out of Dubbo airport include Avis, Budget, Europecar and Thrifty. The trip takes about two hours. You can also book a taxi from Dubbo Airport - the taxi fare is in excess of $AUD415 each way (April 2009 price) if pre-booked with Coonabarabran's Satellite taxis. Hailing a taxi in Dubbo for travel to the telescope will cost in excess of $AUD600.

By car
Road travel notes are available - Travel Notes.
More detailed road directions can be found through online driving maps, such as Whereis or Google maps . Travellers to or from Coonabarabran by road should be aware that:

Hire cars in Sydney: Visiting observers should make their own car hire bookings. The companies used by AAO staff and visitors are:
    Red Spot Car Rentals - http://www.redspotrentals.com.au
    Avis Car Rentals - http://www.avis.com/AvisWeb/home/AvisHome
Both companies have locations at Sydney Airport and Sydney CBD. Delivery to observers' Sydney accommodation, and pick up of returned vehicle, can be arranged at no additional cost (within a 10Km radius of the nearest rental office).
    Bayswater Car Rentals - http://www.bayswatercarrental.com.au/
Clients must pick up the vehicle in person at the Kings Cross office, and they are not open on Saturday afternoons or Sunday.
    Other companies you may prefer are Budget, Hertz and Europcar

By train:

The CountryLink division of State Rail offers a linked train/bus service to and from Coonabarabran. The service operates as a train from Sydney to Lithgow, then bus from Lithgow to Coonabarabran, approximately 8 hours travel time. The train leg through the Blue Mountains is very picturesque. The service departs from Sydney Central Railway Station. Alternatively, leave from Strathfield. A combination train/coach ticket can be purchased as one ticket from the CountryLink office at Central Railway Station, or Strathfield Station, or online at www.countrylink.info

For international visitors, you may be able to book a CountryLink ticket through your local travel agent.

For Australian observers, the bookings phone number within Australia is 13 22 32