Ward Observatory Whanganui

Ward Observatory

Largest unmodified refractor telescope in use in NZ

Located in Cooks Gardens, the Ward Observatory houses a 24cm telescope, the largest unmodified refractor telescope still in use in New Zealand. See the stars and Saturn on a beautiful clear night.

Built in 1901 and administered by the Whanganui Astronomical Society, it is named after Joseph Ward (1862–1927), the society’s first president and long-time director of the observatory. The Observatory was designed by A. Atkins to Joseph Ward’s specifications, cost £290 to build, and was formally opened by Premier Richard Seddon on 25 May 1903. The telescope had been bought second-hand in England for £450, and with its mounting weighed three tons.

Ward Observatory

Ward Observatory Whanganui
  • Every Friday

    Public viewing is on every Friday evenings.

  • Category 1 rating

    Since 1984 the Ward Observatory and its telescope have had a Heritage New Zealand Category I rating.

  • A lot more

    Not just Friday. Visit the Visitor Information Centre and find out what else you can do.

  • Still curious?

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Cooks Gardens,
St Hill Street,

Public viewing is on Friday evenings after dark

06 345 6954
027 245 8066
30 mins
$2 p/p
Parking Available, Family Friendly

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