29 September 2014 to 2 October 2014
Fremantle, Western Australia
UTC timezone

Trip to the MRO

Trip to the Murchison Radio astronomy Observatory

What bigger thing is there to showcase in Western Australia than the Australian SKA site? If you haven’t been out to the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory yet, it’s well worth the visit. It’s a rugged outback environment of red dirt and iconic Australian flora and fauna, dotted with the contrasting precision technical equipment of the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) SKA precursor telescopes.

The trip will be hosted by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, which will provide a return bus day-trip from Geraldton to the site on Friday 3 October. The visit includes a tour of ASKAP, MWA (including the AAVS0.5 installation built by the LFAA consortium for SKA_low verification) and the MRO Control Building, as well as lunch and afternoon tea at Boolardy homestead and snacks along the way.

Due to an early departure time and a late arrival time back in Geraldton that day, you will need to spend the nights of Thursday 2 October and Friday 3 October in Geraldton and book your own accommodation. Accommodation options include (estimated cost AUD$300-500):

·       The Ocean Centre Hotel (quote "SKA Event" for a discount)
·       The Mantra Geraldton Apartments

There are no flights to Geraldton on Thursday night after the conference finishes, but CSIRO are chartering a plane to take participants to Geraldton that night. The cost will depend on final numbers. Based on a full plane, it would cost AUD$350 per person. The cost will have to be paid by each participant of the trip before the conference (details to be provided).

Return flight to Perth would be by commercial flight on or after Saturday 4 October which you will need to organise through either Qantas or Virgin Australia (estimated cost AUD$200).

SKAO does not guarantee availability for all and therefore encourages participants to register early. We will make a final decision on the feasibility and logistics of the visit once we have a full list of people, and no later than the end of July.

Update as of August 18 2014: 

We are happy to confirm the trip. We have booked a 50-seat charter plane and bus to take us to the site. There are no more seats available.
  • If you have already signed up to the doodle poll, check it to see whether you are now confirmed (ticked greenbox).
  • Confirmed participants in the doodle poll are assumed to be participating. If you cannot go, please get in touch as soon as possible.
  • Please also note we only accept registered conference participants on the trip.
If you are confirmed, you may now proceed with your hotel booking in Geraldton as well as your return flight to Perth on the Saturday. Please note that if you decide to stay in any other hotel, you will have to make your way to one of the two suggested hotels at the appointed time to be picked up. The bus will not pick up passengers at other stops. 
We will also require payment for your charter plane seat to be made before the start of the conference, we will contact you for this. (cost should be AUD 350).

Update as of September 19:

***We have a handful of seats left on the trip, if you would like to come along, contact the LOC quickly!***

We are now ready to process payment for the charter flight from Perth to Geraldton. 
The cost comes to GBP 190 per person.
Please make sure to pay before the trip.

To pay by credit or debit card, or via a paypal account, visit:
If you would like to pay by bank transfer our payment details are as follows:
Account name: SKA Organisation
Account number: 68255098
Sort code: 60-15-29
IBAN: GB98 NWBK 6015 2968 2550 98
Please indicate your full name when making the payment

Important travel information
Please take the time to read the following documents:

If you have any questions, please write the LOC at engcon14@skatelescope.org