Visiting

Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre

A group of young children are looking at a clear glass bowl with an opening at the top and foam bubbles coming up through the opening. A young woman is also looking on wearing a lab coat and gloves.

At Questacon, we strive to promote greater understanding and awareness of science and technology within the community. We're committed to making that experience fun, interactive, and relevant.

We are also committed to making your experience inclusive - if you are visiting with a disability or any other accessibility needs, please view our Accessibility page for further information.

NOTICE TO VISITORS - WE ARE OPEN 

Questacon is open from 9am to 5pm, however we are continually monitoring the bushfire smoke in the area, so opening hours may change at short notice. Please check our website before visiting.

Thank you for your understanding and we hope to see you soon.

Thank you for your patience!

We know many people are quite curious about what’s going on behind the scenes at Questacon. So we’re pleased to share a bit more information and our answers to some of the common questions we’ve received.

We know it can be confusing for visitors when Questacon and other national institutions aren’t open as expected and many people are quite curious about what’s going on behind the scenes at Questacon. So we’re pleased to share a bit more information and our answers to some of the common questions we’ve received.

How does Questacon decide if it will open or close?

When considering whether to stay open during periods of smoky air, the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our top priority. With smoke haze frequently impacting on the ACT, we are making a daily decision to open or close that is based on air quality inside our building. To help us consider the potential health impacts of the air, we use the ACT Government’s Smoky Air (PM2.5) Health Advisory Categories, available on the ACT Health Website. This identifies specific impacts on “sensitive groups” which includes people over 65, children 14 years and younger, pregnant women and those with existing heart or lung conditions. These people make up the vast majority of our visitors.

Each day we look at the PM2.5 measurements available across a number of platforms to make our best possible assessment of the air quality in the Canberra region and the air quality in our building. This information helps us to decide whether it is appropriate to open each day. The data we use includes:

What do the readings in these links mean?

PM2.5 refers to very small particles in the air (particulate matter or PM) with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres (0.0025 millimetres or less than 3% of a human hair). For more information about the potential health impacts of these very small particles, take a look at the advice provided by ACT Health. Other sources of useful information that have helped with our planning include the ABC and ABC Canberra Radio, the ACT Emergency Services Agency including the Bushfire Survival Plan, the NSW Rural Fire Service website and RFS Fires Near Me App and forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology. These sources are verified by State and Federal Governments.

Can Questacon do anything to improve its air quality?

We have been conducting research and exchanging ideas with other institutions about ways to improve air quality within our Centre. We may close off some entries to the building to try and reduce smoky air coming into the building and we may use fans at the entries to see if we can keep smoke from coming inside too quickly. We have also purchased and installed an air purifier in our Members’ Lounge, which will be open to all visitors to use as a respite area. We are purchasing more air purifiers and will set up a second respite zone in the coming days. To access respite rooms, just ask at the Questacon Information Desk.

What is Questacon doing to support visitor health and wellbeing?

Every shift at Questacon is staffed by qualified First Aid Officers. Since the smoky air began, we have refreshed our information about Asthma First Aid and this information is also available to our visitors. In an emergency, we have found the National Asthma Council’s First Aid for Asthma Chart and Kids First Aid for Asthma Chart very easy to follow. Copies of these are available from our ticket and information desks. We also encourage visitors to check out the ACT Health Directorate Health Advice For Smoke. At this difficult time for the communities around Canberra, Questacon is also offering evacuees from fire impacted areas free entry to the Centre until 31 January 2020. Please present your driver’s licence or other proof of address at the ticket desk to take up this offer.

Why are some institutions closed and others open?

Each Institution’s buildings are different, as are the activities that go on inside them. While we share a number of visitors in common, we must each make assessments according to our own particular circumstances. One thing we know all institutions share is a desire to see everybody have a great experience when visiting any of our locations. We love what we do here at Questacon, and the management and staff are always disappointed if we have to close. As you can appreciate, we need to continually assess the risks to visitors and staff as the situation changes, and so if we do close at short notice, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment.

VISITING HOURS

Open daily between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm

Closed 25 December.

TICKETS

Purchase tickets

Adult $23.00
Concession $17.50
Child (4 - 16 years) $17.50
Child (Under 4 years) Free
Family (2 Adults + 3 Children) $70.00 ($8.00 for each additional child)
Q Club Members Unlimited entry
Reciprocal Members Unlimited entry *

Find out more about Questacon's Access and Equity Days.

GETTING TO QUESTACON

Questacon is located on King Edward Terrace, Parkes, in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

By Foot

Questacon is a 30-minute walk across the bridge from Canberra's main business district.

Public Transport

Action Bus

Please visit the Transport Canberra website for up-to-date bus timetables and routes. Transport Canberra

Culture Loop Bus

The Culture Loop shuttle bus is a free bus travelling among 11 cultural attractions and places of interest and will run seven days a week from 9am to 5pm with nine conveniently situated stops.

Download the timetable and route map here

Apart from stopping at Questacon (Stop 6) the bus route will also include stops at: the National Museum of Australia (NMA); National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA); Regatta Point, home to the NCA’s National Capital Exhibition and VisitCanberra’s Canberra and Region Visitor Centre; National Library of Australia (NLA), Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) at Old Parliament House; Australian Parliament House (APH); Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG); and the Canberra Centre.

The shuttle bus, which will take about one hour for a round trip and has a seating capacity of 39 people (plus 22 standing) with wheelchair access, air conditioning, front and centre double doors, and accessibility for people using mobility aids.

Visitors can park once and ride the shuttle to their favourite venues and experience an array of exhibitions, galleries, collections, stories and events.

Parking

This map contains the Questacon building and outlines the two car parks closest. There is a small car park directly next to the Questacon building that contains 4 hour parking, and there is a larger car park further north containing 4 hour parking in the first two rows and all day parking beyond that. Both car parks can be accessed from the street Parkes Place West.

Paid parking is available alongside the building, accessible from Parkes Place, with additional parking further along Parkes Place in the large car park near the lake.

The smaller car park adjacent to Questacon contains only 4 hour parking. The larger car park (further down Parkes Place West) contains 4 hour parking (in the first two rows) and all day parking in the remaining rows.