Visitor update: Coronavirus

We continue to take a conservative approach to reopening our doors and are strictly limiting numbers of visitors while COVID-19 is active in the community.

For now the only way to experience Questacon is by booking your place on our exciting 90-minute guided tours – Questacon Mission to Mars and Questacon Mission to Mars Junior (3-5 years). Each tour has a maximum of 15 people (including adults, children and babies) to ensure we can offer an enjoyable experience in line with physical distancing and public health guidelines.

Tickets must be purchased online at least the day before your visit. We are excited to be offering experiences that will take you on a thought-provoking adventure to discover more about space and the inspiring possibilities of interplanetary travel!

While a visit to Questacon will be different for some time, our aim, as always, is to unlock your curiosity and inspire your imagination with the world of science and technology.

Stay safe, stay curious, and wash your hands!
The Questacon Team

FAQs

Will a visit to Questacon be different than it was before the pandemic?

Yes, a visit to Questacon will be a different experience for the foreseeable future. We are offering 90-minute guided experiences to delight and engage visitors – Questacon Mission to Mars and Questacon Mission to Mars Junior. Our interactive galleries are not open for general admission.

The safety of visitors, staff and the wider community is our top priority. Public health science drives our approach. Although we have reopened you will notice there are only a small number of tickets available for each tour session. This will continue to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community through social distancing and hygiene measures.

A visit to Questacon before the pandemic was highly interactive in nature. While we are still offering an interactive and immersive experiences, your visit to Questacon will be different while COVID-19 is active in our community.

What is Questacon Mission to Mars?

Questacon Mission to Mars is a 90-minute guided tour experience with a mix of theatre and exhibition, and is a different experience to the usual hands-on activities. Visitors will be guided by the Questanauts through selected galleries and enjoy a range of immersive experiences exploring the challenges of being amongst the first humans on Mars.

Mission to Mars includes an investigation of the differences between Earth and Mars, an experience in the Marsquake Lab, interactive experiments and demonstrations to explore the challenges of living on Mars. There will also be plenty of time to marvel at our  installation of the only 7 metre Mars globe in the Southern Hemisphere. At the end of the tour you can create your own Mars memory in our green screen selfie booth. Find out more and book tickets.

What is Questacon Mission to Mars Junior?

Mission to Mars Junior is recommended for children aged 3-5 years, along with their parents, grandparents or carers. Older children are able and welcome to attend (with a ticket), however, the tour content is aimed at a younger audience.

This 90-minute guided tour experience is different from Questacon’s usual hand-on activities, however it is high energy with lots of interaction, experimentation and roleplay!

On this journey, junior astronauts will have the opportunity to explore how humans will travel to Mars through a mixture of theatre and live science demonstrations. Junior astronauts will receive a passport to Mars upon boarding, explore the science of rockets in an exciting show, before joining the Questanauts in experimenting in our Spacelab and undergoing an astronaut training camp to prepare for their final descent to Questacon’s 7 metre Mars globe via rocket ship. Find out more and book tickets.

How can I buy tickets for Questacon Mission to Mars and Questacon Mission to Mars Junior and what is the cost?

We understand the mandatory pre-purchase of tickets and a small group guided experience is a new way to visit Questacon. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

  • Questacon will be open only at set times for small groups of people with pre-booked Mission to Mars and Mission to Mars Junior tickets
  • Due to physical distancing and building occupancy restrictions, if you do not have a valid session ticket you will not be permitted inside Questacon
  • Mission to Mars is recommended for visitors 6 years and older
  • Mission to Mars Junior is recommended for children aged 3-5 years, accompanied by their parents, grandparents or carers
  • Every visitor will need a ticket for entry, regardless of age (this includes babies and toddlers)
  • There is a maximum of 15 places available for each tour (adults and children)
  • To manage tour numbers and maintain a record of visitors, all tickets will need to be pre-booked and paid for online, prior to the tour
  • To ensure we can maintain accurate public health records, ticket sales will close at 4pm the day before, unless sold out sooner
  • Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate visitors arriving without pre-booked tickets
  • Bookings cannot be made over the phone, email, Instagram or Facebook – follow the link here to book tickets
  • Due to the strictly limited number of available spots per tour, we are unable to reserve tickets for payment on arrival.
  • Due to the limited number of tickets available, we do not have a waitlist system.
Ticket General price Members' price
Adult $16.35 $11.25
Children (0-16) $11.25 $11.25

From 1 September 2020, tickets purchased will attract additional charges. The ticket prices above are inclusive of all ticketing fees.

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What age is Questacon Mission to Mars recommended for?

We understand family groups may consist of children younger than the recommended age of 6 years. Younger children are able and welcome to attend (with a ticket), however, the tour content is aimed at older children and adult audiences. Mission to Mars is a guided tour of select areas of Questacon. Visitors will need to remain within their group at all times.

What age is Questacon Mission to Mars Junior recommended for?

Mission to Mars Junior is recommended for children aged 3-5 years, along with their parents, grandparents or carers. Older children are able and welcome to attend (with a ticket), however, the tour content is aimed at a younger audience. Mission to Mars Junior is a guided tour of select areas of Questacon. Visitors will need to remain within their group at all times.

What health and safety precautions will be in place?

The health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is a priority for Questacon.

During your visit to Questacon, we will do all we can to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff, in line with public health advice. We ask that our visitors help us to supporting these public health and safety measures during their visit by:

  • following physical distancing guidelines of a minimum of 1.5m between people; floor markers and other signage will be in place; and
  • using hand sanitiser which is available at locations throughout the building.

We will also be doing our bit by:

  • admitting only a small number of visitors to the Centre at any given time;
  • providing flexible ticket conditions so that if you are unwell and need to postpone your visit, we will work with you to re-book for another date;
  • regularly cleaning through our enhanced COVID Safe Plan cleaning procedures;
  • closing the Members’ Lounge and other high touch and congregation areas; and
  • removing access to lockers for the time being.

I have booked tour tickets but have been in a COVID-19 affected location, what do I do?

If you have been in any of the current COVID-19 affected locations, including Victoria and locations identified by NSW Health, within 14 days of your planned visit, please do not come to Questacon. We will happily rebook your tour experience for another date, subject to availability. To change your booking, please contact info@questacon.edu.au or phone 02 6270 2800.

Please visit the ACT Health and NSW Health websites for more information and details of affected locations.

For the latest health advice, please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

I have booked but I don’t feel well on the day, what do I do?

If you are unwell on the day of your tour, please do not come to Questacon. We will rebook your tour experience for another date, subject to availability. To change your booking, please contact info@questacon.edu.au or phone 02 6270 2800.

If you feel unwell during your visit, please speak with one of our staff.

For the latest health advice, please visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Is parking available close to Questacon?

If you are driving to Questacon, you can find parking close to the building in the car parks on Parkes Place. Please note that paid parking is in place on weekdays.

Can I visit my favourite Questacon exhibits and galleries?

To ensure we can follow health and physical distancing guidelines we need to limit access to many of the usual Questacon experiences. Unfortunately this means exhibits such as Free Fall, and galleries including Mini Q, Excite@Q, Born or Built and Fundamental will be closed. While you won’t be able to explore Questacon as usual, the Mission to Mars guided experience is a fun and different way to see Questacon.

Will Mini Q be open?

Unfortunately Mini Q is closed for the time being. While we know our Mini Q exhibition is very popular with our younger visitors, due the nature of the gallery and its exhibits we cannot ensure adherence to COVID-safe guidelines in this space. For our junior scientists aged 3 - 5 years, we have developed a special guided tour experience – Questacon Mission to Mars Junior.

When will Science Time start running again?

A physical visit for Science Time at Questacon will remain on hold until we are able to return to a more usual Questacon experience. Q Club members with children aged between 3 and 5 years are invited to join our online Science Time – Experimenting at Home series. If you have not received an invitation, please contact our membership team for details. We have also developed a guided tour experience for younger visitors aged 3-5 years - Questacon Mission to Mars Junior. Pre-bookings are essential.

Is the Questacon Shop open?

The physical Questacon Shop will be open for visitors for a short time at the end of each guided tour, and only for tour participants. Alternatively, the Questacon Shop is open for online shopping year-round. Choose from a large selection of all things science-related including science kits, books, board games, gifts and more.

‘Click and Collect’ is also available for local orders. This will operate as a drive-through collection only. Please visit the Questacon Shop website for more information on how you can take advantage of this.

When is the Café opening?

Atomic Café at Questacon remains closed for now, however, we are looking forward to enjoying the Cafe’s great coffee, creative food and friendly service soon! Please check back on our website and social media pages for updates.

I am a Q Club member. How can I find out more about my membership?

The usual benefits of Q Club membership are currently on hold. All memberships will be extended to compensate for time lost during the COVID-19 closure. The length of time our new guided visitor experience is in place will also not count towards your membership period.

Q Club members are welcome to attend any available session of Mission to Mars and Mission to Mars Junior at a discounted ticket price of $11.25 (inclusive of all ticketing fees). Tickets must be pre-booked online. You will need to enter your membership number during the booking process and membership will be verified prior to the session commencing.

I have a question about my Q Club membership. How can I find out more?

If you have any questions about your Q Club membership, please contact our membership team for assistance.

Can free passes be used to book Mission to Mars sessions?

Unfortunately we are unable to accept free passes including the National Capital Education Tourism Project Teachers’ Pass to book Mission to Mars or Mission to Mars Junior sessions. All Questacon free pass expiry dates will be extended to compensate for time lost by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Do the same rules apply for reciprocal members?

Unfortunately we are unable to honour reciprocal entry arrangements for the Mission to Mars or Mission to Mars Junior experience. We are working with our partner institutions to recommence reciprocal entry again in the future.

Can members access the members’ lounge?

No. Sadly, the Members’ Lounge is closed for now.

Accessibility support

The Mission to Mars and Mission to Mars Junior tours are fully accessible for visitors who may need some additional support to enjoy their visit. If you require assistance with mobility aids, loops and other adjustments, please let us know what we can do to assist.

We are an Autism Friendly organisation. For those visitors who have heightened sensitivity to noise, the visit will involve a much quieter experience with fewer visitors in the building. However, there are some loud noises during the experience.

If you require additional support, after booking, contact our team with your session date and time, so that our presenters and staff can help make your visit more comfortable.

Language

Mission to Mars and Mission to Mars Junior are presented in English.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer Auslan interpretations or multi-lingual experiences at this time.

Hearing loops and voice amplification for our presenters will be available for visitors who have a hearing impairment.

Is Questacon currently accepting 3infun tickets?

Unfortunately, while our Mission to Mars and Mission to Mars Junior experiences are running we are not accepting 3infun tickets. Once restrictions ease we will provide further updates. For further information, please visit www.3infun.com.au.

Is Questacon currently accepting school groups?

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to accept school group bookings at this stage.

Once restrictions ease, we will start to prepare for school groups to return to Questacon later in the year. We are unable to provide dates of when we expect this to happen, but please keep checking our website for the most up-to-date information.

If you would like to make any amendments to your booking during this time, please visit the Book Canberra Excursions website to do so. We will not apply any cancellation fees during this period.

If you have any further enquiries regarding school bookings, please email group.bookings@questacon.edu.au.

Teacher Professional Learning and National Touring Programs

Due to the current situation, we have had to adjust the way in which we typically deliver in-school tours and teacher professional development programs across Australia. There have been adjustments to the tour schedule and the delivery method for all programs for the remainder of 2020.

The Term 3 tour for the Shell Questacon Science Circus and Questacon Innovation Programs is a mixed tour involving digital workshops for interstate schools and in-school workshops for schools in the ACT and Queanbeyan.

Engineering is Elementary teacher professional development workshops have moved to digital delivery for 2020.

Questacon’s National Programs teams continue to offer virtual excursions to schools across Australia. These can be delivered to a single classroom or to dispersed students. Both primary and secondary virtual excursions are available.

If you have any questions or would like to make a booking for a virtual excursion or Engineering is Elementary please contact outreach.bookings@questacon.edu.au or phone 1800 889 995.