Best telescopes in Australia
We searched high and low to find the best telescopes for any budget.
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The best telescopes in Australia
- Best overall telescope: Celestron NexStar 6SE
- Best telescope for beginners: Meade Infinity 70AZ Refractor Telescope (209003)
- Best telescope for kids: Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
- Best telescope for astrophotography: SkyWatcher EvoStar 80ED Pro
- Best telescope to see planets: Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope (8945)
- Best telescope under $250: Celestron Travel Scope (21035)
How did we pick this list?
Our editorial team selected the products on this list based on actual customer reviews on Amazon. For each category, we carefully selected parameters based on our research and identified the telescopes with the highest review score within those parameters. We also cross-referenced our findings with expert reviews before deciding on our final top picks.
Best overall telescope: Celestron NexStar 6SE
- Automatically locates and tracks 40,000 objects
- Easy to use
- Some buyers complain about poor-quality tech support
Why we chose it
The Celestron NexStar 6SE is our pick as the best overall telescope for a number of reasons. Not only is it easy enough for beginners to set up and use, but it also offers decent performance to keep intermediate astronomers interested. It's also compact and reasonably portable, and it has earned an average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars from almost 400 Amazon customer ratings.
As a result of all this, it narrowly beat out the Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST, which also comes very highly rated by Amazon customers.
The NexStar 6SE is a computerised telescope. It features an automated Go-To mount with a database of more than 40,000 celestial objects, plus a six-inch aperture for close-up viewing of objects in our solar system. A Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, the 6SE is also a happy midpoint in the NexStar range – those who want a wider aperture can check out the 8SE, while buyers on a tighter budget may want to consider the 4SE or 5SE.
Best telescope for beginners: Meade Infinity 70AZ Refractor Telescope (209003)
- Great for viewing the moon and planets
- Some customers would like something more powerful
- Some complaints about unclear assembly instructions
Why we chose it
Designed specifically for beginners, the Meade Infinity boasts an affordable price tag and plenty of positive reviews from Amazon customers. As a result, it's our pick as the best telescope for beginners.
This 70mm f/10 Alt-Azimuth Refractor Telescope is designed to offer all the essentials you need for an introduction to the world of astronomy. Its manual mount features an altitude lock and slow-motion controls to help you track celestial objects, while two eyepieces (27x and 78x) plus a Barlow lens help you reach for the stars.
Other features include an adjustable-height tripod, an integrated dew shield and a 90-degree erect prism.
Best telescope for kids: Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
Why we chose it
If you're looking for a telescope to help nurture your child's interest in astronomy, the Orion StarBlast II is well worth a look. With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from 240 Amazon customer reviews, it's our pick as the best telescope for kids.
This reflector telescope features a reflector tube with a 4.5-inch diameter as well as an equatorial mount. It also has slow-motion controls to allow for more precise tracking. Its 450mm focal length helps make it easy for beginners to find objects in the night sky, while it's an extremely useful device for viewing planets like the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.
It also comes with 25mm and 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepieces to suit your night sky viewing needs.
Best telescope for astrophotography: SkyWatcher EvoStar 80ED Pro
- Designed for studying nebulae, stars and galaxies
- High-transmission lens coatings
- Not cheap
- May be a little too advanced for beginners
Why we chose it
If you'd like to try your hand at astrophotography, there's a lot to like about the SkyWatcher EvoStar 80ED Pro. With plenty of positive customer and expert reviews, it's our pick as the best telescope for astrophotography. However, its price tag of over $1,000 may be too much for some, so those on a tighter budget may like to consider cheaper options.
The EvoStar 80ED Pro is an 80mm refractor telescope with a 600mm focal length. Designed for wide-field astronomical observation, it features a 2-inch Crayford focuser and anti-reflection metallic-coated lenses to ensure optimum light transmission. The optical tube can be attached to any Sky-Watcher mount, making this telescope well worth a look for anyone interested in astrophotography.
Best telescope to see planets: Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope (8945)
- Easy to set up and use
- Good for viewing planets and more distant objects
- Some astronomers may want something more advanced
- Not as compact as some would like
Why we chose it
If your number-one goal is checking out planets and galaxies, there's a lot to like about the Orion SkyQuest XT8. With an average score of 4.7 out of 5 stars from almost 300 Amazon customer ratings, it's our pick as the best telescope to see planets.
This Dobsonian reflector telescope boasts eight-inch diameter reflector optics and is ideal for studying the moon and other planets in great detail. It's also powerful enough to check out nebulae and galaxies, but if you're interested in deep-sky objects you may also want to consider the SkyQuest XT10 (average score of 4.7 out of 5 stars from 65+ Amazon customer ratings).
The XT8 also features an ultra-stable base, a 2-inch Crayford focuser and a 25mm Sirius Plossl eyepiece. Check it out if you want to enjoy a close-up view of some of our nearest planetary neighbours.
Best telescope under $250: Celestron Travel Scope (21035)
Why we chose it
If you're shopping for a telescope in this price range, the Meade Infinity we recommended for beginners higher up this page is well worth a look. But so too is the Celestron Travel Scope, which boasts an average score of 4.3 out of 5 stars from over 6,000 Amazon customer ratings and is our pick as the best telescope under $250.
This refractor telescope is available in 70mm and 80mm varieties, and it comes with a backpack for easy transporting. It features fully coated glass optics to ensure clear images, while set-up is quick and easy without any tools required. Two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) are included and the Celestron Travel Scope also comes with astronomy software with a 10,000-object database.
Best products chosen
- We considered telescopes from over 20 leading brands.
- We based our findings on customer reviews (as of December 2020), key product features and expert reviews.
- The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.
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