Need Help Buying a Telescope?

At Australian Geographic, we know how hard it can be to choose your first telescope, so here we hope to make things that little bit easier for you with a beginner's guide to telescopes, spotting scopes and binoculars. The menu to the left will take you to any part of our Telescope Buyer's Guide, where you can learn more about the actual differences between all the different types of telescopes that are available.

Not ready to delve into the particulars of telescope terminology? That's fine! We have compiled a handy list of telescopes that we can recommend for beginners below.

Recommended telescopes for kids

After a simpler telescope for kids? These four childrens' telescopes are a great place to start. They provide a great view of the Moon's craters, and can even start to show details on our closer planetary cousins. Larger scopes like the SkyWatcher 130 Dob can even resolve some deep sky objects, like nebulas and galaxies!

Telescope

Who is it good for?

What can it see?

Optical Design

Mount

Other Features

StarView 60AZ
StarView 60AZ

Kids

  • Moon
  • Planets 

60mm (2.36")
Refractor

Alt-Azimuth

Built-in compass

StarView 70AZ
StarView 70AZ

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets 

70mm (2.76")
Refractor

Alt-Azimuth

Built-in wedge

StarView 76DOB
StarView 76 Dob

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets 

76mm (3")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyWatcher 130DOB
SkyWatcher 130 Dob

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

Collapsible tube

Recommended telescopes for beginners

Beginner telescopes for amateur astronomers of all ages! From the traditional alt-azimuth style of the StarView 70AZ to the hyper-advanced computer systems of the SkyProdigy 130, these telescopes will have you enamoured with the night sky.

Telescope

Who is it good for?

What can it see?

Optical Design

Mount

Other Features

StarView 70AZ
StarView 70AZ

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets 

70mm (2.76")
Refractor

Alt-Azimuth

Built-in wedge

StarView 150EQ
StarView 150EQ

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

150mm (6")
Newtonian Reflector

Equatorial

 

SkyProdigy 130
SkyProdigy 130

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Automatic alignment

Beginner Dobsonian telescopes

Dobsonian telescopes are a great, cost-effective way to get a telescope with a huge aperture. These are perfect for planetary and deep sky observing.

Telescope

Who is it good for?

What can it see?

Optical Design

Mount

Other Features

SkyWatcher 130DOB
SkyWatcher 130 Dob

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

Collapsible tube

SkyWatcher 6 DOB
SkyWatcher 6" Dob

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

153mm (6")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyWatcher 8 DOB
SkyWatcher 8" Dob

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

203mm (8")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

Beginner computerised telescopes

Telescopes with computerised mounts can show you the night sky with the press of a button. From the trusty NexStar range to the auto-aligning SkyProdigy range, you can quickly and easily tour the whole sky. Now featuring the Celestron Cosmos and Evolution ranges, which can be controlled with a free iOS or Android app!

Telescope

Who is it good for?

What can it see?

Optical Design

Mount

Other Features

Celestron NexStar 130SLT
Celestron NexStar 130SLT

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyProdigy 130
SkyProdigy 130

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Automatic alignment

Celestron Cosmos 90GT
Celestron Cosmos 90GT

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

90mm (3.54")
Refractor

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Mobile app-controlled

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6
Celestron NexStar Evolution 6

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

152mm (6")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Mobile app-controlled

Beginner telescope for astrophotography

Astrophotography has never been easier to enter than with the Celestron NexStar 4SE. Connect your DSLR camera to this telescope and automatically track objects for long exposure photography.

Telescope

Who is it good for?

What can it see?

Optical Design

Mount

Other Features

Celestron NexStar 4SE
Celestron NexStar 4SE

Teens, Adults, Photographers

  • Moon
  • Planets

102mm (4")
Maksutov-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Built-in wedge

Our full range of telescopes

Telescope

Who is it good for?

What can it see?

Optical Design

Mount

Other Features

StarView 60AZ
StarView 60AZ

Kids

  • Moon
  • Planets

60mm (2.36")
Refractor

Alt-Azimuth

Built-in compass

StarView 70AZ
StarView 70AZ

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets

70mm (2.76")
Refractor

Alt-Azimuth

Built-in wedge

StarView 150EQ
StarView 150EQ

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

150mm (6")
Newtonian Reflector

Equatorial

 

StarView 76DOB
StarView 76 Dob

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets

76mm (3")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyWatcher 130DOB
SkyWatcher 130 Dob

Kids, Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

Collapsible tube

SkyWatcher 6 DOB
SkyWatcher 6" Dob

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

153mm (6")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyWatcher 8 DOB
SkyWatcher 8" Dob

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

203mm (8")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyWatcher 10DOB
SkyWatcher 10" Dob

Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

254mm (10")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyWatcher 12 DOB
SkyWatcher 12" Dob

Enthusiasts

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

305mm (12")
Newtonian Reflector

Dobsonian
Alt-Azimuth

Collapsible tube

Celestron NexStar 130SLT
Celestron NexStar 130SLT

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

 

SkyProdigy 130
SkyProdigy 130

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

130mm (5.12")
Newtonian Reflector

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Automatic alignment

SkyProdigy 6SCT
SkyProdigy 6SCT

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

152mm (6")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Automatic alignment

Celestron Cosmos 90GT
Celestron Cosmos 90GT

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets

90mm (3.54")
Refractor

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Mobile app-controlled

Celestron NexStar Evolution 6
Celestron NexStar Evolution 6

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

152mm (6")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Mobile app-controlled

Celestron NexStar Evolution 8
Celestron NexStar Evolution 8

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

203mm (8")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Mobile app-controlled

Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25
Celestron NexStar Evolution 9.25

Families

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

235mm (9.25")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Mobile app-controlled

Celestron NexStar 4SE
Celestron NexStar 4SE

Teens, Adults, Photographers

  • Moon
  • Planets

102mm (4")
Maksutov-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Built-in wedge

Celestron NexStar 6SE
Celestron NexStar 6SE

Teens, Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

152mm (6")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

 

Celestron NexStar 8SE
Celestron NexStar 8SE

Adults

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

203mm (8")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

 

Celestron CPC 800
CPC 800

Enthusiasts, Photographers

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

203mm (8")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Dual-fork arm
Built-in GPS

Celestron CPC 925
CPC 925

Enthusiasts, Photographers

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

235mm (9.25")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Dual-fork arm
Built-in GPS

Celestron CPC 1100
CPC 1100

Enthusiasts, Photographers

  • Moon
  • Planets
  • Deep Sky Objects

279mm (11")
Schmidt-Cassegrain

Computerised
Alt-Azimuth

Dual-fork arm
Built-in GPS