Stellar tales of Stromlo revealed in new Heritage Trail

More than a decade after it was ravaged by the Canberra Bushfires, the hills surrounding Mount Stromlo Observatory are now reopen to the public with a new heritage trail.

The Mount Stromlo heritage trail takes visitors on a journey through the history of the site, from its use as an optical munitions factory during World War II to the recovery of the Observatory after the 2003 fires.

ANU Heritage Officer Amy Jarvis said the new interactive app, which has also been launched, gives visitors the chance to hear the stories of those who lived and worked on site, as well as history on the site's major discoveries including the oldest known star.

"We're also fortunate to be given access to a significant archive which included personal images of people who lived and worked at the site as well as some fantastic, more formal images," she said.

Those images have been used on the trail's signs brochures and in segments of the app.

Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann, who officially opened the Heritage Trail, said it is a fantastic addition to what is already on show at Mount Stromlo.

"It provides an opportunity for visitors to engage with the history of the site, the stories of the site, and to learn about its current activities," Ms Brodtmann said.

"I'm sure the trail itself will be a drawcard, bringing visitors from Canberra and beyond to experience the site in a new way."

ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Young AO, said the trail marks a significant achievement in the University's commitment to its heritage.

"This trail marks a significant development for ANU as we try to increase the diversity of our heritage practices and provide a really important opportunity for us to be able to communicate some of the University's history to visitors to the site," Professor Young said.

"I think it's still the case that many visitors who come here expect to see a working observatory and the trail provides an opportunity to fill that information gap, to tell the story of what used to happen here and indeed what happens here today."

The Mount Stromlo Observatory trail was made possible with the assistance of the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, through the Your Community Heritage Grants Program.

The trail app can be download at