Solar System Walk

The Solar System Walk is an enjoyable and educational 1km scale model of our Solar System. The walk begins at the Sun and disappears along a track through native bush. Alongside the track, model planets and their moons are located at the correct scaled distances from the Sun. Information plaques are located at each planet. The walk finishes at Pluto, although Pluto is now defined as a dwarf planet, rather than a planet.

Scale Model of the Solar System

Did you know that on our 1km scale model Solar System Walk, the relative size of the Earth should be about the size of a peppercorn? In fact, Saturn should only be the size of a peanut or a coffee bean, Mercury should be the size of a chocolate cake freckle, and Jupiter should be almost the size of a golf ball. Pluto should be the size of a pin head!

The Solar Walk demonstrates the vastness of the universe. The Moon is our nearest neighbour at 385,000 kilometres away, the Sun is 150 million kilometres away and our nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is 40 billion kilometres away.

The Solar System walk uses two scales, one for distance between the planets and a second one to scale the size of the planets. Each step on the walk represents about 4 million kilometres.

A stroll down the Solar System walk also showcases the beautiful bushland and wildflowers when they are in season.

Luckily we have multiplied the size scale of the planets and moons by a factor of 200. This allows you to view decent size model planets and moons, instead of smarties, peppercorns and peanuts.  The Solar System Walk will give you an understanding of true sizes and distances in our Solar System, and the vastness of our Universe.

During your walk along our Solar System you might be lucky enough to spot one of our resident kangaroos. Wildflowers are abundant during late Winter and Spring.

Pluto is now considered a “dwarf planet”, and is no longer considered a “real” planet. You will find a replica of Pluto at his final resting place in a satin lined coffin in the main exhibition area of the GDC.