The Australian sky is a beautiful array of stars, comets, nebulas, and more.
Endlessly fascinating, space is out there and waiting to be explored. And these amazing stargazing sites are the perfect place to start.
Known as ‘The Dish,’ Parkes Radio Telescope is one of the biggest single-dish radio telescopes in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been involved in the discovery of more than half of the known pulsars, or rotating neutron stars, and is used by astronomers to try and understand space. Visitors can stop by the Discovery Centre to explore the world of astronomy, and learn more about the night sky. There is also a viewing area, for amazing views.
Found in Western Australia, the dark skies of Gingin observatory are perfect for stargazing. With a fully retractable roof and state of the art telescopes, guests will be guided by astronomers to discover the secrets of the night sky. You can also join in on an Indigenous astronomy session, and learn about Dreamtime stories of creation with a local Noongar elder. With unobstructed views of the night, you’re guaranteed to find something new.
Warrumbungle National Park
For amateurs and experts hoping to conduct their own stargazing, Warrumbungle National Park is the place for you. As Australia’s only dark sky park, it’s perfect for stargazing, astronomy, and camping under the night sky. The lack of light pollution, which is monitored by the park, makes for spectacular views of the stars. However, this park is not for the faint hearted, and requires some hiking to find the ideal stargazing location. Guests can stay at Camp Blackman, with hot showers and designated fire pits for an evening under the stars.
If you’re looking for opportunities in Queensland, Yagurli Tours is the option for you. They focus on Indigenous storytelling, using state-of-the-art telescopes to explore the night sky, while learning all about Dreamtime and a cultural interpretation of the universe from a Gangalidda guide. On the tour, you’ll have access to Australia’s largest salt pans, named ‘the plains of promise’ by early explorers.
It’s well-known that Tasmania is the best place for those wanting to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Southern Lights. And, climbing to the top of Mount Wellington offers the perfect opportunity to do just that. It’s situated 1271 metres above sea level, with boardwalks and vantage points at the summit for you to gaze from.
The Jump Up
The Jump Up is Australia’s first dark sky sanctuary, found within the Australian age of Dinosaurs Museum. With only 16 dark sky sanctuaries worldwide, it’s an extremely special location for night sky gazing. The viewing area is free and open year round, so you can bring your telescope or binoculars and enjoy amazing views. The museum’s Star Gallery also offers the opportunity to learn more about the universe and our place within it.
Outback Sky Journey
Not only is the red centre an incredible site during the day, but it also comes alive at night. Ideal for families, those staying near Uluru can try the Outback Sky Journey, which helps kids and amatuer astronomers navigate the night sky. This program starts with the importance of the stars to local Indigenous groups and early explorers, before breaking out the telescopes to identify constellations and nebulae. Then, guides turn to the future, and how the next generation can continue making important discoveries.
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