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BEST STARGAZING DESTINATIONS IN AUSTRALIA

Contemplating the magnitude of the universe under a seemingly endless blanket of stars is an idyllic end to a long summer day. Australia has some of the best locations on earth for gazing into infinity. Away from the city lights and pollution, you can get a glimpse of the furthest corners of our galaxy. Here are my favourite stargazing spots our isle has to offer.

ULURU (AYERS ROCK)

The isolated location of one of Australia’s best-known landmarks makes it ideal for stargazing. There is zero light pollution, making it ground zero for astronomers and stargazing enthusiasts looking to enjoy Australia’s night skies.

WIRUNA, NEW SOUTH WALES

Surrounded by eucalyptus, Wiruna is a stargazer’s paradise. The Astronomy Society of New South Wales (ASNSW) actually own this site. They host astronomers from all over the world and have their own accommodation facilities. It’s well kitted out with observation facilities and the South Pacific Star Party (SPSP) meet here regularly, providing the opportunity to share the experience with other enthusiasts from around the region.

LAKE EYRE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The lowest point in Australia, Lake Eyre sits 15 metres below sea level. It’s one of the most secluded parts of the Australian outback, making it unaffected by light pollution of any kind. This offers some of the crispest views in Australia for stargazing. The saltwater lake makes an excellent backdrop to the expansive sky spread out in front of you. A must-visit destination for a budding astronomer.

KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Kangaroo Island is a nature reserve located just off the Australian mainland. Not only is it home to some of Australia’s best wildlife watching, it is also a great place to go stargazing. It can be reached fairly easily from Adelaide, but sits just far enough away from the city to be unaffected by light pollution.

PERTH OBSERVATORY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Perth observatory is 119 years old, making it Australia’s oldest observatory. It can be easily accessed from Perth, situated just 25km outside the city. If you find yourself in Western Australia, it is worth a visit.

COONABARABRAN, NEW SOUTH WALES

Affectionately known as ‘the Astronomy Capital of Australia’, Coonabarabran doesn’t disappoint. The skies are so visible that the Australian National University decided to install an observatory in the region. The Siding Spring Observatory was established just 27km away from Coonabarabran.

MAGELLAN OBSERVATORY, GOULBURN, NEW SOUTH WALES

The observatory is located just outside Goulburn at Lake Bathurst. The elevation makes this location excellent for viewing the stars with the naked eye, so you don’t need any fancy telescopes. The observatory is 780 metres above sea level and is situated far enough outside the city to avoid any light pollution.

MOUNT STROMLO OBSERVATORY, CANBERRA

If you don’t have the time to make the trip out into the secluded outback, Mount Stromlo is ideal. Just a 20-minute drive out of Canberra brings you to Mount Stromlo, from which you can get an excellent view of the night sky. The journey can be easily done in a rental car.

 


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Madeleine Park
madel@dinga.com.au

Madeleine is a real green thumb and spends most of her time outdoors in her garden if she is not outdoors somewhere else.