As we look to the night skies, stargazing and astronomy has become increasingly popular in WA due to the fact that we are so isolated. With some of the best conditions in the world, scientists and stargazers are travelling from around the globe to enjoy one of nature’s most amazing sights right in our backyard. WA has even been chosen to co-host the Square Kilometre Array out in the Midwest where they hope to discover and expand our understanding of the universe.
Here are the top stargazing places to visit in Western Australia:
The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park:
Just off Indian Ocean Drive and approximately 191 kms from the Perth CBD. As an astrophotographer, this place will present itself with numerous opportunities to capture some interesting images as the moonlight illuminates your surroundings.
Gingin and Toodyay:
A little closer to home but just far enough away from the city lights to observe the night sky. There is also opportunities to look through telescopes and learn about constellations at the GDC Observatory or The Space Place.
Is approximately 1 – 2 hours out from the Perth CBD. The sky is dark and the stars are bright. If you’re lucky, The Milky Way Galaxy can be seen stretching across the sky on a moonless night.
Wave Rock, Hyden:
Is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes drive from the Perth CBD. Another great spot for aspiring astrophotographers where Wave Rock seamlessly melds into the night sky.
Roebuck Bay near Broome:
Is famously known for Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomenon that occurs each month from March to October. As the moon rises, its reflection can be seen across the tidal flats presenting a remarkable stargazing sight like no other.
Wooleen Station in the Murchison:
For a road trip up north, the Milky Way presents itself in all its glory. You feel like you could almost touch it as it illuminates the night sky.
Karijini National Park:
Great camping sites and cabins available which make for ideal spots to view meteor showers, stargazing and astrophotography. The Geminid Meteor shower can be seen each mid-December in the early hours of the morning.
The beautiful night sky can still be seen despite a bit of light pollution. The Perth Observatory offers exclusive night tours for stargazing nights.
Lucky for us stargazers, if you can’t get enough of the night sky, the universe provides! Astro Tourism WA is in the process of creating an events calendar that will feature local events to give you new and unique experiences. The calendar will be available soon but, in the meantime, check out What’s Up in the Night Sky for your monthly stargazing adventures. If you like being under stars but not willing to drive away for it, why not enjoy the night settings while watching a movie?
If you are considering driving away from the city and into unbeaten tracks, make sure your car is set for such a trip. Check your vehicle’s tyres, fluids, suspensions, bull bar, headlights, windows and windscreen. Rocky rocks and other impacts can make your small windscreen chips become cracks, so get it replaced prior to your nighttime trip if necessary.