Stargazing Seasons and Travel Tips
Western Australia's country is perfect for stargazing. After you escape the bright city lights, you’ll find you can see so many more stars in the night sky. That’s because the darkness helps your eyes see more stars. It gives you a much better stargazing experience.
There’s plenty to see up in the night sky and the great thing is that each day brings a new view! There are planets, the Moon, meteor showers, eclipses, comets and constellations!
What is there to see and where should you go to discover these wonderful stargazing sights?
You’ll see that we have done the research, checked through the annual astronomy almanac, considered rising and setting times, when the Moon is up and have come up with our best stargazing tips for your.
More importantly we’ve also suggested places where you’ll find a great stargazing experience! We’ve mixed and matched special Astrotourism destinations with the best stargazing highlights which makes it even easier for you to find the perfect experience.
The Magellanic Clouds are our Milky Way’s neighbouring galaxies and can be seen with the naked eye without a telescope or binoculars. All you need is a very dark night sky and there’s one waiting for you at Yandanooka Hall near Mingenew.
Watching a Supermoon rise is getting more and more popular each year. Check out our stargazing calendar for Supermoons each year. Take a picnic and a great bunch of friends up to the Talc Mine Lookout near Three Springs. You’ll be high up with a panoramic view.
What is that bright “star” on the eastern horizon every morning ? It’s not a star at all. Planet Venus is the brightest object to be seen. You’ll also see Saturn! Choose your favourite Astrophotography Hot Spot and see what images you can capture.
The Southern Cross is Western Australia’s most iconic constellation. It’s on the flag and in our hearts! Did you know it can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere? In Autumn, you can track it over time as it graces the southern skies. Head to The Pinnacles near Cervantes for a spot of stargazing. Visitors are welcome after dark.
Winter heralds the beginning of what astrophotographers call the Milky Way Season! If you’ve never seen the Milky Way on a moonless night in country WA, winter is the perfect time to experience it. Sometimes this thick band of stars look so close, you could almost reach out and touch them. Perkins Well #2 is a natural bushland setting near Mullewa and is a great dark sky location for stargazing.
If you’re an astrophotographer who wants to capture images of the Milky Way over nightscapes, try Touche Road Lakes near Coorow. This lakes system is on a local road near the town, and in winter the water reflects the light from the stars.
Did you know there’s the shape of a teapot in the sky? It’s in the constellation of Sagittarius. When we look to Sagittarius, we are looking towards the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy and a dark sky location like Yandanooka Hall near Mingenew, is a great place for a spot of stargazing.
Have you ever seen Mercury? It’s the smallest planet in the Solar System, but is visible to the naked eye. The Lakes Lookout at Carnamah is a fantastic vantage point to see Mercury setting on the western horizon. There’s an opportunity for photographers to capture the night time scene with a panoramic view over salt lakes.
They say the Andromeda Galaxy, a mere 2.5 million light years from Earth, is the most distant object visible to the human eye. You need a very dark night sky to see Andromeda with the naked-eye. A great location to try this at is the Talc Mine Lookout near Three Springs.
You’re all set for what to see in the night sky and the best places to go are at your fingertips.
Now all you need to do is plan your holiday getaway in country WA and put yourself amongst the stars !
Country towns in WA are making it easier for you to find great places where the local communities welcome you for stargazing and astrophotography. They are all listed on the Astrotourism WA Map.
This article was written by Carol Redford, who experienced these stargazing experiences independent of Australia’s Coral Coast tourism. Australia’s Coral Coast did not review or approve this story. Visit AstroTourismWA.com.au for more information.