Astronomers have pinpointed Exmouth as the best land-based place in the world to witness the alignment of the sun, moon, and earth in the upcoming Ningaloo Eclipse. At precisely 11.27am on April 20th, 2023, the entire peninsular will be plunged into complete darkness for 62 seconds as the moon makes its way across the face of the sun.
But, you don’t have to wait until then to marvel at the wonders of space. The Coral Coast’s stargazing season runs year-round.
Stop anywhere from Cervantes to Exmouth on a clear night to see the sky twinkling in all its glory. Not 100% sure where to go or what you’re looking at? There are plenty of home-grown tours that celebrate – and help to educate about – the night sky.
Join Ken Lawson in Moonyoonooka 20-minutes out of Geraldton, where he runs a range of galactic experiences through Astro Star Tours. Choose to explore the night sky via telescope or bring your DSLR camera and have Lawson show you the tricks of the astrophotography trade. Slightly further north in Kalbarri, Guy Acosta at D’Guy Charters runs a combined sightseeing and stargazing tour on the Kalbarri Skywalk. The tour fee covers all telescopes and national park passes, so all you need to bring is yourself.
Entering Nambung National Park’s Pinnacles Desert is about as close as you can get to visiting another planet without having to be a billionaire with connections. Hop aboard with Australian Pinnacle Tours in Perth to arrive at the desert just in time to see the Mars-like limestone structures in the golden glow of the afternoon sun. Then, return to the national park post-pub dinner to see them in the light of the moon. With no light pollution, the park is also one of the best places to look out for well-known constellations.
Sit beneath a shimmering milky way on Gutharraguda land (Shark Bay), listen to traditional Dreamtime stories, and lose yourself in a rhythmic didgeridoo song with Wula Gura Nyinda. Run by proud Nhanda and Malgana man Darren ‘Capes’ Capewell, the company’s ‘Night Time Didgeridoo Dreaming’ tours are a glimpse into the culture and stories of Shark Bay’s traditional custodians. But that’s not all. You can also learn to play the instrument (for cultural reasons, women are unable to play), dine on fresh local seafood and bushtucker, and join in on a sandalwood smoking ceremony.
For a slightly different experience of Shark Bay after dark, join long-time local and owner of Shark Bay Coastal Tours, Bec, on a ‘Sunset and Stars’ experience. She’ll lead you to a secluded beach where you can share conversation, champagne, and nibbles as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. After dark, the tour moves to Peron Homestead for a relaxing soak in an artesian hot tub. Be sure to look up at the canopy of stars scattered across the sky.
Find out more information about the upcoming Ningaloo Solar Eclipse here. Can’t wait until then? See our Coral Coast stargazing road trip itinerary for some inspiration to build out an epic, astro-tourism-themed trip up the coast.