Perth is in the midst of Coldplay fever this week, with the pop music superstars playing two huge sold out shows at Optus Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
And we’re getting into the spirit of things to look at how the stars shine for you…around Western Australia! Our unique environmental characteristics, epic landscapes and endless sunshine means clear night skies with no shortage of stargazing opportunities for visitors.
With the help of Tourism WA, we’ve highlighted a range of awe-inspiring experiences and stays around the State that’ll have you enjoying A Sky Full of Stars on your next road trip adventure.
Glamping under the stars
Immerse yourself in nature and the wonders of the universe through a glamping experience at properties such as Sal Salis Ningaloo (Nyinggulu) Reef, Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge or Karijini Eco Retreat. Situated within national parks, these experiential accommodation offerings boast comfortable and low impact eco-style tents that allow guests to enjoy the dark night sky with uninterrupted views of the Milky Way.
Outback station stays
With some of Western Australia’s outback stations the same size as small countries, their epic landscapes often provide optimal conditions for stargazing. Some of the most popular options around WA include El Questro in the Kimberley, Wooleen Station near Geraldton, Quobba Station near Carnarvon and Bullara Station near Exmouth (below).
Kimberley dining under a starlit outback chandelier
Enjoy an exclusive experience surrounded by boab trees and outback wilderness, where you can soak up the ambience of a Kimberley sunset as it transforms into a star-lit sky – the perfect setting for a 3-course gourmet camp oven dinner under a unique outback chandelier. Gourmet Camp Oven Experience in Kununurra (Goonoonoorrang) involves a secret Kimberley location complete with red carpet arrival and long table set up for only 16 lucky guests. All dishes are created in front of your eyes, over the fire or in camp ovens. Each dish has an emphasis on flavour and freshness using a combination of locally sourced produce and bush tucker. Wild-caught barramundi, Kimberley honey, Hoochery rum and a range of fresh Ord Valley produce all take centre stage in a starlit spectacular!
On the water
Last month, Eco Abrolhos launched a new stargazing itinerary to its cruise offering. Set sail for the spectacular Houtman Abrolhos Islands on a five-day adventure filled with snorkelling, wildlife spotting, fishing and more, topped off by three magical evenings under the stars, where you can spot clusters, nebulae, giant stars and far-off galaxies, under the guidance of an astronomy expert.
Discover endangered animals
The naturalist guides at Salt and Bush Eco Tours offer insightful stargazing experiences in 2023’s superstar destination, Mandurah – winner of Australia’s Top Tourism Town award. From the pitch-black Lake Clifton shoreline to nocturnal exploration tours, Base and Jamie impart their deep knowledge of the environment on adventures learning about the night sky or discovering the critically endangered western ringtail possum.
Kalbarri Skywalk after dark
Appreciate the universe from the magnificent Kalbarri Skywalk perched 100 metres above the rusty red Murchison River gorges on a stargazing tour with D’Guy Charters. The tour is suitable for both serious astronomers and easy-going nature lovers. Best4Travel also offer Skywalk Dinner events from this extraordinary new location, with the next dates available on December 2 and 3, 2024, with day tours and three-night packages available.
Gravity Discovery Centre
Gingin is on its way to becoming Western Australia’s first internationally-recognised Dark Sky Reserve, encompassing more than 3500 square kilometres that includes two National Parks and five Nature Reserves! Public night visits are available at the Gravity Discovery Centre at Gingin on Friday and Saturday from 7.30-9.30pm; as well as Aboriginal Astronomy sessions run by Aboriginal Elder Noel Nannup, where guests can learn more about the dreamtime stories of creation.
Stargazing at the Pinnacles
Lumineer Adventure Tours takes guests 200 kilometres north of Perth to soak up the wondrous lunar-like landscape of The Pinnacles under a billion-star sky. Enjoy an Australian barbecue dinner as the sun sets over the distant Indian Ocean, before the night sky lights up and the stargazing begins with high-powered telescopes. During the tour guests will enjoy a sound healing session and learn about Aboriginal Astronomy and hear Dreamtime stories of the night sky.
Turtles, stars and a World Heritage listed site
Exmouth Adventure Co. will start its Summer Sunset Turtle Watching Tour in this month. Learn about the one of the world’s most important turtle rookeries, and watch the sun set over the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, before one of the best stargazing sites on Earth lights up in the unspoiled night sky above Jurabi Coastal Park.
Astro Tour of Broome
Greg Quicke (aka Space Gandalf) has offered ‘intensely practical astronomy’ to the world since 1995, with his Broome-based Astro Tours designed to introduce the magnificence of WA’s night sky to guests. From Staircase to the Moon viewing events to stargazing just 20 minutes out of Broome in the Kimberley, Greg’s passion brings the wonders of the universe to life.
Aboriginal stargazing experiences
Aboriginal people have read the night sky for more than 60,000 years, with their observations present in ceremony, calendars, navigation, songlines, art and food gathering. Viewing the stars from an Aboriginal perspective is an insightful experience. From Ngurrangga Tours in Karratha, who offer a two-day camping experience under the stars in the Millstream-Chichester National Park, to Wula Gura Nyinda in Shark Bay (below) offering the Didgeridoo Dreamtime Experience – there are immersive cultural experiences on offer in all corners of WA.
Article and Image Credit: Tourism WA