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11 of the best stargazing spots to visit in Australia

Australia's night skies let astronomy buffs see the Southern Cross, the dwarf galaxies known as Magellanic Clouds and the Eta Carinae nebula. This picture was taken in the Grampians National Park, Victoria.

Discover Australia's best stargazing locations, from Mudgee Observatory in New South Wales to Uluru in the Northern Territory. Whether you're an expert or a novice, these spots offer incredible celestial sights. Australia's wide-open spaces and minimal light pollution allow an array of ideal destinations for stargazing enthusiasts, so get inspired and start planning your next stargazing holiday.

There’s something undeniably magical about looking up and seeing a blanket of stars above you. It’s a reminder to not take yourself too seriously, because you really are a tiny speck in this enormous universe. But stargazing has also been found to help reduce stress, be kinder to others, and sleep better

What’s not to love?

Astrotourism (yes, it has a name now) is a massive growth industry, with avid stargazers travelling around the world to capture some of the best night sky views. And, lucky us, our wide brown land is teeming with plum spots to gaze upward in awe - once you get away from the bright lights of the big cities and towns. (Although you can still have some spectacular stargazing experiences at some of our observatories, such as Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra and the Perth Observatory.)

Want to plan an ideal stargazing jaunt? These are our favourite spots in Australia to visit. 

1. Mudgee Observatory, New South Wales

Just west of Mudgee, you’ll find the Mudgee Observatory, with telescopes and binoculars on hand to help you take in the extremely dark night skies. There’s also a planetarium and tours to take in, where you can learn about stars, the sun, and various space missions. If you want to book in a session, though, you’ll need to book ahead. And the bonus of visiting Mudgee is that you can also take in the local wineries, so your visit can be well and truly worthwhile.

More info: Mudgee Observatory

Mudgee offers pristine night skies with minimal light pollution, ideal for stargazing enthusiasts.

2. Grampians National Park, Victoria

For natural beauty you can access yourself, visit Reeds Lookout in Grampians National Park for some unforgettable astronomical displays. The best tip we have is to get there before sunset, so you can take in the spectacular views of the sun dipping behind the mountains, then sit back and take in the stars and planets, with the soundtrack of your natural surroundings. How’s the serenity?

More info: Stargazing in the Grampians

The incredible view from Reeds Lookout in the Grampians, Victoria

3. Leon Mow Dark Sky Site, Victoria

Serious stargazers will be familiar with dark sky parks but, if you’re not, they’re basically privately owned land that are known for having exceptional stargazing experiences. Leon Mow is one of those sites, and it offers incredible wide open spaces and a light curfew that means it gets very dark out there. You need to be a member of the Astronomical Society of Victoria to visit, but it’s well worth it, with an all-abilities observatory and excellent amenities. The site also hosts regular events, including the Messier Star Party each March, and a members-only Galactic Centre Star Party each September.

More info: Leon Mow Dark Sky Site

The Astronomical Society of Victoria's Messier Star Party offers a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to observe celestial wonders while learning about Charles Messier's catalog under expert guidance. The event occurs annually every March.

4. Springbrook Research Observatory, Queensland

Springbrook, among ancient rainforest in the Gold Coast hinterland, is a magical place to experience the night skies and, on Friday and Saturday nights, the Springbrook Observatory welcomes visitors to visit the viewing rooftop, and local expert Andre will talk you through what you’re viewing through their telescopes.

More info: Springbrook Research Observatory

Sessions start at 7pm sharp and are weather dependent, so plan accordingly. The Observatory recommends calling ahead to ensure good viewing conditions.

5. Yagurli Tours, Burketown, Queensland

Our First Nations people have been sharing yarns about the night sky for tens of thousands of years, and Yagurli Tours is a wonderful way to experience the stars with a cultural twist. Hear Dreamtime stories about the stars and the moon, with exclusive access to one of Australia’s largest salt pans, and under a sky of total darkness. This is a truly magical experience you can’t get from your own backyard.

More info: Yagurli Tours

This tour is about Indigenous storytelling rather than deep astronomy

6. Uluru, Northern Territory

For something truly special, it’s hard to go past a blanket of stars floating above Uluru: one of our national icons, and a place of incredible significance for our Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara peoples. And Ayers Rock Resort runs Outback Sky Journeys, a one-hour guided tour that explains how stars are formed, why they produce light, the lifecycle of a star, the theory of the Big Bang, and more.

More info: Outback Sky Journeys

Stargazing at Uluru offers a unique experience of the night sky, far from light pollution. The optimum clarity and visibility makes it perfect for spotting celestial wonders.

7. Arkaroola Dark Sky Sanctuary, South Australia

One of Australia’s best-known and well-equipped dark sky sites, Arkaroola Dark Sky Sanctuary is a remote site offering a range of stargazing experiences, an observatory tour, scenic flights, guided 4WD tours, sunset canapes, and a ridgetop tour. Accommodation is also in plentiful supply, from camping to lodges and cottages. Our tip is to try the Ridgetop Sleepout, a magical overnight stay that takes in some of the grounds’ best vantage points.

More info: Arkaroola Dark Sky Sanctuary

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary prioritises science, education, and conservation, as well as safeguarding a unique wilderness and its inhabitants for future generations.

10. kunanyi[1] /Mount Wellington, Tasmania

If you know Tassie, you know it’s pretty much the best place to do any kind of nature - and stargazing is no exception. Not only do you get a spectacular dark night sky from many sites around the Apple Isle, you also get the chance to take in Aurora Australis: the Southern Lights. Although kunanyi/Mount Wellington towers over Hobart, this is one of the rare times the urban glow can be a good thing, because it has been known to make light show put on by Aurora Australis even more colourful.

More info: Discover Tasmania

The Aurora Australis is most commonly visible during the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly in regions closer to the South Pole (like Tasmania).

10. Lake Ballard, Western Australia

The vast salt lake of Lake Ballard is a photographer’s dream, with 51 Sir Antony Gormley metal sculptures that have been known to bring viewers to tears when experienced against the vast starry night sky. The sculptures are a result of the artist having 51 locals to strip naked and pose or digital scans, which he then cast into moulds. It’s surreal and it’s breathtaking - and it’s something you won’t see anywhere else. Tip: Bring your thermals if you’re coming in the cooler months - it gets very cold at night!

More info: Tourism WA

Renowned British artist Antony Gormley intertwines nature and art with 51 stark black steel sculptures spread across a vast, flat salt lake spanning seven square kilometers. As you approach, the sculptures emerge ghostly on the horizon, mirage-like in the heat's shimmer.

11. Lucky Bay, Esperance, Western Australia

You don’t need to visit Tasmania to experience the Aurora Australis - it’s also sometimes visible in southern WA. Lucky Bay is a great spot to try your luck (like the Northern Lights, the Southern Lights don’t work to a schedule), but even if you’re only treated to kangaroos on the beach, picture-perfect swimming in the Southern Ocean (Lucky Bay took out the number one spot in the World’s 50 Best Beaches list in 2023) , and clear night skies with barely any pollution, that’s still time well spent. 

More info: Tourism WA

Kangaroos thrive on Lucky Bay's pristine shores due to its abundant vegetation and freshwater sources.

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