Where to have the best dark sky experiences in Western Australia

Can you think of anything better than camping out with kangaroos under the Milky Way? With Western Australia reopening its borders, there's no better time to visit the stargazing state...

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Western Australia has some of the best places in the world for stargazing. With clear views of the Milky Way and even opportunities to spot the stunning Southern Lights, particular campsites and carefully curated tours have been rising in numbers as night time tourism begins to boom. Here's how and where to make the most out of Australia's largest state in the dark...

Camp out under the stars

Sugarloaf Rock, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park (Dan Avila/Western Australia)

Conto campground in Margaret River, located in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, the Conto Field Camp is within walking distance of the beach and rocky shores. It is also located along the Cape-to-Cape walking trail, meaning guests can access the Southern forests with their towering karri trees which reach up to 60m high.

Join a stargazing tour

Staircase to the Moon at Roebuck Bay (Tourism Australia)

Head to Broome where you can meet Greg Quicke, also known as 'Space Gandalf'. Located in the north west of the state in The Kimberley, he runs a series of different Astro Tours. His stargazing tour is 2.5 hours of dark skies entertainment, using giant telescopes and lasers. A Broome local, he'll share his knowledge and experiences about the stars. Time your visit at the right and between March and October, you can also witness the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ phenomena at Roebuck Bay.

Spot the southern lights by the sea

Lucky Bay, Esperance (Sean Scott Photography/Western Australia)

Esperance is one of the lucky spots in Western Australia where you might be able to catch a glimpse of the elusive Aurora Australis (or the southern lights), and because of its pristine sands and waters, Lucky Bay is an idyllic and unspoiled spot to stargaze. Located to the south of Western Australia, there’s 24 hours of fun here as you can drive along the beach, lounge with the kangaroos during the day and camp under the stars at night. If you’re a budding astro-photographer, using a long exposure on a clear night can treat you to a stunning purple and green display that isn’t visible to the naked eye.

Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef (Dan Avila/Western Australia)

Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef (Dan Avila/Western Australia)

Milky Way marvels

A hub for ‘dark sky’ tourism, Sal Salis is an idyllic spot for uninterrupted views of the Milky Way. Nestled in the dunes of Cape Range National Park, the camp’s luxe beach tents employ minimal lighting to ensure the stunning night sky is the star of the show. If you’re planning a stay, head to the Lodge and chat to one of the camp guides, who can point out constellations and planets through the eyepiece. Stargazing in this incredible area is most prominent before a full moon, so it’s a good idea to check the lunar schedule before booking a stay. A solar eclipse will cross over Sal Salis in April 2023, so eager astronomers should plan well in advance to witness this fascinating lunar phenomenon.

The Pinnacles at night

The Pinnacles at night (Sean Scott Photography/Western Australia)

The Pinnacles are one of the most iconic sights in Western Australia: a series of unique limestone rock formations sticking up out of a vast, remote desert. Distant Journeys offers a Desert Sunset & Stargazing tour which includes stargazing underneath the clear night skies. Free of light pollution, dazzling stars and constellations can easily be seen from the observation deck, and you’ll also get to experience the peace and tranquillity of the Pinnacles Desert by night. After an awe-inspiring session of gazing up into the endless galaxies above, before being transported back to Perth, arriving back in the city late in the evening. In March 2022 you can see the planet parade, where Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter will align and will be visible to the naked eye

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