Stargazing in the Wheatbelt
Stargazing in Western Australia is a world-class experience and the Wheatbelt is home to an awe-inspiring dark night sky.
The beautiful Milky Way sparkles directly overhead in the Southern Hemisphere and the views are magnificent. From here you can see the beautiful Southern Cross, the Magellanic Clouds (satellite galaxies to our own Milky Way Galaxy) and the incredible Aboriginal constellation of the “Emu in the Sky”.
On a moonless night, the stunning Milky Way Galaxy stretches across from horizon to horizon. It feels so close, you could almost touch it! It’s something that everyone on Earth should experience more often.
The Wheatbelt is a short drive from Perth, which is the most isolated capital city in the world. This means it’s very easy to escape bright city lights to experience the wonderful dark night sky full of stars. The Milky Way is only a short 2-3 hour drive away!
Welcoming towns have low levels of artificial light pollution and in the surrounding areas on the Wheatbelt Way the nights are perfect for astrophotography and the air is clean and pure for crystal clear stargazing.
Atrophotography captured at Lake Askew near Beacon in the Wheatbelt Way by Donna Cornect @nesbit6 . There is absolutely no light pollution out here making incredible astrophotography conditions.
When you head out to do some stargazing, remember to turn out all your lights. Artificial light destroys your ability to see the stars! The darker the night sky, the more stars you’ll be able to see. In some brightly lit cities, it’s impossible to see one star. In a world that’s getting brighter and brighter with artificial light pollution, WA is one of the best places left on Earth to see the dark night sky.
When you’re travelling the Wheatbelt Way, there are a multitude of places to find a dark night sky. Take your telescopes, binoculars and cameras for astrophotography. Or simply a comfortable chair or picnic rug where you can lie back and watch the greatest show on Earth!
It’s a good idea to visit your chosen destination in daylight before returning at night. Pack a picnic to enjoy the sunset before the stars come out. Any of the following destinations will provide first class stargazing experiences:
- Cowcowing Lake near Wyalkatchem
- Yarragin Rock at Trayning
- Nungarin’s Eaglestone Rock
- Westonia Common
- Beringbooding Rock near Mukinbudin
- Mount Marshall Rock near Bencubbin
- Minnivale near Dowerin
- Mollerin Rock near Koorda
- Billiburning Rock near Beacon
Western Australia now has an Astrotourism WA Map where you will find stargazing observing sites and astrophotography hot spots. You’ll discover how communities across WA are helping to protect the dark night sky so it will be there for you to experience for decades to come.