The Milky Way is the beautiful band of stars that stretches right across the sky at night, and from May through to October is the very best time to see it. Many people around the world, especially those living in big cities, never see this magical site but out in country WA, we get to see the Milky Way in all its starry glory.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best locations throughout the Wheatbelt to see and photograph this night sky wonder.
1. Darkan Astrophotography Hot Spot
Six Mile Cottage
A short 8.5kms north of Darkan on the Darkan-Quindanning Road, there’s a beautiful historic home called Six Mile Cottage. It’s a wonderful subject for astrophotography and the view to the southwest showcases the Milky Way above the cottage. For photos, it’s fun to illuminate the inside of the cottage to make it feel like someone’s at home!
2. Lake Grace Cemetery Observing Site
The car park next door to the Lake Grace Cemetery is only 3kms west of the town and is a great place for casual observers with telescopes. It is located alongside the lake which provides a great landscape if you happen to have your camera with you for astrophotography. This view looks southeast so it’s perfect for photographing the Milky Way above the lake.
3. Morawa Astrophotography Hot Spot
Take a trip out to Koolanooka Springs, about 28kms from town. On a moonless night, the starry sky is spectacular. The rock formations and bush landscape provide a variety of compositions for astrophotographers. In season, capture wildflowers by day and the Milky Way over stunning landscape by night.
4. Narrogin Astrophotography Hot Spot
Yilliminning Rock is 19 kms east of Narrogin. It’s peaceful and a great spot to watch out for local lizards and, in a good wildflower season, orchids abound! From Yilliminning Rock there are sweeping views all around, perfect for imaging or just taking in the wonder of the Milky Way.
5. Three Springs Astrophotography Hot Spot
Talc Mine Lookout
The Three Springs area is rich in talc. There’s an established mining industry and the local company has developed a superb look out that’s great both day and night! At the top of the hill there’s a terrific panoramic view for fantastic wide-angle images and taking in the beautiful Milky Way.
6. Wongan Hills Astrophotography Hot Spot
Lake Ninan (pronounced knee-nun) is 11kms southwest of the town of Wongan Hills and is a lovely location for astrophotographers and stargazers. The Lake Ninan Rest Area is a large open area on the south side of the lake. The shore of the lake is easy to access by foot. The view to the south overlooks another smaller salt lake where you can capture the stunning Milky Way scene.
No matter where you go to see the Milky Way, make sure you are respectful of other stargazers and keep your lights low!
Need a Dark Sky?
To find out more about these and other terrific night sky observing sites, visit the list of fantastic dark sky towns all across Western Australia