Get prepared for your stargazing winter getaway as this s the best time to see the glorious Milky Way! The Milky Way is the beautiful band of stars that stretches right across the night sky. 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 Western Australia to see and photograph this winter night sky wonder.
1. Carnamah and Three Springs
Both Carnamah and Three Springs are ‘Astro-friendly towns, boasting pristine dark skies. In Carnamah, the historic Macpherson Homestead is the dedicated observing site, welcoming visitors to set up telescopes and enjoy the magnificent views.
Three Springs offers up the Talc Mine Lookout as your astrophotography hot spot and the panoramic views are fantastic.
Arriving in Perenjori, pop into the Perenjori Visitor Centre. The ‘Salmons’ is the towns dedicated astrophotography spot, with red rock breakaway country and magnificent Salmon Gums while the Perenjori Golf Club is their excellent telescope observing site. Stargazing out here is remarkable with endless, dark starry skies. Take a morning stroll around town to see the unique Monsignor Hawes Church, Pioneer Museum and wildflower walks are a must!
Morawa is the heart of wildflower country, putting on spectacular displays of brilliant, coloured flowers from August to October. Visitors can explore the historic old gaol, courthouse, and unique Monsignor Hawes Church. Visit Koolanooka Springs where the stars of the Milky Way are spectacular. The rock formations and bush landscape provide a variety of compositions for Astro photographers.
Mingenew is surrounded by breathtaking breakaway country and boasts stunning clear night skies for stargazing and astrophotography. The Mingenew Space Centre is also the town’s astrophotography site. With numerous satellite tracking dishes and on occasion, green laser beams pointing into the night sky, it makes the perfect location for unique astrophotography.
6. Gascoyne Junction
You’ll find peace and tranquillity only 5 minutes’ drive from Gascoyne Junction at The Waterhole. Pack a sunset picnic and enjoy listening to the birdlife settle for the night before setting up your telescopes or rolling out the rug for some stellar stargazing. The Shire of Upper Gascoyne’s two stunning National Parks, the Kennedy Ranges and Mount Augustus, offer up more stargazing to be enjoyed.
7. Shire of Ashburton
Onslow is one of the rare places in Western Australia where you can see both the Sun and Moon rise and set over the ocean! For Astro photographers, the incredible sculpture of “Resilience” near the town of Paraburdoo makes the perfect foreground feature. First Avenue in Onslow is the spot to witness the stunning ‘Staircase to the Moon’ and Karijini is the perfect backdrop for mesmerising views of the Milky Way.
8. Shark Bay/Denham
It’s the ocean and marine activities by day and the stars by night in and around the delightful town of Denham. Not only does Shark Bay’s rich maritime history of navigation by the stars await, but this stunning area is also home to the world-famous Monkey Mia resort and dolphin interaction.
Looking for more astrophotography destinations?
Find your next stargazing destination on Astrotourism WA’s interactive map of West Australian dark sky sites and viewing areas!