What to do in Parks – Stargazing
Sit back, relax and look up. While some visitors briefly marvel at the overhead celestial show, increasing numbers choose their destination with stargazing in mind. Dark sky tourism is a small but growing trend. And when it comes to the best stargazing places, WA is blessed. We have some of the most pristine night skies in the world to view million of stars. When you are off the beaten track, in many of WA’s remote National Parks, you will experience a big sky from horizon to horizon. On a moonless night you can clearly see the Milky Way Galaxy stretch across the sky; an awe-inspiring view so close you feel like you could touch it. All you need is a comfortable chair to sit back in, or a beach rug. Better yet, grab a swag and let the night sky blanket you.
Stargazing tourists need food, water, a bed for the night and toilet facilities. For this reason national parks, with their established visitor facilities, are starting to make a virtue of their dark skies, far from the light pollution of urban settings.
For a truly unique, informative and entertaining experience, REMTREK offers a two-hour astronomy session under clear WA night skies at Dales Gorge Campground in Karijini National Park. Between April and September, using large portable 305 to 400mm diameter telescopes, the REMTREK guide takes you on an unforgettable cosmic journey that will leave you spellbound. From nearby neighbouring star Alpha Centauri to the very distant Omega Centauri Cluster and everything in-between, gaze through the telescopes at stars light-years away from earth.
Besides viewing stars, gazing at the heavenly body of the moon is a special experience. On a full moon in the outback the moonlight is so bright you can almost read a book. A full moon phenomenon to witness is the Staircase to the Moon at Roebuck Bay Marine Park. It appears each month from March to October, as the full moon rises and creates a reflection of its light across the ripples of the tidal flats making for a spectacular sight.
If you are really lucky, you may even witness the elusive Aurora Australis. It is very rare in WA and usually only ever seen along the southern coast from places such as Cape Le Grand National Park in Esperance.