5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

There’s noth­ing quite like spend­ing a night under the stars. Here are five top spots to camp and stargaze in SA.

South Australia’s nation­al parks have such beau­ti­ful land­scapes, it’s easy to for­get to look up and feast your eyes on the astro­nom­i­cal delights of the night sky.

Aus­tralia faces the Milky Way which means stargaz­ers can see 100 times the num­ber of stars that can be seen in the North­ern Hemisphere. 

And in South Aus­tralia, we’re per­fect­ly placed. It doesn’t take us long to escape the light pol­lu­tion com­pared to big­ger cities. Light pol­lu­tion obstructs stars and you need to find the dark­est spots to uncov­er the bright­est twin­kling lights.

So, where are some of the best parks to camp and stargaze in South Aus­tralia? Check out these 5 spots and start plan­ning your date with the stars.

1. Lin­coln Nation­al Park

Lin­coln Nation­al Park on the Eyre Penin­su­la is the per­fect spot to set up camp and stargaze over the coast. The camp­grounds in the park have easy access to beach­es, bays and walk­ing trails, mak­ing them an ide­al base to explore the park’s nat­ur­al fea­tures dur­ing the day, fol­lowed by stargaz­ing at night.

Locat­ed at south-east­ern tip of the Eyre Penin­su­la, Lin­coln Nation­al Park is a spe­cial loca­tion where sea and land plunge into dark­ness. The absence of arti­fi­cial light uncov­ers the sub­tle glow of star clus­ters, neb­u­lae and the thick star clouds that form the Milky Way. On a clear night, you’ll be sure to see one of the most amaz­ing star­ry skies to be found any­where on main­land South Australia.

5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

2. Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park

Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park is one of South Australia’s most loved camp­ing des­ti­na­tions and its rugged moun­tain ranges offer a spe­cial treat for stargazers.

The park is at high alti­tude, locat­ed high above sea lev­el mak­ing it an ide­al stargaz­ing loca­tion. That’s why most star obser­va­to­ries are locat­ed on moun­tain tops, because they pro­vide sta­ble and clear views of the cosmos.

So take a trip out to Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park and let its ele­va­tion bring you right up close to the stars. With 10 camp­grounds to choose from you will be sure to find the per­fect spot for you.

Fun fact: Stars don’t actu­al­ly twin­kle. As the light from the star trav­els into your vision, tur­bu­lence in the atmos­phere inter­rupts the light’s path, cre­at­ing the illu­sion of a twinkle.

5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

3. Flinders Chase Nation­al Park

Flinders Chase Nation­al Park on Kan­ga­roo Island is about as far as you can get away from light pol­lu­tion in SA. You’ll leave behind Adelaide’s arti­fi­cial light, allow­ing you to see all of the stun­ning, nat­ur­al light the island has to offer.

Not only is Flinders Chase pro­tect­ed from main­land light pol­lu­tion, it’s also locat­ed at the fur­thest point south of the island, fac­ing out­ward to the open ocean, mak­ing it the dark­est point on the whole island.

This spe­cial park offers pris­tine beau­ty dur­ing both day and night that you won’t want to miss out on. So, rev­el in the wilder­ness of Flinders Chase by camp­ing under the stars at one of these seclud­ed camp­grounds.

5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

4. Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park

Down on the south-west­ern tip of the Yorke Penin­su­la, Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park is the per­fect week­end get­away for star seekers. 

The remote penin­su­la loca­tion of the park means that the skies are very dark, allow­ing for the stars to shine through. 

The park offers the per­fect spot to view the Milky Way, and when the skies are clear it will appear as a bright belt of stars – an ancient and impres­sive sight to see.

Spend the day explor­ing the park and get­ting lost in nature, then set up at one of the 8 camp­grounds and spend a relax­ing night get­ting lost in the constellations. 

5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

5. Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park

Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park is not only home to the Australia’s largest salt lake, but is also one of the dark­est loca­tions in Aus­tralia. Although high alti­tudes are ide­al for stargaz­ing, Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park is an excep­tion to the rule.

The park is 15 m below sea lev­el – Australia’s low­est point – which makes it one of the dark­est spots in the coun­try. The large, flat salt lake will ensure unob­struct­ed views and when the lake is full, the water reflects the stars from above, cre­at­ing an absolute­ly spec­tac­u­lar sight.

Expe­ri­ence the awe-inspir­ing stark wilder­ness of the park at night by set­ting up camp at Hal­li­gan Bay Point Camp­ground and let the sky put on a show for you – make sure you keep a wish up your sleeve as you might even see a shoot­ing star! 

5 top parks for stargazing in South Australia

Just get­ting start­ed on your stargaz­ing jour­ney? Check out these point­ers and tips fromABC’s Stargaz­ing for Begin­nersseries.

(Main image of Lin­coln Nation­al Park cour­tesy of@Johnwhitephotos, Insta­gram)

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in June 2018.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living