With some of the world's darkest and most beautiful night skies, Perth is a paradise for astronomers and budding astronomers alike, with spectacular views either through the naked eye or at one of many observatories in the area.
From gazing at the night sky panorama of the Perth Hills, to capturing stunning astrophotography with a backdrop of unique and magnificent Lake Clifton thrombolites, the star-studded beauty of our night skies will leave you positively starstruck. Here are 6 of our favourite Perth stargazing spots to enjoy.
A stargazing must-do! Perth Observatory is nestled high in the Perth Hills, a well-known spot for gorgeous urban vistas overlooking Perth. The region's relatively high altitude and distance from the bright lights of Perth City make it a great spot for star-spotting (of the galactic variety).
Billing itself as the "gateway to the universe", the State Heritage-listed Perth Observatory has been inspiring budding astronomers for over 120 years. Its services include fascinating night sky tours, day tours exploring the rich history of the Observatory, astrophotography workshops, as well as a range of special events including the upcoming Halloween and Doctor Who themed night tours.
The Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory has a great collection of exhibitions on scientific subjects such as astronomy, biodiversity, cosmology and gravity research. The GDC Observatory has a fully retractable roof, and includes several large telescopes, used for practical astronomy viewing evenings. Indigenous elder Dr Noel Nannup also conducts fascinating Aboriginal Astronomy nights that are well worth a visit, while the Cosmology Gallery displays the first Southern Hemisphere Gravitational Wave Detector.
The GDC Observatory also exhibits a diverse range of cultural artworks from around the world exploring how we imagine our place in the universe. You'll find the Gravity Discovery Centre in Yeal, a charming country town located in the Moore River and Gingin area. Located only half an hour from Perth's northernmost suburb Two Rocks, it’s far enough to have clear skies for stargazing but convenient enough for an evening's astronomical getaway.
Conveniently located a stone's throw from the centre of Perth City, Scitech has been known for generations as an exciting place for young and old to enjoy experiential learning about science, but did you know this wonderful science museum also boasts an excellent planetarium? At the largest dome theatre in the Southern Hemisphere, Scitech Planetarium offers extraordinary journeys into the Universe, from Perth's night sky to its outer reaches; all with the utmost realism for an informative and beautiful journey.
Located in the Avon Valley region, Toodyay's clear night sky offers amazing opportunities for stargazing. Some accommodation hosts provide opportunities for stargazing as part of your stay. Warm and clear nights during summer are great for stargazing, and the best time of year to view Milky Way is February to October.
Located only half an hour south of Mandurah in the Peel Region, the gorgeous Lake Clifton is a serene, beautiful spot to enjoy at any time of day or night, and its faraway desolate setting, free of light pollution, makes for excellent stargazing.
It's also a truly unique spot for some astrophotography with the Thrombolites in the foreground: these extremely rare rock-like structures are living fossils believed to be one of the first life forms on earth, dating back over 500 million years. With the beauty of the night sky in the background, you're bound to get some Instaworthy snaps.
Located within the Shire of Gingin area, Lancelin is a small fishing town 127km north of Perth. Popular with city-folk following the draw of beach shacks and oceanside camping for quick weekend getaways, this area is also perfect for stargazing. Known far and wide for its enormous sand dunes, Lancelin is popular for its sandboarding and amazing for its pristine night skies, where the otherworldliness of the sand dunes make for a great photo op!
Far from the hustle, bustle and light pollution of Perth, the Avon Valley is a beautiful region full of rolling hills and historic towns, and with its pristine night skies it's a perfect spot for Western Australian stargazing. Lumineer Adventure Tours offers a guided tour complete with astro binoculars and telescope, as you learn about Aboriginal Astronomy and hear stories from the dream time around a camp fire.
The Pinnacles are a renowned Western Australia destination located in Nambung National Park, just over two hours drive from Perth City. Thousands of eroded yellow limestone spires poke like fingers through the earth, in the middle of remote desert, giving the area an atmosphere of a surreal alien moonscape. The skies are clear and dark, and naturally these formations make for a gorgeous point of difference to your stargazing and astrophotography. Lumineer Adventure Tours and Australian Pinnacle Tours both offer night sky stargazing tours of the Pinnacles, departing from Perth City.