Warrumbungle National Park, near Coonabarabran in central western NSW, is Australia’s first Dark Sky Park and the first in the southern hemisphere.
When we visited it was the ONLY Dark Sky Park in the country!
The park is renowned for its stargazing opportunities thanks to its crystal-clear night skies, low humidity, high altitude and world-class astronomy research facility at nearby Siding Spring Observatory.
Low humidity, crystal-clear nights and high altitudes are all ingredients for perfect viewing in this location.
Added to that is the Siding Spring Observatory – a world class astronomer’s destination.
So what are Dark Sky Parks?
These attractions area publicly or privately-owned. They must have exceptional starry nights and a nocturnal environment, and have been protected for us to enjoy!
Animals and plants need regular interval of light and dark periods to know how to function. Like when to eat, sleep, hunt, migrate and reproduce. NSW National Parks are working on practical ways to minimise light on their nocturnal environments. So can we.
Siding Spring Observatory is well worth a visit. I don’t know if the kids or Heatley were more spellbound by the magnificent telescope and discoveries made here. It is open daily.
To reach Siding Spring Observatory drive about 200m past the eastern entrance to the National Park.
If you are after night viewing – there are tours run from Coonabarabran.
And did you know Australia had two more Dark Sky Parks?
River Murray Dark Sky Reserve is located around Swan Reach Conservation Park in South Australia.
The Jump Up, Queensland is in the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, near Winton in Outback Queensland.
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