Take a road trip to the stars and skies of Western Australia’s South East Wheatbelt. During daylight hours you’ll explore quaint Wheatbelt towns just oozing with history and amazing natural attractions. But when the day is done and the sun sinks across the western horizon you’ll find yourself in true stargazing paradise.
Day 1: Perth – Darkan (212 kilometres/2.5 hours)
Leave Perth just after lunch and take a leisurely drive south-east on Albany Hwy. Stop for a refreshing coffee and treat at the Williams Woolshed before continuing on to visit Arthur River. Then turn off the highway to charming Darkan. Perfectly maintained historic buildings put any budding astrophotographer in the picture. Spend the afternoon scouting your ideal locations. It might be Six Mile Cottage 8.5km north of the town or perhaps you’ll choose to photograph under the Milky Way at Hillman Siding.
Overnight: Darkan or Lake Towerrinning
If you stayed in Darkan overnight, don’t miss the delightful Lake Towerringing just south of the town, before you make your way east to Narrogin. You’ll never forget your first view of the lake and if it’s just too much to resist, you might need to spend one more night here camping with your camera! If continuing on, make it to Narrogin for a leisurely lunch. There’s a great choice of local dining. In the late afternoon, head west to climb Yillimining Rock before trying your hand at some astrophotography. If you have a telescope, the local Narrogin Golf Club welcomes visitors to stargaze.
A canopy of stars above the George Brockway Tree at Yilliminning Rock.
After a sleep in and a delicious breakfast at one of Narrogin’s delightful cafes, take a stroll around the town’s new 1,250 metre Heritage Walk Trail. Then travel on to Wickepin, your central southern Wheatbelt stop overnight. Explore the Albert Facey Trail and try taking an image of the famous Homestead at night. Or you might choose to journey 30km north of the town to Lake Yealering. Perfect for day and night photography.
Day 4: Wickepin – Lake Grace (115 kilometres/1.25 hours)
Wake up leisurely in Wickepin before taking a morning drive to Lake Toolibin. It’s the head of the Blackwood River and home to incredible birdlife. It’s a chance to plan for another astrophotography location for the next visit. Continue east to salt lake country and Lake Grace, take your pick of dozens of wonderful astrophotography opportunities. Taste the local wine, visit the museum and find your perfect location for night time photography. From Lake Grace to Lake King, you’ll find a view to suit. Call in at the Jam Patch for an evening under the stars to remember.
Overnight: Lake Grace
Travel via Kulin on your way to Narembeen and you’ll enjoy the fun of the Tin Horse Highway for something a bit different! Arrive in Narembeen for lunch. Then put on your walking shoes and explore the wonderful art sculptures and trails in town. Drop into Apex Park to see the Giant Planisphere before heading to Avoca Farm for an evening picnic and a spot of stargazing or astrophotography.
Avoca Farm is close to Narembeen and is ideal for astrophotography. There are a variety of scenes to capture.
Day 6: Narembeen – Perth (280 kilometres/3.25 hours)
It’s a delightful trip back home through Wheatbelt farming country and the Avon Valley. There are many small towns on the way including Northam where you can stop in for lunch and a visit to the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture & Environmental Knowledge where you’ll discover the Six Nyoongar Aboriginal Seasons.
You’ll have an incredible collection of astrophotography to show off to friends and remind you of a wonderful time in the South East Wheatbelt region. Astrophotography is quickly becoming a very popular hobby. You’ll be back for more in WA’s stunning Astrotourism Towns.
Ready to stay longer? You’ll find more about this wonderful region on the Australia’s Golden Outback website.
Driving times and distances intended as a guide only and may vary depending on the exact route taken. Accommodation options are indicative of what is available in the area.
WHERE ARE WA’S POPULAR STARGAZING DESTINATIONS?
New locations for stargazing and astrophotography are popping up in country WA!