If you look up at the Sydney night sky you’d be lucky to spot four or five stars. Yep, there’s no doubt that all the excess light we give off definitely clouds the night sky at times in all it’s star-speckled jaw-dropping glory.
Thankfully NSW is rich with dark places where you can be truly starstruck by the plethora of twinkling balls of gas in the sky (let’s be real that’s what they are). No need to crack out your telescopes for these bad boys because you’ll have the best seat in the house for some good old fashioned lay-on-the -ground-and-stare-at-the-sky shenanigans.
Here are all the best places to get your stargaze on in NSW.
Warrumbungle National Park
You’re going to want to bring your camping gear for this one. Warrumbungle National Park is a definite hike (six-hour drive from Sydney) but it tops the list for one very important reason. It is Australia’s first (and only) dark sky park making it the ultimate spot for stargazing, amateur astronomy and camping under the starriest of skies.
Just 45 minutes from the city, Mount Kuring-Gai is the ideal spot for date night. On the edge of the national park, there is a football oval which is legit the ideal location to roll out your picnic blanket and stare the at night sky. Orion’s Belt (the hunter constellation) is easily spotted at Mount Kuring-gai so you can surprise your S/O with a mini star show.
Any punter who loves a good relaxing stargaze will know a thing or two about this Katoomba gem. Here, you’re way above sea-level which means ta-ta to Sydney’s light pollution. Word on the street is you’ll see pops of the Milky Way as well as the starlight trail of Sagittarius.
Another patch of dark sky close to home is Terrey Hills in the Northern Beaches. The Northern Sydney Astronomical Society run observing nights on the weekend for both the experienced and novice (definitely us) astronomers alike. They have telescopes to share, so if you are just starting out your star loving days this may be the place for you.
Bouddi National Park
Hiding away in the central coast 90 minutes out of Sydney is Bouddi National Park. Its dense bushland provides the perfect darkness to view the stars from the beach and lookouts. Basically, that means you’ll be listening to the sound of waves crashing against the sand while watching the stars (sounds like a winner to us).
Head outside of Sydney’s light haze to Mangrove Mountain, where the altitude is your friend. Word has it that on a clear night you can easily see the Milky Way, so brush up on your night photography skills, you’re in for a treat.
This one is definitely a trek (read: 13-hour drive from Sydney) but it is 100% worth mentioning. Outback Astronomy located in Broken Hills resides in darker than dark desert plains and takes you on a guided tour through the sky.
Since you're here, here are the best camping spots in NSW.
Image credit: Nick Reynolds