The best places to stargaze (and camp under the stars) in Australia
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15.07.2022

The best places to stargaze (and camp under the stars) in Australia

Pull out the blanket, these spots are the top destinations to sleep under the stars.

The Milky Way has inspired us all since the beginning of humankind, but Stargazing tourism is getting more popular in recent years.

Searches for ‘national parks after dark’ have soared 10,700% in the last 12 months, and it’s not hard to see why. In 2022, many tourists are looking for unforgettable experiences, and nighttime sights are already becoming the next big travel trend.

Keep up to date with the latest travel destinations and news via our website.

To inform adventurous tourists (as well as locals looking for the best stargazing locations near them), Next Vacay reveals the top Instagrammable destinations to sleep under the stars in Australia – based on Instagram hashtags, air pollution levels, overall star visibility, and more.

Royal National Park, NSW

Is there a better place in the world to see the stars than the world’s second oldest national park? Known for some of the most picturesque views and unique heritage attractions, Royal National Park in New South Wales takes the number one spot as the top instagrammable stargazing hotspot in 2022. The best time for a stargazing adventure in Royal National Park is during the winter when you can get closer to the heavens during crisp nights. You should also go stargazing when the moon is in a crescent or gibbous phase, so it doesn’t pollute the sky with light. With a whopping 165,307 photos under the hashtag on Instagram, it’s not hard to see why Royal National Park should be on the top of your stargazing adventure bucket list.

 

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Grampians National Park, Victoria

Taking the second-place spot on our list for the most popular stargazing spots in 2022 is the Grampians National Park in Victoria, internationally recognized as a hiker’s paradise and home to some of the most beautiful skies in the world. Hike to the highest peak at Mount William, or explore Reed Lookout for jaw-dropping night sky views that are surreal when the nightfall comes. The best time to stargaze at Grampians is during the winter months when the skies get darker, and when there is less light pollution, the park is the perfect place to go stargazing. With an impressive 58,544 photos under the hashtag on Instagram, you can see why this national park made it to the top of our list.

Springbrook National Park, Queensland

Known for its big blue skies and endless views, Springbrook National Park ​​is the third most in-demand stargazing hotspot in 2022. When the sun goes down, a whole new adventure begins at Jasper National Park. Settlement Day Area is the best-known stargazing spot to enjoy the open space, while Springbrook Observatory is a prime spot edged closer to the stars. The best time to stargaze in SpringbrookNational Park is on crisp, clear winter nights or during a new moon – but be sure to wrap up! With 55,354 photos under the hashtag on Instagram, it’s easy to see why stargazing is increasingly becoming one of the more popular activities in this tourist hotspot.

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

The fourth most popular stargazing spot to visit in 2022 is the Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory, best visited during the spring and autumn months if you want to see the stars dance.  As the largest national park in Australia, this natural wonder offers plenty of space to visit some of the darkest, most breathtaking star-filled night sky views in the country. Being in close proximity to the Milky Way makes a stunning view since the stars are bigger and brighter. You can see why many travelers plan to stargaze here as one of the only places to see the southern hemisphere night sky is at its clearest, with a whopping 52,007 photos under the hashtag on Instagram.

 

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Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Rounding off the top five is the Freycinet National Park in Tasmania, known for its great night skies, breathtaking views, and secluded bays. Enjoy a gaze up into the stars in the reflection of the translucent waters, and explore the cosmos and what lies beyond our planet in awe. Visit Hazard Mountains for the perfect backdrop to stargaze. With 47,443 photos under the hashtag on Instagram, there’s no denying that this stunning national treasure on a spectacular granite mountain range is a must-see stargazing spot in 2022.

 

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“People have been amazed by the stars since the beginning of humankind, so it’s no surprise that we have seen demand for stargazing soar in the past year,” says Naveen Dittakavi, founder of Next Vacay.

“A whole new world opens up at night, and there’s something magical about these celestial beings that bring a sense of calm, and help you put life into perspective.

“Unfortunately, air pollution and other multiple factors make it difficult to stargaze in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne, where looking at the stars is almost impossible.

“National parks usually have ideal conditions for stargazing, like dry and clean air and a seemingly never-ending skyline that’s hardly ever obstructed. As we head into the winter months, now is a great time to explore some of the richest dark places and best stargazing spots in Australia.”

Other top-rated spots across the country include Blue Mountains National Park in NSW, Karijini National Park in Western Australia, Kosciuszko National Park in NSW, Litchfield National Park in Northern Territory, Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia, Cradle Mountain National Park in Queensland, Port Campbell National Park in Victoria, Nambung National Park in Western Australia, Daintree National Park in Queensland and Dorrigo National Park in NSW.

Find out more from Next Vacay here