Where Can I See The Milky Way In South Australia?

You can see the stars from any part of the world, as long as it is dark enough. The Southern Hemisphere has a distinct set of stars in the Milky WayOpens in a new tab.. There are 5 parks in South Australia that are highly recommended to go to in order to see the milky way.

The 5 Best Parks To See The Milky Way In South Australia

  1. The Murray River Dark Sky Reserve
  2. Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
  3. Lincoln National Park
  4. Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park
  5. Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

1. The Murray River Dark Sky Reserve

If you are aiming to enjoy a perfect view of the centre of the galaxy without light pollution, River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve is the place to be. It is the only International Dark Sky Reserve in Australia, and one of 16 accredited sites in the world.

The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve starts from the northern border of the Murray River and spans the Lakes & Coorong Region. The Reserve is 3,200 square kilometres and is one of the darkest regions in the world.

For avid stargazers, the sky quality meter (SQM) reading is 21.9, so there is a good chance that you will see the Milky Way if there is no cloud in the sky. South Australia has a dry climate, and River Murray usually has cloudless skies, making it one of the best places to be at night.

Some parts of the trail will need a 4 wheel drive to access because there are plenty of unsealed roads. However, most of the campsites and parks are accessible by car. Avoid driving at night because it is hard to see in the Dark Sky Reserve, and you may end up hitting a wild animal like a kangaroo. Plan your trip to arrive early at your lookout spot before it gets too dark.

Remember to stock up with water and food before arriving at your campsite, especially if you are going to be far away from the nearest town. Stargazing is not the only thing you can do within the River Murray Dark Sky Reserve. There is something for everyone in this 3,200 square kilometre wonder.

2. Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

This Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is a well-known park to go stargazing due to its high elevation above sea level. Making it ideal for all constellation enthusiasts to have perfect views of the milky way and other cosmos in the night sky.

If you are an avid photographer this is one area where you want to get a prime slow shutter speed photo to really be able to appreciate the breathtaking views. This area of South Australia has 10 campsites that you can stay at that give you a clear view of the skies at night.

Not only does the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park have flat ranges it also has great mountain peaks that are relatively easy to hike to grab a great shot and view just as an observatory would, which is why most observatories are situated high up.

3. Lincoln National Park

Lincoln National ParkOpens in a new tab. is located on the southern tip of the Eyre Penninsula in South Australia. It is known for its rocky cliffs and largest natural harbour. Overlooking Boston Bay where the largest natural harbour is located showcases spectacular views.

This area is ideal for stargazing, why not drive your 4Wd or campervan to the cliff sides for a view of the milky way overlooking the ocean. The most popular place to camp is at Fisherman’s Point campground, although it is undergoing a 2025 government upgrade you can still access parts of the park.

Fishermans’ Point Campground has available currently 15 unallocated sites, meaning the camping sites are available first come first serve.

In order to enter Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, there is a vehicle entry fee that must be purchased prior to entering the park. The cost is $12 for entry between 6:00 am to 11:00 pm or $10 for concession holders. This park pass only needs to be purchased once if you are planning to camp overnight.

4. Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

The only way to enter Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park is between two tracks located 95 kilometres from Marree and 60 kilometres from William Creek. You must have a 4wd in order to drive on this track only as a normal vehicle cant handle the terrain.

The best time to visit Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park is during the months of November to March due to the harsh summer heat. It is best to note that the Halligan Bay Point is closed every year between December 1st-March 15th. For any more information about closures follow their websiteOpens in a new tab..

On the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park website, you can also buy your entry pass to the park and for camping as well. Prices for a day pass are $12 for entry between 6:00 am to 11:00 pm or $10 for concession holders. The only area for camping is at Halligan Bay Point Campground.

Camping at Halligan Point is approximately $40.50 for a 3-night stay for 2 adults, for the most current pricing follow the website hereOpens in a new tab.. The facilities at the campground include picnic tables and long drop toilets. Campfires are not allowed on the grounds and camping is by tent only.

5. Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Generally, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park is known for its birdwatching, but what many don’t know is that it is a prime location for stargazing as well. Just like Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park Opens in a new tab.is situated off of cliff faces and beaches.

Unlike the other parks mentioned this park is free to access and no park pass is required for entry, there are however restrictions in the park. It Is still an ideal spot for stargazing and spotting the milky way, many photographers have captured fantastic shots from this area. You can take photos as long as they are not for commercial or film use

Other activities that you can do in the area are fishing and surfing as it lies on the coast of South Australia near the Yorke Penninsula.

Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park also borders the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park where you can access many offshore Islands such as Kangaroo Island. Fishing is extremely popular in this area and you are likely to catch Salmon off of Brown’s beach.

How Can You Enjoy Stargazing In South Australia?

The best way to enjoy stargazing is to take your time and wait for the show to start. It will be cold at night, so dress warm and pack warm drinks in thermal flasks. Not all campsites allow wood fire or solid fuel because of fire risk, so you might need to pack a gas stove for your own comfort.

Remember to pack extra blankets or heat packs to help you stay comfortable. Most people will pack binoculars or telescopes, but you can still enjoy the view without them.

Plan your trip by checking if special astronomical events. Websites such as time and dateOpens in a new tab. or Nightskyonline.infoOpens in a new tab. offers guides to special astronomy events, planet rise and set times. Make the trip special by visiting around meteor showers or moon eclipses.

What To Do While Stargazing?

If you are here to enjoy the view, then you can enjoy the night sky while toasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. Lie back on a sleeping back. Be careful not to fall asleep as you pick out the constellations above.

Remember to pack extra power banks, or charge your devices using solar power during the day, so you can use your phone at night to check out the star chart you have on your phone.

There is plenty to do while you wait for the stars to arrive. Some local wildlife is nocturnal. Bring a torch to light your path as you look for wombats coming out to feed. You can also spot owls and birds that come out to hunt at night. Fish for Murray Cod for dinner while you wait for the meteor shower.

Make your own constellations by tracing new patterns and then create your own story for it. Kids will have so much fun dreaming up new names and stories, remember to record these fun memories. Do not forget to wish upon the many stars in the sky.

When To Go Stargazing In South Australia

Even though you can go visit some of the National Parks any time of the year, some parks are closed during Extreme Fire Danger and Catastrophic Fire Danger days during summer. The forest can light up on fire easily when it is dry, and any wind will cause a bush fire to go out of control.

Due to low rainfall and no clouds, the night temperature can fall all the way to -4 degrees Celsius in winter. In summer, it can go as high as 45 degrees Celsius. The weather is chilly and more predictable from May to September.

However, if you are planning to visit during the winter season you should pack extra warm clothing or blankets as it can get cold and windy at night. During the winter months when it can get cold, you may opt for a caravan or cabin for a more comfortable stay.

Activities To Do During The Day While Waiting To Stargaze

While you are waiting for the sky to go dark, there is plenty to do around the National Parks in South Australia. Some have walking trails that lead to waterfalls or bushwalking near several campsites. Enjoy the beach and go kayaking, surfing or fishing.

Spot some local wildlife while exploring conversation parks: goannas, wombats, echidnas, and emus. Birdwatchers will have a good time looking for kookaburras and native finches, but more like you will hear them instead.

For younger kids, there are plenty of parks around the area for fun. Some caravan parks offer a recreational area and swimming pool, so they can play around while you do your laundry.

Need a peaceful day to conserve your energy for the night’s event? In some areas, you can take a river cruise that will take you up and down the river on a paddleboat. Enjoy the cool breeze while viewing all the sights of the area.


We have travelled to many great places around Australia and hope to share our travel tips, hacks, and adventures with you. So come with us as we explore the great down under!

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