Take a road trip to the stars and skies of Western Australia's southern 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.
Accommodation options: Hotel, self-contained cottages, caravan park, camping
Day 2: Darkan – Lake Grace
(220 kilometres/2.5 hours)
Call in at delightful Lake Towerringing, just south of Darkan, before you make your way east to Lake Grace. 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 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.
Accommodation options: Hotel, motel, caravan park, camping
Day 3: Lake Grace – Wickepin via Kulin
(140 kilometres/1.5 hour)
Take the road to Kulin to enjoy the fun of the Tin Horse Highway! 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. Afterwards, journey 30km north of the town to Lake Yealering. Perfect for day and night photography.
Accommodation options: Hotel, B&B, caravan park, camping
Day 4: Wickepin – Narrogin
(70 kilometres/45 minutes)
Wake up leisurely in Wickepin before taking a morning drive out 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. Then head west to climb Yillimining Rock before making it to delightful Narrogin just in time for afternoon drinks and a great choice of local dining. Refresh and head back to Yilliminning Rock to try your hand at some astrophotography.
Accommodation options: Hotel, motel, B&B, caravan park, camping
Day 5: Narrogin – Perth
200 kilometres/2.5 hours)
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. It’s a delightful trip back in time before a pleasant trip home via the Dryandra Woodlands, Pumphreys Bridge and some of WA’s beautiful state forests.
You’ll have an incredible collection of astrophotography to show off to friends and remind you of a wonderful time in the Southern Wheatbelt region. Astrophotography is quickly becoming a very popular hobby. You’ll be back for more in WA’s stunning Astrotourism Towns. For additional information about the locations on the Astrophotographers’ Paradise itinerary, check out the following useful link www.astrotourismwa.com.au