Get Regular Updates!
Search
|WA to become a hotspot for astrotourism

Space

image|

Kylie Gee, Indigo Storm Photography

WA to become a hotspot for astrotourism

WA to become a hotspot for astrotourism

Take clear night skies and willing regional townships, add a sprinkle of stardust and what have you got? Astrotourism towns.

WA to become a hotspot for astrotourism

When was the last time you found yourself outside after dark, gazing at the heavens, lost in the rapture of the night sky?

And I’m not just talking about a quick glance skyward while you walk from the taxi to the pub.

Has it been a while? You’re not the only one.

Some people believe our increasingly city-based, busy and indoor lifestyles are robbing us of the psychological, spiritual and emotional benefits of time spent contemplating the heavens above.

And even if we are outside after dark for some soul searching and stargazing, we often find light pollution has dulled the stars’ brightness.

ASTROTOURISM

But one women wants to change all that.

Carol Redford sees Western Australia’s potential to become world renowned for its night skies.

As such, Carol is recruiting regional and outback townships to become the first astrotourism towns in the country.

View Larger
Image|Stargazers WA
Carol Redford from Stargazers WA is recruiting regional townships to become the first astrotourism towns in the country

Already, four Mid West townships have signed up: Morawa, Carnamah, Three Springs and Perenjori. And 18 other towns are interested.

Those who’ve signed up have pledged to work with Carol to limit light pollution and earmark ideal sites for stargazing and astrophotography.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT the DARK?

So is astrotourism really ‘a thing’? You betcha, says Carol.

She says escalating light pollution around the world means places with dark skies are becoming increasingly revered.

WA is already recognised for having some of the world’s darkest skies.

And Carol says we humans can experience untold benefits from dark nights—from better sleeping patterns to the psychological benefits of stargazing.

Carol Redford is recruiting regional and outback townships in WA to become the first astrotourism towns in the country. Morawa has already signed up.
“Stargazing is beautiful and awe-inspiring and mysterious,” Carol says.

“It puts my own life into perspective as you consider that you’re looking at light that has travelled millions of light years to reach our beautiful planet Earth. It makes my everyday problems seem insignificant.”

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

Carol envisages a network of astrotourism towns luring people from the city with the promise of inky black night skies and mesmerising displays of stars.

“We’ll have maps showing which towns are part of the network, with sites highlighted for stargazing and astrophotography,” Carol says.

“We’ll do up itineraries for self-drive trips and provide information to interpret what’s happening in the night sky.”

Carol also sees potential for ‘glamping’ accommodation providers and for Aboriginal cultural tours linked to the astrotourism towns.

Astrotourists could use apps to track stars across the night sky…
. Credit: Stargazers WA
View Larger
Image |

Stargazers WA

Astrotourists could use apps to track stars across the night sky…
…and astrotourism towns could provide glamping accommodation. Bubble tents anyone?
. Credit: Bubble tent Australia
View Larger
…and astrotourism towns could provide glamping accommodation. Bubble tents anyone?

Who knows? One day, WA may have its very own internationally accredited dark sky communities registered with the International Dark-Sky Association.

LIVING IN THE DARK

So what does a town have to do to stay dark?

Easy, says Carol. It can be as simple as swapping bright white outdoor lightbulbs with warm or amber-toned bulbs and ensuring street lights are shielded so that their light points down rather than spraying up into the night sky.

This not only keeps the sky dark but also requires less power to light the streets below.

“The towns who’ve signed up will work with me to protect their night sky and keep it dark,” Carol says.

View Larger
Image|Stargazers WA
A night sky makes a beautiful backdrop for this windmill in Morawa

STARSTRUCK

Among the early astrotourism town adopters is the Mid West township of Morawa.

The shire’s economic development manager Ellie Cuthbert is excited about the potential to attract new tourists and lessen dependence on wildflower tourism following good rains.

“Great night skies don’t need maintenance, and they are not dependent on good rain—you just need to protect them,” Ellie says.

“If we don’t work to protect night skies now, they could be in the same position as other landforms that have suffered from pollution. We’re really excited about being involved—it has great potential.”

With towns already signing up, it hopefully won’t be too long until we’re all gazing at the heavens once again.

For more information on astrotourism towns, check out the website www.astrotourismwa.com.au.

Tracking WA Science VIDEO

Republish

Creative Commons Logo

Republishing our content

We want our stories to be shared and seen by as many people as possible.

Therefore, unless it says otherwise, copyright on the stories on Particle belongs to Scitech and they are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This allows you to republish our articles online or in print for free. You just need to credit us and link to us, and you can’t edit our material or sell it separately.

Using the ‘republish’ button on our website is the easiest way to meet our guidelines.

Guidelines

You cannot edit the article.

When republishing, you have to credit our authors, ideally in the byline. You have to credit Particle with a link back to the original publication on Particle.

If you’re republishing online, you must use our pageview counter, link to us and include links from our story. Our page view counter is a small pixel-ping (invisible to the eye) that allows us to know when our content is republished. It’s a condition of our guidelines that you include our counter. If you use the ‘republish’ then you’ll capture our page counter.

If you’re republishing in print, please email us to let us so we know about it (we get very proud to see our work republished) and you must include the Particle logo next to the credits. Download logo here.

If you wish to republish all our stories, please contact us directly to discuss this opportunity.

Images

Most of the images used on Particle are copyright of the photographer who made them.

It is your responsibility to confirm that you’re licensed to republish images in our articles.

Video

All Particle videos can be accessed through YouTube under the Standard YouTube Licence.

The Standard YouTube licence

  1. This licence is ‘All Rights Reserved’, granting provisions for YouTube to display the content, and YouTube’s visitors to stream the content. This means that the content may be streamed from YouTube but specifically forbids downloading, adaptation, and redistribution, except where otherwise licensed. When uploading your content to YouTube it will automatically use the Standard YouTube licence. You can check this by clicking on Advanced Settings and looking at the dropdown box ‘License and rights ownership’.
  2. When a user is uploading a video he has license options that he can choose from. The first option is “standard YouTube License” which means that you grant the broadcasting rights to YouTube. This essentially means that your video can only be accessed from YouTube for watching purpose and cannot be reproduced or distributed in any other form without your consent.

Contact

For more information about using our content, email us: particle@scitech.org.au

Copy this HTML into your CMS
Press Ctrl+C to copy

We've got chemistry. Want something physical?