Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published April 4th 2018
Enjoy a star studded evening
Just recently, The Backyard Universe invited me along to join in on one of their stargazing tours. Tours are held in many various locations around the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Flinders Ranges. We chose to join the group at Wirrina Cove at Second Valley, which is approximately an hour and a half south of Adelaide. We combined this with an overnight stay at a lovely little Airbnb place within a few kilometres of Wirrina and happily explored the Fleurieu's great coastlines throughout the day and then headed out in the evening to gaze at our big beautiful backyard universe.
Our guides, Fraser and Lorraine were extremely welcoming. They have a lifetime of knowledge and experience with the night skies and geology and happily shared this info with us. The star gazing novices in our group were given easy-to-understand explanations of what we were looking at, as well as some basic astronomy history and education.
The stargazing tour takes place outside and usually starts an hour or so after the sun has set. It tends to get a bit chilly out there in the open, so be sure to rug up. The tour runs for approximately 90 minutes and is aided by telescopes, binoculars, laser pointers and phone apps.
Being just a few days before Easter, we were met with a nearly full moon and, unfortunately, a sky full of clouds. While the moon made the viewing of some of the stars hard to view, the clouds eventually blew over and for most of the evening, we had a beautifully clear view of the sky.
If you have an interest in astronomy and would love to see the night sky through a telescope with very little interruption from light pollution, then jump over to their website and book into one of their upcoming tours.
If you have friends or family visiting from overseas, particularly those from the northern hemisphere, then this would be an amazing memory for them to take home with them. They'd never see anything like our big southern skies and they'd be guaranteed to have a wonderful star-studded night out.
Fraser has a specialised telescope which is entirely portable and is fitted with tracking devices. He also uses a laser pointer to guide our eyes to a particular star, planet or cluster. These can be viewed through his telescope or even with the naked eye. It's amazing how much you can see when you start to look.
Set up on a tripod are binoculars, which on our tour were pointed directly at the almost-full moon. The detail of the craters and the moonscape was just amazing.
There are lots of tours to join in on. Some are within an hours drive of Adelaide - as close as McLaren Vale. Others are in the Flinders Ranges in the middle of the outback. Have a look at their website or Facebook page for all the event info. Private tours are welcomed and school groups are also a speciality.
If you have an evening spare, this stargazing tour has the definite wow factor. This is an outdoor excursion that you won't want to miss out on. Gift vouchers are available.