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16 Best Stargazing Melbourne 2024

12/09/2023
11 mins read
Mount Burnett Observatory
Source: Peter Tredrea

Embark on a celestial journey and uncover the hidden gems of the night sky with our ultimate guide to the best stargazing spots in and around Melbourne. From the dazzling city skyline at SkyHigh Mt Dandenong to the serene landscapes of Grampians National Park, Melbourne and its surroundings offer a plethora of locations to admire the mesmerizing beauty of the cosmos. Whether you’re an astronomy enthusiast or simply seeking a magical experience under the stars, our curated list of stargazing destinations will leave you starstruck. So, grab your telescope, gather your loved ones, and get ready to explore the wonders of the universe in Melbourne’s starlit skies.

1. Mount Burnett Observatory

Explore the cosmos at Mount Burnett Observatory, a not-for-profit astronomical society located in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. The observatory hosts popular, family-friendly viewing nights each month, giving visitors the chance to use their incredible telescopes and learn more about the night sky from passionate astronomers.

In addition to public viewing nights, Mount Burnett Observatory offers educational programs, workshops, and special events throughout the year. Whether you’re an experienced stargazer or new to astronomy, a visit to Mount Burnett Observatory is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

  • Address: 420 Paternoster Road, Mount Burnett VIC 3781, Australia.
  • Fare: Public viewing nights are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $40 for families.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 1 hour by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/XLa5RhxSFPNoJHZ68

2. Leon Mow Dark Sky Site, Heathcote

Experience the wonders of the night sky at the Leon Mow Dark Sky Site in Heathcote, located about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Melbourne. This dark sky site offers minimal light pollution, providing excellent stargazing opportunities for both amateur and experienced astronomers. The site is managed by the Astronomical Society of Victoria, which hosts regular stargazing events and workshops for members and non-members alike.

Heathcote is also known for its wineries, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway. Combine your stargazing adventure with wine tasting, dining, and exploring the charming town of Heathcote. With its clear skies and beautiful surroundings, the Leon Mow Dark Sky Site is a must-visit destination for stargazing enthusiasts.

  • Address: Leon Mow Dark Sky Site, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia.
  • Fare: Free for Astronomical Society of Victoria members, fees may apply for non-members.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 1 hour and 45 minutes by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/vcizoiLZNpLr3nTL6

3. Melbourne Observatory

Located within the Royal Botanic Gardens, the historic Melbourne Observatory offers guided tours and stargazing events for visitors of all ages. Just a short 10-minute drive from the city center, the observatory provides a unique opportunity to explore the night sky in the heart of Melbourne. Learn about the history of the observatory, view celestial objects through powerful telescopes, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the gardens.

The Royal Botanic Gardens also offer a range of activities and attractions, including walking trails, picnic areas, and educational programs. Combine your stargazing experience with a day exploring the gardens for a memorable and enjoyable outing.

  • Address: Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia.
  • Fare: Guided tours are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and $40 for families.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 10 minutes by car or 20 minutes by public transport.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/yArBYBobg7sPhgva6

4. SkyHigh Mt Dandenong

Experience breathtaking views of Melbourne’s skyline at SkyHigh Mt Dandenong, situated less than an hour from the city center. This popular attraction offers a panoramic view of the city lights and the night sky above, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. Wander through the beautiful landscaped gardens, take a forest walk under a canopy of Australian eucalypts, or relax on the Giant’s Chair. The on-site bistro serves lunch and dinner, allowing you to enjoy a meal with a stunning backdrop.

SkyHigh Mt Dandenong also hosts various events throughout the year, including seasonal festivities and live music performances. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the incredible views and memories of your visit. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, SkyHigh Mt Dandenong is a must-visit destination for stargazing and appreciating the beauty of the Melbourne skyline.

  • Address: 26 Observatory Road, Mount Dandenong, Victoria 3767, Australia.
  • Fare: Parking fee of $5 per car on weekdays, $10 per car on weekends and public holidays, $15 for a minibus, $25 for a coach, and $3 for a motorbike. Visitors can walk or cycle up to SkyHigh to avoid the parking fee.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 40 minutes by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/HN2E9FiYq4ZQDtAf6

5. Scienceworks Planetarium

Discover the wonders of the universe at Scienceworks Planetarium, located just 20 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. The planetarium features a 16m domed ceiling, reclining seats, a 7.1 surround sound system, and a full-dome video projection system, providing an immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Enjoy informative and entertaining shows, including a live presentation of the current night sky, making it an excellent stargazing destination.

In addition to the planetarium, Scienceworks offers interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and educational programs that explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This family-friendly attraction is perfect for a day of learning and fun, with something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015, Australia.
  • Fare: General admission to Scienceworks is $15 for adults, and children under 16 and concession cardholders are free. Additional fees may apply for special exhibitions and events.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 20 minutes by car or 30 minutes by public transport.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/DjQPNgDSCokpWV6AA

6. Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula, located just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing. With its stunning coastline, charming villages, and beautiful beaches, the peninsula is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. The Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society also hosts public stargazing nights at their Mt Martha Observatory, providing an opportunity to view celestial objects through powerful telescopes.

In addition to stargazing, the Mornington Peninsula offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including wine tasting, art galleries, golf courses, and hot springs. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the Mornington Peninsula is a perfect destination for a memorable trip.

  • Address: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (specific locations may vary).
  • Fare: Free, but fees may apply for specific events or locations.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 1 hour by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/vD8mz6ofETsoQmmt8

7. Pink Lakes in Murray Sunset National Park

Discover the unique beauty of the Pink Lakes in Murray Sunset National Park, located about 5 hours from Melbourne. The park is known for its clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it a great spot for stargazing. The pink-colored lakes are a result of a red pigment secreted by algae, creating a stunning and otherworldly landscape.

In addition to stargazing, visitors can enjoy bushwalking, birdwatching, and photography in the park. The area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the endangered Mallee Emu-wren. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the incredible colors of the Pink Lakes and the beauty of the night sky.

  • Address: Murray Sunset National Park, Victoria, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 5 hours by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/R34AYpuAe7e7N1GE6

8. Hattah Kulkyne National Park

Hattah Kulkyne National Park, located about 4 hours and 30 minutes from Melbourne, offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, providing excellent stargazing opportunities. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 200 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatching and nature photography.

Visitors can explore the park’s walking trails, go fishing or canoeing in the lakes, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. With its beautiful landscapes and clear skies, Hattah Kulkyne National Park is a perfect destination for stargazing and connecting with nature.

  • Address: Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Victoria, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 4 hours and 30 minutes by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/3mYfnW2HzY4nS7L39

9. Phillip Island

Phillip Island, located about 2 hours from Melbourne, offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing. The island is famous for its wildlife, including the nightly Penguin Parade, where visitors can watch little penguins return to their burrows after a day at sea.

In addition to stargazing and wildlife watching, Phillip Island offers a range of activities and attractions, including beautiful beaches, scenic coastal walks, and the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Phillip Island has something for everyone.

  • Address: Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia (specific locations may vary).
  • Fare: Free, but fees may apply for specific events or locations.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 2 hours by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/7YzmcbRjuN2QvxSG8

10. Winton Wetlands, Benalla

Winton Wetlands, located about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Melbourne, offers clear and unobstructed skies, making it an ideal location for stargazing. The wetlands are also the site of the largest wetlands restoration project in the Southern Hemisphere, providing a unique and beautiful backdrop for your stargazing experience.

In addition to stargazing, visitors can enjoy birdwatching, cycling, and walking trails throughout the wetlands. The area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers. With its clear skies and stunning landscapes, Winton Wetlands is a perfect spot for a memorable stargazing adventure.

  • Address: Winton Wetlands, 652 Lake Mokoan Rd, Chesney Vale VIC 3725, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 2 hours and 30 minutes by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/FNoB8TifUdq2epgD8

11. Lake Tyrrell

Experience the beauty of Lake Tyrrell, a large salt lake in Victoria, located about 4 hours from Melbourne. Known for its clear skies and minimal light pollution, Lake Tyrrell is an ideal location for stargazing. The lake’s unique landscape, with its vast salt flats and shimmering reflections, creates a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere for stargazing.

In addition to stargazing, visitors can explore the surrounding area, including the nearby town of Sea Lake and the Silo Art Trail. With its clear skies and stunning landscapes, Lake Tyrrell is a perfect destination for a memorable stargazing adventure.

12. Grampians National Park

Discover the beauty of the Grampians National Park, located about 3 hours from Melbourne. Known for its clear skies and minimal light pollution, this national park is an ideal location for stargazing. The park offers a range of activities and attractions, including bushwalking, rock climbing, and wildlife watching.

In addition to stargazing, visitors can explore the park’s stunning landscapes, including rugged mountain ranges, cascading waterfalls, and ancient Aboriginal rock art sites. With its breathtaking scenery and clear skies, Grampians National Park is a perfect destination for a memorable stargazing adventure.

13. Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, located about 3 hours and 30 minutes from Melbourne, offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing. The park features a diverse range of ecosystems, including wetlands, woodlands, and coastal dunes, providing a unique and beautiful backdrop for your stargazing experience.

In addition to stargazing, visitors can enjoy birdwatching, fishing, boating, and exploring the park’s walking trails. With its clear skies and stunning landscapes, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park is a perfect spot for a memorable stargazing adventure.

  • Address: Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Victoria, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 3 hours and 30 minutes by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/2w1ua6QcEJDK8ypR8

14. Lake Eildon National Park

Lake Eildon National Park, located about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Melbourne, offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, providing excellent stargazing opportunities. The park features a large reservoir, surrounded by forests and rugged hills, creating a stunning and tranquil environment for stargazing.

Lake Eildon National Park
Source: Parks Victoria

In addition to stargazing, visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including bushwalking, fishing, boating, and wildlife watching. With its beautiful landscapes and clear skies, Lake Eildon National Park is a perfect destination for a memorable stargazing adventure.

  • Address: Lake Eildon National Park, Victoria, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 2 hours and 30 minutes by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/sb6dP1AJDC8KD27Y7

15. Snake Valley Observatory

Visit the Snake Valley Observatory, located about 2 hours from Melbourne, for a unique stargazing experience. This small observatory offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for observing celestial objects. The observatory is open to the public, providing an opportunity to view the night sky through powerful telescopes.

In addition to stargazing, the surrounding area offers a range of activities and attractions, including bushwalking, birdwatching, and exploring the nearby town of Snake Valley. With its clear skies and tranquil surroundings, the Snake Valley Observatory is a perfect destination for a memorable stargazing adventure.

  • Address: Snake Valley Observatory, Snake Valley VIC 3351, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 2 hours by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/8r4LpVwyK4u521C88

16. Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park, located about 3 hours from Melbourne, offers clear skies and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing. The park features a diverse range of landscapes, including pristine beaches, granite mountains, and lush rainforests, providing a beautiful backdrop for your stargazing experience.

In addition to stargazing, visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including bushwalking, wildlife watching, and exploring the park’s many walking trails. With its stunning scenery and clear skies, Wilsons Promontory National Park is a perfect destination for a memorable stargazing adventure.

  • Address: Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia.
  • Fare: Free.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: About 3 hours by car.
  • Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/A8rQ5MGd9pCZwoEN8

Best Stargazing Melbourne at a Glance

Our list of best stargazing spots near Melbourne goes like this:

  • The best stargazing spot with panoramic city views: SkyHigh Mt Dandenong
  • The best stargazing spot with a planetarium: Scienceworks Planetarium
  • The best stargazing spot with astronomical societies: Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society
  • The best stargazing spot in a national park: Grampians National Park
  • The best stargazing spot at a lake: Lake Tyrrell
  • The best stargazing spot at a dark sky site: Leon Mow Dark Sky Site, Heathcote

Discover the wonders of the cosmos at these incredible locations, offering clear skies and minimal light pollution for an unforgettable stargazing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time for stargazing in Melbourne?

The best time for stargazing in Melbourne is during the winter months (June to August) when the skies are clearer and there are longer nights. However, stargazing can be enjoyed throughout the year, depending on weather conditions and moon phases.

Can I access these stargazing locations using public transport?

Many of the locations within Melbourne, such as the Melbourne Observatory and Scienceworks Planetarium, are easily accessible by public transport. For some destinations outside the city, like SkyHigh Mt Dandenong or Mornington Peninsula, it may be more convenient to rent a car or join a guided tour.

Do I need any special equipment for stargazing?

While it is possible to enjoy stargazing with the naked eye, using binoculars or a telescope can enhance the experience by providing a closer view of celestial objects. Some stargazing events hosted by astronomical societies may provide telescopes for public use.

Are there any stargazing events or workshops in Melbourne?

Yes, various astronomical societies in the Melbourne area, such as the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society, offer public stargazing nights at their observatories. These events provide an opportunity to view the moon, planets, and stars through powerful telescopes and learn more about astronomy from knowledgeable experts.

Is stargazing suitable for children?

Stargazing can be an enjoyable and educational activity for children, sparking their curiosity and interest in astronomy and the natural world. Many stargazing locations and events, such as Scienceworks Planetarium and public viewing nights at astronomical societies, are family-friendly and cater to visitors of all ages.

Madie

Madie is a lifestyle and travel writer at HumbleTrail. With her roots in the sunny coastal town of Eden, New South Wales.

She moved to Melbourne straight after high school and is now the go-to person in the team for the best local gems around Melbourne. She's got her ways in staying up to date with the upcoming cafes in the city before they become mainstream.

Madie's day starts off at 5 AM for her morning gym session. By 10 AM, you'll find her energized with her second coffee of the day, often sharing her latest K-pop crushes with the team.

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