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Queensland is famous for its land; breathtaking beaches, sprawling farmlands and lush rainforests that make you forget you’re on the coastline of Australia. But as any keen astronomer will tell you, often our best bounty is actually found in the skies above. If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary for your next adventure, it might be time to swap the sand for stars, and book in one of Southern Queensland Country’s best dark sky experiences.

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Travel through the galaxy at Kingaroy Observatory

When planning your Southern Queensland Country stargazing experience, be sure to mark Kingaroy Observatory on your map. A three-hour drive north-west of Brisbane, this iconic observatory allows you to explore the universe without even leaving the ground. The two-hour Night Show is something special; journey through the Milky Way, learning about stars, planets, constellations and nebulae as you go, with the help of astronomy guides and professional telescopes.

Stargaze and stay at the Granite Belt

If you dream of stargazing but not so much camping, the Twinstar Guesthouse might just be for you. As the next best thing to sleeping under the stars, Twinstar Guesthouse and Observatory offers motel-style accommodation surrounded by wineries and orchards for your daytime adventures — and a Night Sky Tour for when evening falls. The Night Sky Tour is a free tour, exclusive to guests, that guides you across the galaxy with a 46cm reflecting telescope — perfect for astronomy amateurs and enthusiasts, and astrophotographers. You’ll find the Twinstar Guesthouse in the Southern Downs & Granite Belt region, just over a three-hour drive from Brisbane.

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Get back to nature at Girraween Environmental Lodge

What could be better than stargazing? Stargazing from an outdoor spa, in your very own luxe ‘bush chalet’. If you’d like your night sky adventure with a side of pure relaxation, check into Girraween Environmental Lodge, nestled in the bushland of the Southern Downs & Granite Belt region, about three hours from Brisbane. Spend your days hopping wineries, exploring rock formations and walking through woodlands — even feeding the deer. At night, take in millions of stars from the outdoor spa before calling it a night in your cabin.

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Camp under the stars at Foxbar Falls

If camping is more your thing, plan your next trip to Foxbar Falls — a family (and pet!) friendly campground that’s a crowd favourite with locals and visitors alike. Take a roadtrip towards Foxbar Falls, located two-and-a-half hours from Brisbane, and set up camp for a few days of water activities (think canoeing, kayaking and fishing) and of course, stargazing under the Southern Queensland Country Sky. It’s as close to nature as you can get.

Try astrophotography at the Bunya Mountains

Whether you’re a keen photographer, wanting to surprise someone with a once-in-a-lifetime gift, or just ready to step up from stargazing, astrophotography in the Bunya Mountains is an unforgettable experience (and only a three-hour drive from Brisbane). Meet award-winning photographer and artist, Donna Glass atop the Bunya Mountains— the dreamiest location for astrophotography thanks to the elevation and lack of light pollution. With Donna’s guidance (and equipment) capture the pastel skies at sunset, or the star-spangled Milky Way at night.


Bunya Mountains Astrophotography Experience

Take in the Central Highlands skies

Making your way towards the Central Highlands? This area — just over an hour’s drive from Emerald — is tranquil, free of light pollution and (quite literally) bedazzled with multiple stargazing hotspots. The Gems By Day, Jewels By Night Observatory in Rubyvale welcomes guests of the Rubyvale Motel to discover magnificent star clusters, coloured stars, Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons with their powerful telescope.

A couple of hours south, Carnarvon Gorge is another favourite known for its breathtaking sandstone gorge, cliffs, moss gardens and an abundance of flora and fauna. But Carnarvon Gorge doesn’t rest at night time, with hands-on astronomy experiences allowing you to explore stars and planets, learn how to navigate the sky and even take photos of the Milky Way.

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Look to the skies for your next Queensland adventure. Take advantage of the tucked-away locations and tranquil nights and something different like stargazing or astrophotography.

You might just find a hidden gem, or new favourite hobby!

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Acknowledgement of Country

Southern Queensland Country Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waterways that run through these regions. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and emerging.