Great news for nocturnal creatures, astronomers, astrologists, night sky enthusiasts, stargazers, and astrophotographers – South Australia now has a second Dark Sky Place, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

South Australia’s Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the northern Flinders Ranges has been declared an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. It joins the River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve to become the second Dark Sky place in South Australia.

You can now visit the sanctuary to take part in a three unique astronomy experiences.

  • Under the Stars Experience – View the moon, stars, and Milky Way through astronomy binoculars from the comfort of your camp chair. Availability is subject to a week either side of the dark of the moon.  Cost: $54 Adults $35 Children
  • Explore the Cosmos – View the wonders of the solar system and experience a real-time digital astro experience inside the Ningana Imaging Observatory.
    Cost: $60 Adult $35 Children
  • Observatory Tour – Visit one of Arkaroola’s full-sized astronomical domes for a truly intergalactic tour of the stars, moon, and planets. Availability is subject to a week either side of the dark of the moon.
    Cost: $75/Person (min of 4 in a group)


Arkaroola Astronomical Observatory | Photo by Maxime Coquard

What is the International Dark Sky Association?

The International DarkSky Association (IDA) is a United States-based not-for-profit organisation founded in 2001. It’s led the charge to preserve darkness by educating the public and providing government bodies with resources to promote good lighting principles.

In Australia and New Zealand, the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance shares a vision and works with IDA to, ‘preserve the integrity of the night to benefit the Earth’s inhabitants; educating and advocating for the protection of the night sky; and empowering stakeholders and the public with the tools and resources to protect the night sky’.

Why do we need Dark Sky Places?

Because stars. With light pollution on the rise, it’s becoming harder to find spots where stargazing in complete darkness is possible. Not only that, preserving darkness provides refuge for our nocturnal birds and animals.

Light pollution has also been found to cause migratory shorebirds to lose their way and choose low-quality nesting and feeding sites due to over-lit areas.

Where are the Dark Sky Places in Australia and New Zealand?

There are seven designated Dark Sky Places in Australasia out of 200 worldwide, including:


Feature photo by South Australia Tourism Commission