There’s a meteor shower a’comin’. Grab your sleeping bag, fill the thermos and dust off that woolly sweater grandma knitted for you all those years ago. It’s time to go stargazing.
Cover photo by @haydo_mclean
A couple of times a year, the Southern Hemisphere is blessed with an epic meteor shower. And coming up is the Delta Aquariid, so get ready to make that wish on a shooting star folks.
The Delta Aquariid meteor shower has an average of 15-20 meteors an hour. It isn’t a crazy bright one, so the best time to see it is after the moon has set, in the early hours of the morning.
To make the most of this groovy cosmic action, you’re going to want to get away from all the hustle-bustle and light pollution of the city. So we’ve chucked together five epic spots in Victoria that you can do just that.
TIP: As well as getting out of the city, make sure that you have a clear night with minimal clouds. Check up on the weather for these locations a day or two beforehand and then finalise your stargazing hideout.
# 1 Lake Eildon
Lake Eildon was where we hit up for the last meteor shower. We were lucky enough to have clear skies and a warm night with no dew, so we spent it on a hill tucked up in our sleeping bags. And if the Milky Way and shooting stars with your mates isn’t enough, we also got treated to a pretty amazing winter sunrise. Candlebark Campground is a good place to set up base. When it’s time to treat yourself to nature’s best light show, head back away from the lake and up the hills a few kilometres to get a good vantage point.
# 2 Flinders
If you’re in the South Eastern suburbs and don’t want to go on to much of a trek, Flinders still gets you pretty far away from the city lights. There are a handful of spots that you could hit up in Flinders to get a good view, but two recommendations would be the Gunnery and the Blowhole. The Gunnery and the Blowhole are more of a sleep-in-the-back-of-you-car kind of setup, so check out this guide to car camping if that’s how you roll.
# 3 Mt Macedon
For you Northsiders (and Westsiders, is that a thing?) your best bet is going to be Mt Macedon. Make your way straight up the top to Camels Hump, from which you can do a short night walk up to a lookout. That’s going to be your best chance at getting a clear view of the milky way. Just be sure not to venture too far off the path and go bush bashing, as there are some big ol’ cliffs in the area for rock climbing. Please don’t do it, your mum will never forgive me.
# 4 Wilsons Prom
As well as having some of the best beaches that Victoria has to offer, Wilsons Prom is also mainland Australia’s most southern point. This affords you epic views out into Bass Straight with no chance of any light pollution sneaking up on you. While Tidal River is the campground of choice for most, for this little adventure, I recommend Stockyard Camp. Only a few kilometres walk from Stockyard is the Big Drift, a patch of sand dunes that feel like they go on forever. If there is a better place to lay back and gaze at the stars, then hit me up cause I sure can’t think of one.
# 5 Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road has got it all, long windy roads, surf for days and waterfalls galore. But for the sake of this little escapade, it’s also got some nice open skies and a healthy dose of distance from the cities light pollution. Put a healthy distance between you and Geelong and try out somewhere like Aire River, or my personal favourite, Johanna Beach.
Now remember, all you need to know for stargazing is 1) lie back and 2) enjoy the stars. But if you want to take your stargazing to the next level, check out this guide by a fellow stargazer.
So clear your chakras, cancel that dinner you promised Mum and get in on this galactic weekend.