Earth, Sky & Sea

Astronomy Observing Locations

I live in the small coastal city of Wollongong located 80km south of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. As well as observing from my own backyard I have often observed from other locations.

Belanglo State Forest is where I have taken my equipment in order to observe from a very dark location. It is only an hour's drive away from home, in a semi-rural to rural region called The Southern Highlands of New South Wales. There are two places I have used in Belanglo. One is a property used by the Orienteering Association of NSW. The second location is a cabin owned by Sydney University and used on new moon weekends by the MaCarthur Astronomical Society. Good nights in Belanglo mean stars of fainter than magnitude 6, even sometimes approaching magnitude 7.

Cataract Scout Camp, a little north of Wollongong, was once a location used by the Wollongong Amateur Astronomy Club. It was a good convenient spot with stars of magnitude 6 usually visible.

Cordeaux is the area just through drive in entrance to access Cordeaux Dam, off Picton Rd, between Wollongong and Picton.

Culburra Beach is a seaside town 100km south of where I live, on the New South Wales (a state of Australia) mid-south coast. There is a house and yard there I have access to, and, despite there being streetlights, the town is far enough from any large urban centre to have a decent dark sky, with stars of magnitude 6 visible.

Farmborough Heights is my home, a suburban location in the small coastal city of Wollongong, located 80km south of Sydney, Australia. Being suburban, conditions are not ideal, with stars of magnitude 5.5 visible from my backyard on clear moonless nights.

Jerrara Dam is located between the towns of Kiama and Jamberoo, a little south of Wollongong. It is a convenient place to get away from suburban lights but is a dark site rather than a very dark one, with stars fainter than magnitude 5.5 to appraoching 6 on occasion. It has been a primary observing site for the Wollongong Amateur Astronomy Club.

Mount Keira was the dark sky site of the Illawarra Astronomical Society. It is located a short drive from Wollongong and avoids most of the city lighting, so that stars of magnitude 6 and fainter were often visible.

Wiruna is the dark sky site of the Astronomical Society of NSW. It is a substantial property with great facilities and a very dark sky. It is some hours drive for me, however, and I consider Belanglo State Forest to be its equal for astronomical observing. I have been to Wiruna on less than a handful of occasions