Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, located in the Flinders Ranges and Outback of South Australia, spans over 63,000 hectares of conservation land. It holds great cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people, who maintain a strong connection to the landscape and its stories. Recognized by the Arkaroola Protection Act 2012, this sanctuary is renowned as one of Australia’s remarkable geological “hotspots” and boasts a diverse range of plant and animal life.
Arkaroola’s arid environment, elevation, and remote location contribute to exceptional stargazing conditions. Since establishing the first observatory in 1986, the sanctuary has expanded to feature six Designated Observatories. These observatories cater to various purposes, including guided tours, an international organization dedicated to spaceflight safety, and a freely accessible facility for visiting astronomers.
Founded in 1968 by Dr. Reg Sprigg and Griselda Sprigg, Arkaroola was intended to promote tourism to support ongoing conservation, education, and research. The legacy continues through the Arkaroola Education and Research Foundation. With over 12,000 visitors from around the world annually, the sanctuary offers a range of accommodation and camping options and guided and self-guided experiences. Astronomy enthusiasts can choose activities such as traditional eye-to-telescope observing, a state-of-the-art digital Astro Experience, and learning about the night sky using astronomical binoculars from a comfortable camp lounge chair. For a unique overnight experience, the Ridgetop Sleepout allows visitors to camp under the stars in a remote and optimal viewing location. Astronomers are encouraged to bring their equipment and utilize the roll-off roof observatory.
Arkaroola is accessible year-round, with the best months to visit being March to October, when the weather is cooler and the Milky Way is overhead. Arkaroola is dedicated to supporting ongoing research and education while inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking dark sky and participate in its conservation.
Dark Sky Sanctuary
2948 Arkaroola Road,
Arkaroola Village, Northern Flinders Ranges,
South Australia, 5731, Australia
Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for viewing the night sky at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, (-30.2939, 139.3332). Don’t forget to plan your trip during the new moon and astronomical twilight to enhance the viewing experience!