Things looking up for stargazers

NT suddenly the place to be for stargazers

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WELCOME, EARTHLINGS: Wycliffe Wells on the Barkley Tableland is said to be the "UFO capital of Australia", with many reported sightings over the years.

WELCOME, EARTHLINGS: Wycliffe Wells on the Barkley Tableland is said to be the "UFO capital of Australia", with many reported sightings over the years.

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Pack a telescope and head to out-of-this-world sky-watching destinations.

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HEAVENS above, fans of space exploration. Arnhem Space Centre, outside Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, is set to launch three rockets carrying important scientific instruments into space in mid-2022.

It will be the first time in NASA's history that the pioneer undertakes a launch from a commercial facility outside of the US.

All of which is a stellar excuse for visitors to pack a telescope and enjoy some of the best space experiences in the territory.

From exploring the '"UFO capital of Australia" to outback stargazing and discovering Aboriginal dreamtime stories ridden in the night skies, the Territory is set to become a premier destination for space tourism.

Wycliffe Wells, Barkley Tableland

Wycliffe Well, on the Stuart Highway between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, has built a reputation for attracting visitors of the extra-terrestrial kind since WWII. The holiday park features newspaper clippings of reported of UFO sightings, models of not-so-little green men, and alien-themed paraphernalia, mementos and murals. Spend your days discovering nearby attractions including the geological marvel that is Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles.

Earth Sanctuary, Alice Springs

Just 15 minutes from Alice Springs, Earth Sanctuary is home to some of the clearest night skies in the world. The outback observatory offers a range of guided astronomy tours, featuring laser lights and a deep-sky telescope, For something different, sleep under the stars at the sanctuary's Space Camp, a set of six intergalactic-style domes available to guests in glamping or swag style.

Dark Skies Festival, Alice Springs

Dark Skies Festival, returning on May 4, is a celebration of humanity's connection to the Night Sky. Hosted by Earth Sanctuary and The Artist Expedition Society, the nine-day festival features incredible projection-based artworks, live music, talks by astronomers, telescope viewings, food vans and specialist art and science workshops.

Evening with the first astronomers

Learn about how ancient Aboriginal culture have relied on the night sky for orientation, mythology, calendar and more. Enjoy a starlit dinner on a private dune overlooking Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with Voyages' Sounds of Silence and Tali Wiru. As guests feast on bush tucker inspired courses, a resident star talker shares Dreamtime stories and traditions hidden in the stars.

Glamp under the stars

Katherine Outback Experience has launched its new under-the-stars glamping experience on its beautiful farm located in the outskirts of Katherine. Perfectly complementing its Outback Show and horse-riding experiences, glamping provides guests with a complete farm stay experience (dry season only).

At Matt Wright's Top End Safari Camp guests will discover the best of the Top End, from a helicopter scenic flight over the Litchfield floodplains to a thrilling airboat ride, soaking in a sunset, star-gazing around the fire pit and getting up close with crocodiles

Nested in the tranquillity of the desert, Kings Canyon Resort is an ideal base for exploring Watarrka National Park and its inspiring landscapes. Travellers can relax in one of six luxurious, Australian homestead-style glamping tents gathered in a central wiltja (or shelter area in Anangu).

Longitude 131 offers uninterrupted views of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Guests can stay in one of 16 tented pavilions, adorned with Aboriginal art, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a private terrace with a daybed and campfire, perfect for private stargazing. Or opt for the Dune Pavilion, which offers superior views and a private plunge pool overlooking the outback frontier.

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