For the best stargazing experience, you need the clearest, darkest skies. Stargazing is one of the most surreal experiences that you should at least experience one time in your life. Unfortunately, most of us live in places with light pollution, we can only see a much smaller number of stars in our night sky. But there are many unspoiled places on earth where you can enjoy a sky full of stars and even our galaxy.
1. Mauna Kea, Hawaii:
Mauna Kea, located on the Big Island, Hawaii is home to a world-leading observatory. The Mauna Kea Visitor Center is at 9,200 feet, the optimum altitude offers stargazing programs. Also, on Maui island top of Haleakalā crater, you can enjoy panoramic views, the sunset, and emerging stars.
2. Western Australia Outback:
Western Australia Outback has one of the darkest and clearest skies that you will see. Several national parks in Western Australia including the Nambung National Park are great for camping under a sky full of stars.
3. Aoraki Mackenzie, New Zealand:
The South Island of New Zealand has such a clear sky especially the Mackenzie Region that you can see the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, home to the astronomical research centre, the Mount John Observatory, is a rare kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
4. Death Valley National Park and Cherry Springs State Park, USA:
Two of the best places for stargazing in the USA are the Death Valley National Park in California and Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. Death Valley National Park is named as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the country by the International Dark-Sky Association.
5. The Atacama Desert, Chile:
The Atacama Desert in Chile is a paradise for astronomers since it is one of the world’s driest places and home to many observatories. In the southern sky, you can see the galaxy core with the Magellanic Clouds and the Southern Cross add to this beauty.
6. Nova Scotia, Canada:
The UNESCO named Part of Southwest Nova Scotia the first Starlight Tourism Destination in North America. World’s first certified Starlight Hotel: Trout Point Lodge is in far eastern Canada’s Acadian Skies and Mi’kmaq Lands.
7. Namib Rand Nature Reserve, Namibia:
Namiba Desert’s extremely dry weather and pristine skies are making it a perfect place for astronomers. The dessert features a number of “telescope farms” and you can see a 360-degree panorama of the horizon in the Namiba Rand Nature Reserve.
8. Tenerife And La Palma, Canary Islands:
Tenerife and La Palma are two of Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife being the largest one. Both of these islands maintain the clear smog-free sky where you can have the stargazing experience of a lifetime. From the high-altitude Teide Observatory, perched on a volcano in Tenerife, you can observe constellations from both hemispheres, meteor showers and, in season, the Summer Triangle.
9. The Himalayas:
Crystal clear sky above the high hiking treks and Himalayan villages in the Himalayan mountain range can give you a mesmerizing night view as well. Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal has been specially named as one of the best places for stargazing.
10. Brecon Beacons, Wales:
The first Dark Sky Reserve has effectively minimised light pollution with the involvement of local communities making it easier for its visitors to witness meteor showers, nebulas and, more rarely, the Northern Lights. Another place is one of the Channel Islands in the southwestern English Channel, the Sark island. Sark was termed as the World’s First Dark Sky Island where you can see the Milky Way and the rest of the night sky.