Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

International Dark Sky Week

April 4 @ 18:00 - April 10 @ 20:30

2nd -8th April 2024


  •  Walk on the Wild Side – Tuesday 2nd and Friday 5th     6.15pm – 9.15pm

Join in with Andrew for a Walk on the Wild Side of Lake Wendouree and Woowookarung Regional Park. Andrew will introduce you to our nocturnal species as they become active at dusk, then, come back to the Observatory for viewing through our telescopes at our amazing universe, a dark night is essential to enjoy both of these delightful activities. Supper is an additional extra. This is an extremely limited 2 events, as large numbers deter the wildlife. Find out why we ALL need the Dark Night.

Start is at the Observatory and you will travel together to reduce disruption to wildlife.

BOOK ONLINE HERE        For Walk on the Wild Side Tues & Fri

  •  Wednesday 3rd April –

    Sean Dooley the “Birdman” at the Observatory for two sessions.

  • https://bookedout.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/sean_dooley.jpg

We are thrilled to have Sean Dooley come to speak for our IDSW events.

Sean will speak about importance of a dark night for wildlife including migratory birds. Sean Dooley has written for TV comedies like Full Frontal, Hamish and Andy and Spicks and Specks, is author of books such as The Big Twitch. He was also the national birdwatching champion, holding the record for seeing the most birds seen in one year. Sean Dooley is the Birdman.

Sean’s writing about birds is “driven by the desire to connect people with nature. Conservation can’t happen without people and people won’t bother to care unless they have some connection to it”. Articles by Sean can be found here.

We want to share our important IDSW message with as many people around and Australia and indeed from anywhere, on ZOOM, link below to book.


2.30pm – 4.00pm

IDSW Activities for Children Afternoon session only –  safe viewing of the Sun, Camera Obscura, making a Bush Clock which can  help you to navigate the night sky and find the Southern Cross, enter into our competition to count the stars in the Southern Cross at night and  pair of binoculars from our Science Shop, open over International Dark Sky Week.

Enter our IDSW 2024 Competition

                 BOOK  1.30pm -4-00pm Wednesday 3rd  April Student/Family Session  in person      
           1.30-2.30 Register for Zoom Afternoon Session with Sean here
       BOOK  7.00pm – 9.00pm Wednesday 3rd April Family   Session in person
Register for Zoom Evening Session Here      


Tuesday 2nd, Thursday 4th,  Saturday 6th April

       SATURDAY ONLY    IDSW Special Event  5.00pm – 5.45pm Satellite Basics – Free Talk

 5.00pm – 5.45pm Learn about Satellites up in space, how much is up there, what do they do, what happens to them, how does it affect our night sky, have you seen a satellite constellation? Followed by a tour our collection of Rockets and Satellites.

6.00pm – 8.00pm  Activities at the Observatory, including why we need the Dark Sky, stories of the night sky, viewing through our telescopes, movies and what you can do to reduce light pollution.

  IDSW Competition, prizes include a pair of binoculars to help you observe wildlife and the night sky.




  • We acknowledge the importance of preserving our heritage, the rich biodiversity of the environment and the starry night sky.
  • The aesthetic beauty and wonder of a natural night sky is a heritage shared by all humankind.
  • The experience of standing beneath a starry night sky inspires wonder and awe and encourages a growing interest in science and nature, especially among young people in Victoria.
  • The opportunity to view star-filled skies over our country creates educational and personal benefits of far reaching economic value to all and impossible to accurately quantify.
  • Globally, artificial light at night (ALAN) has increased by at least 49 % over the past generation, according to researchers at the Universities of Madrid and Exeter.
  • Excessive ALAN, defined as light produced by humans for any purpose, contributes to light pollution of the night-time environment.
  • Light pollution, defined as the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light, can have serious environmental consequences for humans, wildlife, and our climate. It lights up the night sky denying Indigenous Australians a dark night sky that is a crucial part of their heritage, representing their stories, their culture and their calendar. For them ALAN has particularly negative impacts.
  • Light pollution represents a waste of natural resources. In Australia, it is estimated that 30 % of all exterior lighting is energy wasted by directing light upwards instead of down, where it is intended to go.
  • Light pollution diminishes the day/night cycle for all life. It diminishes animal habitats, puts nocturnal animals at risk and affects vegetation. For humans it has been linked to increased risks of some common cancers, obesity and many other ailments.
  • Science has established that light pollution has significant economic and environmental consequences, impacting on the health of humans and the natural environment wherever it is present.
  • Light pollution impact birds that migrate to and through Victoria, it also impacts on the endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum and its main food source, the Bogong Moth, so contributing to the decline in the biodiversity in Victoria.
  • Solving the problem of light pollution requires educating governments, communities, and citizens on environmentally-friendly outdoor lighting practices. This includes responsible decision-making in selecting the appropriate colours of light sources, using only the minimum amount of light for the purpose and that it is directed only where it is needed.
  • DarkSky international has designated the week leading up to the New Moon as International Dark Sky Week and the Observatory hosts an annual event. We continue to draw awareness to the far-reaching impacts of light pollution on all communities and promote solutions to minimise it, each April with IDSW.
  • Protecting the night sky helps the all of us to improve our community and maintain its unique sense of place, neighbourhood liveability, safety, and quality of life.





Supported by                                                                                      


April 4 @ 18:00
April 10 @ 20:30


April 4 @ 18:00
April 10 @ 20:30
© Copyright - Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum - 2020