Dark Sky Gold Stars Sunset Dinner

Scott Crump · 6 November 2022

Dark Sky Gold Stars Sunset Dinner

This is the second time we’ve experienced the Dark Sky Gold Stars Sunset Dinner tour with the lovely Master Juggler, Kelly Kuhn of Juggle House Experiences. This time round we booked in with a couple of guests staying with us, and the sunsets were just as amazing across the river and river bypass waters at Walkers Flat and Big Bend Lookout.

Sunset views

Starting from Arnold Park in Mannum and travelling upstream towards Walker Flat, full commentary is provided by Kelly, both insightful and light-hearted as we drive along the road to each of the destinations. First stop is the Maynard Lookout in Walkers Flat with an amazing view from the river cliff tops and across river, and the start of a beautiful sunset sky. As we drove down to the Bywater of Walker Flat the amazing sunset view across the waters edge was stunning.

Aboriginal dreaming

Next stop is dinner at the Swan Reach Hotel, with 180 degree views of the Murray River and the huge river gum trees along the riverbank for an hour. A presentation on astronomy prepares us for the night time experience to come as we enjoy good food and warm hospitality. Boarding “The Entertainer”, we travelled back downstream to Nildottie stopping at Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park, where we were greeted with a smoking ceremony from the caretakers of the land. Led by elder Ivy, we walked around the cliff edge of Ngaut Ngaut as she explained the different areas within the park, including the woman camp, men’s camp, kitchen, and the Aboriginal drawings. All very interesting, inspiring and a very different experience from a day tour.

Dark Sky & golden stars

Next stop is back to Maynard Lookout to meet with Astronomer, Joe Grida, who has been observing the deep sky for over 50 years. An Honorary Life Member, Hall of Fame inductee, and a Past President of the Astronomical Society of South Australia, Joe has made regular appearances on radio and television. As Technical Information Officer he is often asked to comment on new discoveries. In 2002, he served as a southern sky specialist for visiting U.S. and European astronomers who were in Australia for the total solar eclipse. Joe delivers astronomy themed presentations across Australia and the US. Since 1990, he has written a monthly “Starwatch” column for The Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide. An amazing astronomer to guide our experience!

The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve is Australia’s first Dark Sky Reserve and one of only 15 in the world. One of the darkest places on earth with virtually no light pollution, recordings of the Reserve measure at 21.9 on a scale of 0 to 22.  About 300 stars can typically be seen in Southern Hemisphere urban areas, however here where an estimated 5000 can be seen, including a better view of the centre of the galaxy – the Milky Way.

Joe spoke about all the different stars, pointing out which star was what, and the bright Milky Way which was above us on this night. It was an incredibly special evening as we were able to see the craters on the Moon and the planets Saturn and Jupiter. Saturn with the two rings around the body of the planet was so amazing to see and then Jupiter, and incredibly lucky also to see the three moons above Jupiter at the time. The night being a cool brisk evening, Kelly comes prepared with hot tea and coffee to warm you up and gives you a little treat of bite-size milky way and mars bar to eat.

An amazing experience like no other

We recommend, if you ever get a chance to do this tour whilst staying with us at Riverview House Bed and Breakfast Younghusband. You will be amazed at how the scenery on River Murray changes every day from when the sun rises through to sunset, and then add the infinity of Gold Stars to the Dark Sky with the Moon and Planets – you will be amazed!

All of the places we visited on the tour are within driving distance of Riverview House Younghusband so you are able to explore with your own self-drive itinerary. The Dark Sky Golden Stars Sunset Dinner by award winning Juggle House Experiences is the unique opportunity to explore our region at night in stylish vehicles with a hassle-free itinerary and unforgettable experience. Stay a while at Riverview House Younghusband with one of our experiences, and we can also assist with booking tours with our recommended partner, Juggle House Experiences.

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Dark Sky Golden stars Sunset Dinner Tour By Juggle House Experiences

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