Drive The Pilbara's Star Way - 10 To 12 Days

The wide-open starry night sky landscapes across the Shire of Ashburton in the Pilbara will take your breath away. Hit the open road and discover sunrises, sunsets and everything in between across Western Australia's North West.

From the protected boating waters around the Mackerel Islands and idyllic Onslow on the coast to the red sands of Tom Price and the National Parks of Karijini and Millstream. Let the stars be your guide you on a journey like no other on Earth!

Termite mounds near Onslow with the Milky Way in the night sky
Termite mounds near Onslow with the Milky Way in the night sky. Image: Astrotourism WA

Days 1-4: Onslow and the Mackerel Islands

Fly in and grab your hire car or arrive after a leisurely road trip along the coast to Onslow. The vibe in this town is cool, uncomplicated and relaxed. Onslow is one of the rare places where you can see both the Sun and Moon rise and set over the ocean! Head up to Dreamers Hill to see sunsets and sunrises in all their glory. The Staircase to the Moon can be seen on full moon nights from April to October each year. Practice your astrophotography at local attractions, The Termites and Old Onslow Town.

After a couple of nights in Onslow, catch the boat for some more adventures on Thevenard Island in the Mackerel Islands. There is so much on offer during the day followed by magical evenings dining under the stars! 

Overnight: Onslow and the Mackerel Islands

Days 5-7: Cheela Plains (270 kilometres/3.5 hours)

Here’s the half way stop between the Ningaloo Reef and Karijini National Park! You’ll feel so welcome at Cheela Plains Station Stay whether you’re camping, caravanning or staying in the comfortable accommodation. The Cheela Café will fuel you up ready for a night under the stars. Here, you’re completely away from light pollution and to be dazzled like never before! If you have a 4WD make sure to explore Beasley Gorge and see the “Great Oxidation Event”. This is a rock timeline recording the rise of oxygen in the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere more than 2700 million years ago!

Overnight: Cheela Plains Station

Day 8: Paraburdoo (95 kilometres/1.25 hours) or Tom Price (115 kilometres/1.75 hours)

Tom Price information bay truck with night sky in the background
Tom Price information bay truck with night sky in the background

If you’re ready for your next spot of astrophotography, stay overnight in Paraburdoo! An incredible art sculpture called Resilience will captivate you for an entire evening! Stay longer and you’ll be able to catch a ride with Pilbara Camel Trekking and Cultural Tours. Imagine your very own camel ride to the stars where you’ll discover how Aboriginal people, the world’s first astronomers, used the night sky to guide everyday life.

If you decide to travel through to Tom Price you’ll have a great stargazing night at King’s Lake. Make sure to call into the Tom Price Visitor Centre to get all the local stargazing secrets! At the information bay on the way into town, one of the huge mining trucks is there to greet you and it’s ideally positioned to take your own astro-image with the stars and Milky Way behind!

Overnight: Paraburdoo or Tom Price

Safari Tents at Karijini National Park with night sky in background.
Safari Tents at Karijini National Park with night sky in background. Image: Astrotourism WA

Days 9-12: Millstream National Park (320 kilometres/4 hours) or Karijini National Park (160 kilometres/1.75 hours) from Paraburdoo

It’s time to decide which National Park to visit from here! Head north to Millsteam Chichester National Park and join Clinton and Ngurrangga Tours to soak in Aboriginal culture and heritage. Clinton is an award-winning tour guide and on some of his tours you’ll experience the night sky through his eyes. His overnight tour explores the Millstream-Chichester National Park and George Gorge. You’ll camp under the stars where you’ll learn more about connections for the Yindjibarndi people.

Or make the journey to Karijini National Park and the incredible gorges where adventure awaits. Remember to take in the night sky once again with Karijini’s Dales Gorge Campground Astro Tours run from April to September each year. Enjoy a night under the stars and see astronomical objects close up through telescopes.

Overnight: Camping in Millstream Chichester National Park or camping/glamping Karijini National Park

For additional information about the locations on the Star Way, check out the following useful link

Driving times and distances are intended as a guide only and may vary depending on exact route taken. Accommodation options are indicative as to what is available in the area.

Epic Pilbara Road Trip

From Karijini to Karratha in a 4WD vehicle, this 10-day, 3-legged journey, is best experienced from…

Combi on Cable Beach, Broome CJ Maddock

Three Days In Broome

Visit one of Australia’s most unique towns to stroll along one of Australia’s most…

Ashburton River  Jan Bevan  Onslow Visitro Centre Josh Brunner

Ultimate Pilbara Road Trip

The Ultimate Pilbara Road Trip weaves its way through the entire Pilbara starting coastal in Onslow…

Aerial view of Danggu Geikie Gorge CJ Maddock/Australia's North West

Western Gorges Loop

On this self-drive adventure, experience the 350-million-year old Balili (Devonian Reef) system, the…

Warlu Way

The Warlu Way follows the path of the Warlu Dreamtime serpent as it traverses Western…

Savannah Way

The Savannah Way is one of the most accessible wilderness drive adventures in Australia. Stretching…