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Only way’s up for business seeing stars

Wednesday, 28th January, 2015

Outback Astronomy’s Linda Nadge says the outback skies over Broken Hill are a real treat, especially for big city dwellers who see few stars. Outback Astronomy’s Linda Nadge says the outback skies over Broken Hill are a real treat, especially for big city dwellers who see few stars.

By Emily Roberts

It has made the list of the hottest destinations in the nation but Outback Astronomy has not seen a big rush in bookings just yet.

Outback Astronomy recently pulled off a remarkable coup to make it onto Lonely Planet’s “World’s hottest new travel experiences for 2015”.

Owner Linda Nadge said it was too soon to see any noticeable difference in bookings.

The business offers night sky tours and naked-eye viewing of the starry sky.

Mrs Nadge said it was a unique experience.

“I have noticed that people are changing their travel plans,” she said.

“They are deciding to come out here when there are particular sky shows on, on particular nights.

“They are commenting that they won’t come out until the shows are on.

“A lot of people coming in for our shows are domestic and international travellers.

“I think it will take a lot of time for the (Lonely Planet) listing to be picked up.

“But when it does, hopefully it will translate into traffic for Broken Hill.”

Mrs Nadge said the shows were slowly attracting more patrons.

“The trend is up, it is a very small business and I think it will take years and years of ground work to establish a market.

“Our biggest attraction is the lovely dark skies. We are several hundred kilometres away from any major light sources.

“Most large cities in Australia and overseas are unable to see the dark skies. People tell me that their children haven’t seen any starry skies. It’s definitely a sought-after experience.”

She said having something like this was also good for the city.

“It’s a value for tourism and education purposes as well,” Mrs Nadge said.

“It is a catalyst for growth in the sector.

“It has a huge value especially with the recent heritage listing.

“I think the heritage listing and this sky shows will attract a lot of people.

“While we provide naked-eye viewing, we make the experience very contemporary.

“The space industry has advanced so much in the last ten years, our objectives are that the tours will bring out university students and maybe even space miners.

“Hopefully it will just be a natural progression of a business.”

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