Field Nights

The Forest Cabin (credit Mohammed Ali)

Lunar Cycle

We hold dark sky nights for members only at Belanglo Forest and The Oaks (Stargard). We select our dates based on the Lunar cycle:

Weekend closest to New MoonThe Forest.
Second darkest Saturday:Stargard. A week before or after The Forest (or both).
Third darkest Saturday (generally near First Quarter Moon) Winter series of Public Nights or other public events.


The Forest weekends are fixed dates but Stargard nights might be rearranged at short notice to suit the weather conditions.

If weather conditions look doubtful, please check for news on the “What’s On” page AND the Facebook page AND your e-mail or Private Messages before leaving home – and please ensure you have saved the relevant contact numbers on your mobile phone in case of emergency.

Please check out the MAS Weather page.


Members must arrange their own transport to the observing sites You should always arrive before sunset, especially if visiting for the first time.

Location maps of our observing sites are accessed via the menu at the top of this page.

If arriving late, make sure that your approach to the final gate is with only parking lights and ask someone to guide you safely into the observing area.


You should bring your own food, drink and warm clothing. It is also essential – for your own safety and that of others – that you bring a red torch with you.

Dew heaters are recommended at both sites and you will need your own electrical supply equipment.

Consider the needs of others around you, especially when using laser pointers, camera monitors, computers, car boot and interior lights, radios etc. Please read our Field Etiquette page.

Watch Out For The Locals

Dmitry Brant, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When driving to or from Stargard or The Forest, always be on the lookout for wild animals such as kangaroos, wombats and foxes which frequently stray onto the road, especially at night.


Stargard nights at The Oaks (adjacent to The Oaks Airport) are free to financial members and invited guests only. Please contact the President or Vice-President before inviting non-members to attend.

Beginners are particularly encouraged to observe at Stargard before progressing to the Forest. Members who have not yet purchased a telescope and wish to familiarise themselves with what other members use are welcome to attend and seek advice from more experienced members.

Stargard observing dates are scheduled for at least one night per lunar cycle. If a scheduled night is cancelled due to weather, another night may be selected.

Members are requested to always close the main gate and throw the bolt (without locking it) to permit entry or egress by other members but to discourage entry by non-authorised people.

You will require your own battery power.

The Forest

The cabin at Belanglo Forest is our premier dark-sky observing site, normally open on the Weekend closest to the New Moon. Bring your equipment and observe or photograph our Forest sky – which really has to be seen to be believed on a clear night.

Limited sleeping accommodation is available but depending on the numbers is not guaranteed.

Non-members who are experienced amateur astronomers may be invited to attend the Forest, subject to prior clearance from the President.

Use of the site on Sunday nights will be dependent on the number of members that month who express a desire to attend.

Mains power is available or bring your own battery power.

Forest Fees

A fee is applicable to the regular Forest observing nights. This is to partially offset the rental paid by MAS to International House.

Members: $20 for one night, $35 for two nights, third night free (per member), whether attending just for the evening or staying all night. Please see a committee member on your arrival to make your payment and please try to have the exact amount.

Non-members: $25.00 for one night and $45.00 for two nights, third night free.

Free weekend: Each financial member is entitled to one free Forest weekend per year. Bring your current membership card with you when you come to a New Moon Weekend and it will be punched, signifying that you’ve taken your free weekend.